If you are a fan of old school Nintendo games, then right off the bat, you may get a feeling of retro déjà vu. The game play is very similar to Zelda II, with an overworld map, and side scrolling dungeon areas sprinkled all around the Land of Ooo.
The levels themselves are pretty standard (scary woods and ice castles), but feature a wide variety of enemies, from mind-controlling worms to sentient signposts. Most enemies are easy enough to handle on their own, but a few of them pack a wallop. So stock up on pancakes and milkshakes or things might get a bit tough for you.
One of the best parts of this game is the story. Fans of Adventure Time will be glad to know that it was written by the show’s creator, Pendleton Ward, so the story is solid. You play as Finn the Human as you (if the title didn’t give you a hint) try to uncover just why exactly the Ice King has stolen your garbage.
The game itself is a great bit of nostalgic side scrolling hack’n’slash, with beautifully rendered graphics that perfectly follow the feel of the show. The pacing is solid, and leaves you excited for what the next new area has in store.
Adventure Time also has one of the best uses of the 3D capabilities of the 3DS around as well. The worlds have an almost pop-up book quality to them, making the images feel very vivid and alive, which is not a simple feat for such a simple game.
The only real problem I had with this game was the length. From start to finish, you can beat this game in less than 5 hours. While this may be great for kids with shorter attention spans, for the older fans of the show, it can leave you wanting more. A game like this should take a while to play, so you can soak up the beautiful art, level up, explore, and have a sense of accomplishment when finished. Even though the game was a lot of fun, it really felt rushed.
Another problem is a troublesome little glitch during an end game boss fight. It took several tries, and several trips to the internet for help to figure out a strategy to beat it. Given the target market for this game (children) it wouldn’t be surprising if many gave up on finishing this game out of frustration.