Dec 7, 2012

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Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! Review

Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! Review

Every time I hear the theme song for Pendleton Ward’s awesome show Adventure Time, I cannot help but sing along to it. Roughly two-and-a -alf years since the show’s premier in 2010, WayForward, along with Pendleton Ward as the creative consultant developed the DS and 3DS title Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! Given that this is a show for the younger audience and how titles based on shows such as this don’t normally hold the same high standards such as games like Dishonored and Skyrim, the thought that this would be another half-arsed attempt had crossed my mind. But the Adventure Time fan in me had high hopes.

The storyline for Adventure Time plays out just like an episode of the popular show. It would appear that the Ice King has stolen garbage and other odd items from everyone and it’s up to Finn and Jake to teach that jerk a lesson. As you progress through the story, you will find that the Ice King intends to use the stolen trash to create a Garbage Princess. The mathematical duo will also help the citizens of Ooo in side quests as they traverse the land to stop the Ice King before it’s too late. Many of these quests will have you backtracking previously explored areas.

Older gamers will find the gameplay to be very much like Zelda II. This isn’t a bad thing, as Adventure Time does provide enough of its own charm to the mix to stand out. The game uses the same top-down angle for moving about the overworld and a side-scrolling view once you enter a town, dungeon, or random encounter. it is during battles that you get to see how Finn and Jake both fare in the combat department. While Finn only has three moves (one of which is rarely used once you get the second one early in the game), it is Jake who offers a nice amount of unlockable skills. You’ll need these skills to get through the dungeons. Four of the skills are only usable via the overworld and have Jake transforming into things like bridges and gaining extra-long legs to reach high levels.


Finn’s health is measured by hearts. For each hit he gets, a small portion of a heart is removed. Once all hearts have been depleted, you will be taked to the “Game Over” screen. Luckily, you can pick up plenty of food items from enemies and chests to replenish your health. You will run out of space to store the items, but this is due more to how common the drops are compared to the amount of storage you have on hand. The good news is that you can drop any items you pick up in order to snag the newest one you find. Bad news, in my opinion, was the lack of options to sort your inventory. You can only do so if you have at least one open slot. Using an item, whether you need to refill your health or to clear space, is as easy as tapping on the item twice.

One thing to note is that the younger fans might find some of the latter dungeons and bosses to be pretty difficult. Even I had some trouble when facing the final boss. The game does start out easy and, for the most part, maintains a balance difficulty. It is when you get to the last dungeon that I felt like the difficulty was really bumped up. This isn’t bad, but parents who purchase games for their kids might want to be prepared to offer their help from time to time.

Fans of all ages will instantly recognize the cast of characters and enemies they come across in Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’s You Steal Our Garbage?! The cast isn’t just made of the big time characters you’re sure to see in a majority of the episodes. You also have some of the lesser-seen characters such as Lemongrab, Tree Trunks, and even the Giant Worm King. Enemies range from the cute, yet deadly knife bunnies to the just about untouchable Crystal Guardian.

The art for each character is true to the show. While the overworld might not be extremely detailed, there is enough detail given to the dungeons. Given that I haven’t played the 3DS version, I can only compare the DS graphics with images of the 3DS ones. The 3DS graphics do appear to be a lot smoother. The touch screen menu is easy to read and use. I did wish that the slots in the backpack had been a tad larger for the younger audience, but it doesn’t pose much of an issue.

Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! presents a really great rendition of the show’s theme song that was recorded just for the video game. While it doesn’t feature a full vocal track, the sound clips used in the game are pretty spot on for each character. The lack of being able to hear the characters speak their lines doesn’t hinder the game. I felt that this was because the dialogue was written well enough for each character’s personality to shine through. The soundtrack also brings a sense of personality to the areas you visit.

Without use of a guide to get through the game, you can expect to invest at least 7 to 10 hours into the first playthrough. Beating the game unlocks a New Game+ mode that carries Finn’s stats and loot over to the new game. All skills and quest items will need to be found again. Adventure Time might not seem to offer much reason to go back to the Land of Ooo for a second or third time. However, fans will likely return just for the story and characters.

Had I not been a huge fan of the cartoon series, Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! would have been one of those titles that are good to play when I want something quirky and portable. As a fan, I was very happy (and surprised) to find a game that could have passed as an episode with its plot. If you are an Adventure Time fan or you enjoy Zelda II-like gameplay, this is a definite purchase.

Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why's You Steal Our Garbage?!
Platform: 3DS, DS (Reviewed)
Genre: 2D side-scrolling adventure
Release Date: November 20, 2012
Developer: WayForward
Publisher: D3Publisher
ESRB Rating: E10+
MSRP: $29.95