PAX Prime: Adventure Time Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! – First Impressions

All three members of your Nintendo Fire team managed to meet up in the upper level of the Expo Hall to give this Wii U title a shot! There was no way we were going to split up to try this game—after all, the multiplayer is really the only way to play—so we managed to get on the game and give it a shot as a team.

And before we go any further, we must say that this booth had perhaps the cheeriest and friendliest woman working the booth all weekend! She answered all questions with a smile and seemed truly excited about the game she was demoing, exclaiming at all her favourite parts—and it honestly didn’t seem forced. It was really nice to see a booth worker who actually loved the game they were demoing, as it made the experience that much more enjoyable.

That said, why explore the dungeon? Well… in the end, I have to say I’m not entirely sure. But you want to know why, yes? Here goes.

While you’d expect a bit of an epic adventure in a game based on Adventure Time, what happened seemed more akin to… playing Gauntlet on the Tandy 1000. Rather than explore the dungeon, you’re moreso traveling through on a hack-and-slash journey, which can get really annoying if you have one character who’s always running to grab loot or bonuses while others are stuck getting gang-beaten by enemies.

You know, just like Gauntlet on the Tandy 1000.

The graphics were cute, and it was great to hear the original actors’ voices… but that can only take it so far. You can choose from one of four characters, and you build up stats just as you’d expect in an RPG-like game. There are special weapons and special attacks, but it became little more than button mashing on our part. Combat becomes quickly tedious, and the levels seemed designed to be just too long… which is too bad, because it meant wandering around in frustration, hoping to find the end so you could just move on to another booth.

But here’s the thing—if you have three friends who want to come over and play video games, and who will sit down and play this with you… it might be a lot of fun. You can mess up your friends by stealing loot, or getting all the kills, and generally being silly together. But how often does this happen at home? Probably not as often as you’d like, and the game doesn’t include an online multiplayer option… which seems like an unfortunate oversight.

You might make it through a few silly levels with friends—and I commend the booth lady for her enthusiasm—but ultimately what looked like a promising title in a fun franchise turned out to be a lackluster, boring hack-and-slash.

But, maybe they hinted at that with the title, and we just didn’t get it until it was too late.


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Author: Faith View all posts by
Faith likes games and books and cake and writing and Lara Croft, not necessarily in that order. She also thinks a Skylanders cartoon show is a really, REALLY good idea...

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