Adventure Time, c’mon grab your friends. We’ll go to very distant lands.
Now, if you happen to be the target audience for Vicious Cycle’s Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations, you are probably already humming the Adventure Time theme tune to yourself. It’s okay, you can’t fight it, just let it happen. However, if you are not at this point tunefully warbling something about Jake the dog and Finn the Human, then you are probably wondering what the hell this game is all about. Well, it’s a point and click adventure set in the Land of Ooo. Yeah, I bet you feel better now…
Adventure Time is one of those great kids TV shows that seems to appeal as equally to adults as it does to the target audience. The show follows the adventures of a young lad called Finn and a shape changing dog called Jake, and a whole host of bizarre characters across all manner of strange lands. Adventure Time is pretty crazy, absolutely absurd, and downright entertaining.
Perhaps the most important aspect of this new Adventure Time videogame is the fan service. Pretty much every popular character from the TV show makes an appearance, along with a brilliant selection of well known locations. The voicework is perfect, bringing life and quirkiness to all of the characters, and there are plenty of in-jokes to be found through playing this roughly 10 hour game that will leave fans reeling with delight. Players who have never journeyed to the Land of Ooo will still be able to appreciate the cast of characters, such as Princess Bubblegum, Cuber and the fan favorite Lumpy Space Princess. But to get the most from the game, it would be best to have at least a few episodes under your belt.
Visually, the game has taken a 3D form over the usual 2D aesthetic from the TV show. It works well, but it does leave things feeling slightly uneasy to the eye. The colours don’t pop as much as they do in the show, and it adds a level of unfamiliarity that takes a little effort to get past. Also, there seems to be a lack of precision in the animation, with movements seeming more generic and lip syncing almost non-existent. Fans may be able to overlook this, but Adventure Time newcomers should be aware that this doesn’t represent the quality of the show.
Still, when it comes to gameplay, Finn & Jake Investigations is pretty much your standard point and click adventure. Players are introduced to the game by Cuber, some kind of space being that keeps going on about “Graybles” while talking other gibberish. Cuber narrates the game and also serves as instructor, tutoring the player in all of the different controls as they become necessary. The slow and swirly voice of Cuber does drag a little in the early game as the player just wants to know what they are expected to do and how to do it, but it’s no big deal.
So, the premise of the game is that Jake and Finn have found a ticker-type machine in the treehouse where they live. The machine used to belong to their parents and spits out mysteries that our duo decide to try and solve. There is something strange about the sudden appearance of this machine, but all is revealed later in the game and to start with, Jake and Finn are just happy to be heading off on more adventures.
As the various mysteries see the pair traveling to different locations and encountering different characters, players will find themselves having to interact with both the characters and the various items that they find along the way. Approaching a character will result in different actions showing on the screen, their position indicating which of the face buttons should be pressed. Many of the puzzles involve simply talking to the right character or finding the right location of item. Some of the puzzles will involve combining items in the inventory, which is fairly easy to do once the player works out which items to combine. It is, in fact, quite an easy game to play, which reveals that the game is mainly targeted at the younger audience. Given the number of more adult gamers that enjoy the show, it does seem the developers missed a trick by applying a kids game difficulty. But then, it is a kids TV show, so I guess that makes sense.
Occasionally, the player will be thrown into Combat Time. These small arena type battle will see the player mashing the buttons to attack their enemies, with combos available in the form of Jake using his shape-shifting abilities. As with the rest of the game, these encounters are pretty easy to deal with and don’t exactly bring much to the game aside from some nice, but ultimately pointless, treasure.
Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations is not the first Adventure Time videogame to make an appearance, but it is certainly one of the betters offerings. That is not to say that the game is good enough to appeal to everyone, as being a fan of the show is still important to get the most from it. The game is also quite short for a point and click, and too easy for all but the youngest point and click gamers. However, if you are an Adventure Time fan, young or old, there is so much fan service and plenty of laughs to be found in Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations.