Review: Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations

Adventure Time Finn & Jake Wii UPlatform: Wii U (also on PS3/PS4, Xbox 360/Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS)

Developer: Vicious Cycle

Publisher: Little Orbit

MSRP: $39.99 (PS4/Xbox One, $49.99, 3DS $29.99)

ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Everyone 10 & up)

Official Site

Score: B (80%) 

As someone who likes all the console and handheld Adventure Time games, it’s good to see a new one arriving so soon that’s even more of a throwback than the more action oriented titles that have come before. Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations is a fine homage to old school classic point and click adventures with some nifty combat portions to keep your fingers limber. While the game isn’t all that difficult to complete (particularly if you use the hint highlight system to find clickable objects and locations), it’s a great diversion for a rainy weekend as well fun enough to warrant additional installments. It’s also the first Adventure Time game with rendered 3D characters and environments with developer Vicious Cycle doing a mostly excellent job in making Finn and company look great in polygonal form.

BMODance (Custom) 

The game is set up as a series of “graybles” as (re)told by the alien Cuber (voiced by Emo Phillips) from his space station. While it’s not quite Game of the Year material, the story is pure Adventure Time: pretty darn amusing and as usual, chock full of goofiness and tossed off references fans will knowingly nod and grin at. Fans of the show new to this style of game will find that it’s easy to get into and play, but experts at pointy and clicky stuff new to the show may find the game lacks a certain level of challenge save fora few puzzles that require knowing how certain episodes play out. Then again, unless you’re really bad at following prompts and using a tiny bit of deductive reasoning, you can do a bit of trial and error with not a failure state in sight.

There are five “cases” to tackle in the Land of Ooo that have Finn and Jake meeting up with the usual suspects from the show and everyone is voiced perfectly as you’d expect. In terms of gameplay, most of the game relies on a simple menu system that allows you to choose Finn to do most of the investigative work while Jake assists in getting him in and out of trouble or to seemingly inaccessible spots in the environment. Talking to everyone if you’re stuck will get you some clues that range from mostly direct to somewhat obscure (yes, like the show), but you can solve bits of some cases before you’d think if you have just enough info and accidentally or intentionally talk to someone who starts giving you a short quiz about evidence you’ve gathered.

GnomeZap (Custom) 

At certain points during play, “Combat Time” sequences become available, adding a bit of button jamming action to things. These sections are short and easy to beat, offering simple rewards in the form of collectibles Finn and Jake can use to decorate their fancy over-sized tree house. The game probably would have been fine without the swordplay and special attacks, but someone generally gets some sort of beat down at some point on the show, so you get to dish out the digital pain on a few folks who probably deserve it. Then again, without these smack laying down parts, the game might be less amusing and fun to play to some fans who expect a knockout or three (or more) before all is said and done.

While the game isn’t all that lengthy (as noted, it’s a rainy weekend special), it’s well done enough to warrant a sequel or two in the same style or at least more Adventure Time games down the road. Actually, it would also be really interesting to see if Vicious Cycle can handle the crazy and contagious energy of a more recent Cartoon Network smash hit, Steven Universe. It’s a completely different look and vibe on that show, but so far, every tie-in from the comic to the sole mobile game Attack the Light has been very well received. As usual, we shall see. In the meantime, you may as well support Little Orbit and Cartoon Network by taking Finn & Jake on a few Investigations, I say.

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Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations – Mysterious Goings-On, Old School Style


 

“What time is it?” Um, 6:48pm as I type these words!. Hmm, that joke fell flat didn’t it? Fortunately, Little Orbit’s latest, Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations has far better writing than I can muster up and looks as it’ll be a total blast to play through. Available NOW on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo 3DS, the game takes the popular show and characters into a less sprite-ly space (the game is made up of POLYGONS! *Gasp!*) and pace as it emulates some of the older-school adventure games us well-aged gamers grew up playing.

at4_screen7 

Not to say there’s no action and occasional stuff being broken for no good reason other than it’s amusing, mind you. Don’t believe me? Well, take a looky at these GAME FEATURES:

Sleuth your way through five cases set in the Land of Ooo, each of which plays out a separate chapter (like your own personal episode of the show).

See the Adventure Time characters and familiar locations for the first time in 3D.

Tackle puzzles by creatively using inventory objects and Jake’s shape-shifting abilities.

