Adventure Time seems like the perfect candidate for the obligatory “actually good licensed game” award, especially seeing as series creator Pen Ward has cited both Zelda and D&D as major influences on the show. So far it seems like almost no game has yet to fully deliver on the simple premise of the show, but a new contender is up in the form of Finn & Jake’s Epic Quest on Steam. So is this the game for all the fans of the Land of Ooo?
Finn & Jake’s Epic Quest is a 3D hack-n-slash starring, of course, adventurous human Finn and his transforming dog, Jake. The game kicks off with the duo waking up to realize that they have been trapped inside of a video game version of their world, egged on by mysterious notes to take down classic baddies from the show in order to find BMO.
Yeah, it’s a bit of silly premise, but given Adventure Time’s signature self-aware humor, it works more than perfectly here. The same touch of the show exists in every element of the game as well. Players fight their way through iconic locales like the Ice Kingdom and the Land of the Dead beating up enemies such as Hug Wolves, Tree Witches, Gunters, Skeletons, and little evil pigs in costumes. While some of the enemies are reused a bit much from area to area, there is enough variation in each enemy type to keep things interesting.
Each world is broken up into a few open world stages where there is usually a quest to complete, enemies to defeat, and all sorts of collectibles to find. To go back to previous stages, all one has to do is walk off the edge of a stage, but to continue progress again, levels need to be re-traversed to find the exit tucked away somewhere on each one.
Players take control of Finn or Jake with the ability to freely switch between the two with tap of a button. Unfortunately, the game only has a single-player option, but a game like this begs to be played with a friend. Running around and punching the crap out of enemies can be a bit of a lonely exercise, especially given the game’s oddly quiet tone. Luckily, there are magic runes all over the place that give players buffs and strange abilities for limited amounts of time. This includes summoning Marceline to distract enemies with a bass solo, wings to fly over bottomless chasms, and floaties to easily traverse water—just to name a few. There are a lot of these runs and half the fun of playing is honestly just finding them to see what they do as the nature of each power isn’t made public until you’ve used it once.
Fighting is simple enough with both Finn and Jake possessing normal and strong attacks which can be strung into simple combos. Enemies usually just take a simple pounding and they’re done, but others require a bit more tactics such as making your way to their backsides or watching out for being grabbed by them mid-fight. Defeating enemies helps to level up both characters whose moves can then be upgraded once level thresholds are reached.
In long sessions, the fighting may begin to feel a bit dull, but never really tedious. Epic Quest feels like the kind of game that’s perfect for an hour or so of spare playtime that needs something to feel. What’s here as a base though is surprisingly good though, especially considering the misgivings of some of the previous Adventure Time games.
I would love to see this game get a sequel or follow-up that definitely amps up the action a bit and maybe even adds some co-op. The game definitely nails the feeling of the show with appropriately synthesized music and characters from throughout the shows varied history. The game touts voice acting from the show as a selling point, but in reality only Finn and Jake are really voiced. Other characters and enemies simply let out cute little sounds when you interact with them so don’t expect high production values on that end.
Epic Quest is a solid fit for fans of the show who are looking for something a little old-school and Diablo-esque in tone from an Adventure Time game. Those who may not be fans of the show proper may not find too much to keep themselves entertained with the game, but for those the know, just getting to beat up on monsters for a bit with a boy and his stretchy yellow dog is honestly just exactly what you want to do sometimes. And Epic Quest definitely delivers on that if nothing else.
[+Nice nods to show for fans][+Fighting enemies is simple and satisfying][+Collecting and using magic spells is more fun than it should be][-Where’s the co-op?!][-Enemies and music are reused a bit much][-It’s a little slow-paced at times][-Not much for players if they don’t already like the show]