Adventure Time is a childrens TV show that has managed to break out of its confines and has landed as many adult fans as kids., with celebrities like Johnny Vegas continually tweeting about it repeatedly. Unlike its original roots the game spin offs have been met with much less admiration. The franchise is a license to print money and so a slew or lacklustre games have been churned out by studios in a bid to cash in.
Luckily this title is not as bad as all it’s predecessors but nor is it the penultimate game fans have been waiting for. This action adventure puzzle game puts out two protagonists (a plucky boy and his gruff sidekick dog) as private investigators who need it get to the bottom of some strange things going on in the land of Ooo.
The TV show is a surreal but well written 2D animated programme that is tightly paced madly drawn. So does this game fully capture the show? Not really. Sadly the artwork has been made into 3D and although graphically solid the characters just don’t behave the same. The voice acting is on point but the slow floaty movements of the characters doesn’t really capture the physical comedy properly.
Scripting is quite snappy in places but its clear the voices sometimes don’t match the character models properly. The animation is flat and the stiff camera takes a lot of the charm out. There are some decent puzzles to be solved but obviously these are aimed at a younger audience so don’t expect to be challenged in any significant way. Plus, they are a mixed bag at best.
There is a point and click element to the story and the combat is somewhat cumbersome and sluggish. You have an energy bar at the bottom of the screen and once this is filled you are able to utilise a series of special moves which, although initially humourous become tiresome very quickly. I doubt any kids will struggle to grasp the simple melee fight controls but I also doubt they’ll find it very thrilling either.
Considering the accolade it comes from, this game feels like it needed another 9 months development and to be tighter in certain areas. There are times when the mad pace of the story drops off for long periods of time and what makes the show special is lost during these quiet times.
The majority of the cast are there and some scenes are closer to the show than other previous games released but still, I suspect it will be a little longer before we get a suitably mad title worthy of the adventure time name. I mean, it took South Park’s creators to actually take over before we saw a proper game based on the show.
Gameplay wise this could (and should) be much tighter. From combat to puzzles it all feels a little rushed and a “that’ll do” ethos seems to have leaked in during development. However it’s not without its charm albeit a little stiff in parts and likes to repeat soundbites a little too much. I don’t think anyone under 8 would notice much of this and would gladly play this if a fan as it has the original voice cast and some humorous moments.
Midlife Gamer Rating: 6/10 Format: PlayStation 4 / Xbox One Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided with a copy of Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigate for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of five days. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.