Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know: Great Game for Fans
When I heard about Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know originally, I was elated. I enjoyed Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage!? and was sure I'd like this one. Thankfully, the folks at WayForward Technologies did not let me down.
Before continuing this review, I have to preface this by saying Adventure Time is one of my absolute favorites of all time. The humor, the art style, the setting, etc. all come together to make something I really love. For that reason, this game gets an extra point or so on this review. If you were interested in this as a game itself and not as a fan of Adventure Time, take away a point or two from its final score.
Another thing to note: I played this for the PC. I don't imagine there being a world of difference between the different versions of Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know, but keep that in mind if you plan on getting the 3DS or one of the console versions.
The music in this game is a bit like the music in the first game for the DS. The soundtrack is very reminiscent of retro games and it is well orchestrated. I'm hoping they'll release the soundtrack like they did with the earlier game.
The voice acting in this is what will probably please fans of Adventure Time the most. The characters are voiced by their respective voice actors and have little bits of dialogue throughout the gameplay that are just downright delightful. Thankfully, they pace them out so that, even though they repeat, they do not get annoyingly repetitive.
The Candy Kingdom hub world looks great and, even though it's just a small segment of it, it feels cool to be able to walk around in it. The character sprites pull off the retro look very well.
The environments in the dungeons are 3D. This combination of 2D and 3D is pulled off quite effectively. The 3D modeling is nothing to fawn over in and of itself, however.
Much like the previous Adventure Time game being an introduction to Metroidvania-ish gameplay, this game is a great introduction for kids to get into dungeon crawler/roguelike games. That being said, serious fans of these genres will want to look elsewhere or at least come into the game without expecting it to be terribly deep.
The combat system is fairly simple. You have your basic attacks and charge attacks, varying depending on the character, a block or an absorb, and a special. Each character's special works differently.
This would get old on its own after a while, but there are special sub-weapons based on various Adventure Time items and characters that give this game some much needed variation. These range from Jake's sword to frozen ninja stars to over easy eggs; my personal favorite is the goblin you get to use as a whip.
You can play from your choice of nine different Adventure Time characters and switch out between them in the hub world. Finn Jake, Marceline, Cinammon Bun, Lumpy Space Princess, Ice King, Flame Princess, Lemongrab, and DLC Peppermint Butler are all playable. Each of them have their own special, ability, and differing stats.
This game really benefits from having someone else to play with. On its own, Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know is good enough to play through, but with friends, the entertainment value increases tremendously as you fight over who gets what sub-weapon, how to best handle a giant room full of enemies, etc.
The randomized dungeons and the various enemies within them give Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know a decent amount of replayability. There are 100 dungeon floors meaning you won't run out of content any time soon. The beginning twenty floors make you think the game will be a cakewalk, but as you progress further, the game increases in difficulty considerably.
Tokens are items you use that give you a boost to a stat, increased health, increased speed, etc. and they add some depth to the game. When you get into the harder dungeon levels, you want to be sure to choose the right tokens to make your time easier.
The boss fights come in two varieties: super easy or super difficult.The first boss involved hitting and blocking and the third boss just involved dodging moves from time to time while getting in attacks.
The second boss was running from an angry mob; I died several times.
The fourth boss involved kicking around a ton of penguins until a psychic cat got too tired to attack you; I died several times.
I like Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know a lot, but I cannot deny there are a few negatives about it. The game, as previously stated, is not very complex. It is obviously meant to be easy enough for kids to play. That being said, if you go in expecting something fun to play with friends that isn't very mentally demanding, then you'll enjoy the game.
Some of the characters seem better than others. Why pick the slow, tanky Cinnamon Bun when you can pick Jake, a slightly less tanky version of Cinnamon Bun, but with more utility due to his ability to stretch over pits? Luckily, there are enough good characters to go around so no one will be stuck with a bad one after you unlock LSP.
If you are looking for a game like Path of Exile, Torchlight, or the Diablo series, this is not for you. I have no idea why you would expect a kids' game to have that much depth.
If you are looking for a game that is dungeon crawler and roguelike-ish, has local co-op, is hilarious, and is based off of the TV show Adventure Time, then this game is perfect for you.
You don't have to be a kid to enjoy the game. You just have to like the show.
I'm giving Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know an 8/10. If I wasn't a fan of the show, it would probably be a 6, but the voice acting, the humor, etc. really make this game's charm stand out above its flaws.