Combat evildoers as Finn using a variety of unique swords and Jake’s awesome attack forms.

at4_screen11 

I stole that info above from the press release, so maybe that’s a SIXTH adventure that needs to be solved? Uh, wait. I just gave myself away as the culprit. Oops. Well, Jake and Finn don’t know and you won’t tell them at all, so I’ll be camped out in front of my TV waiting for them to slap the cuffs on. Or slap me around the room. I think I’m insured. I think.

Adventure Time Finn & Jake Box Shots 

So, yeah – get this game. Well, you don’t HAVE to buy EVERY version in that photo above. But if enough of you did exactly that, I sure bet Little Orbit and developer Vicious Cycle would be very thankful indeed. Perhaps a bit baffled… but thankful nonetheless.

Gallery: Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations

Gallery

This gallery contains 16 photos.

  All I know is there had BETTER be a line in Little Orbit’s upcoming Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations where someone says to Jake (and that someone should be Finn) “Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown…”. Okay, I’ll still … Continue reading

Little Orbit Wants Your Character In The New Adventure Time Game!

Adventure Time_CharactersAre you a BIG Adventure Time fan with an artistic bent? Well, Little Orbit wants you! Or more precisely, they want your artwork! The publisher is running a contest where one lucky winner will have his or her character design used in the next Adventure Time videogame coming to consoles and PC. When? Well, I dunno, but the contest only runs for a short time (as in NOW until February 17, 2015).

The rules are simple (and below the jump) and if you win, you’ll be able to brag all over the internet and deal with people trying to bash your dreams into powdered atoms because that’s what they do these days. Yeah, well… just avoid the deathtrap spiral that comes from commenting to every dope who wants to rain on your day and you’ll do fine. Contest info and links below the jump. Go do some finger-stretches or whatever it is artists do before drawing, read on and go win big!

Continue reading

SDCC 2014: Little Orbit’s Got A Pair Of Nice Surprises For Gamers Soon…

As a fan of last year’s Adventure Time game (released by D3Publisher of America), I’m happy to see that this year’s installment, Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom is going to be closer in spirit to a Legend of Zelda game as opposed to a Gauntlet and Diablo-inspired chase & chop. Sure, I’ll miss playing as Marilese and some of the other characters, but as long as this new game delivers the goods, I’m not complaining at all. This one’s coming sometime in the fall for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC (via Steam) and Nintendo 3DS.

As for Falling Skies: The Game? Color me surprised and impressed. Sure, it’s basically a reworked version of the XCOM reboot from a few years back, but this is actually a good thing because I’d imagine the only other options were a boring run & gun game or some type of MMO that only a tiny percentage of people would actually play. While this one’s only coming to the PS3 and Xbox 360, I’m betting that it gets bought and played by gamers who like turn-based strategy who don’t mind maybe discovering a show they haven’t seen yet as well. This one’s out PS3, Xbox 360 and PC (via Steam) on September 24, 2014.

Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom Coming In November from Wayforward & Little Orbit

Adventure_Time_LogoSMALL“What Time Is It?!”

AdventureTime_artworkWell, it’s NOT quite THAT time yet, kids. Anyway, Publisher Little Orbit’s partnership with Cartoon Network looks to pay off this November when the latest Adventure Time game is released for PC via Steam, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

So far, all we have is this somewhat intentionally generic (and intentionally HUGE! – Go on, click it and see for yourself. YAAAA!, Right?) artwork of heroes Finn and Jake to ogle (although, according to the Ice King and a few other characters from the show,  there’s some desperation in you if you consider either of these two ogle worthy). However, according to the press release:

The game will introduce a classic top-down action adventure experience and puzzle-solving element to the franchise, reminiscent of early high fantasy console games… In Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom, players take on the personas of both Finn and Jake as they navigate through the eponymous kingdom – a mysterious unexplored region in the Land of Ooo. They will discover hidden secrets by exploring all corners of a new kingdom created exclusively for the game and encounter never-seen-before characters and creatures.

Sounds like a plan, man. Put this one in the pan, Stan! Yeah, there’s no Wii U version, but I guess you could say “what else is new?” when it comes to support drifting away from that console (which is too bad, but hey – you gotta sell where your game will sell these days!). More on this once we get some screens and trailers out of Wayforward and/or Little Orbit. I wanted to squeeze them like a sack of grapes, but they really don’t have much to show it seems. I guess e3 will be the big reveal…