It’s a gosh darn shame when studios seem to just spew out licensed games for a quick buck. They’re never very good, often short, tedious and underwhelming. This is exactly what has happened to Finn and Jake’s Epic Quest. It is important to note that I played the Steam version of this game; I don’t know how the other versions fared against it.
Released earlier this year, Finn and Jake’s Epic Quest follows the Adventure Time heroes through various levels as they try to track down BMO, who has been kidnapped. There adventure takes them through various placed throughout Ooo: the Witch’s Garden, the Ice Kingdom, Fire Kingdom and Land of the Dead. Game wise, each of these stages are split up into 8 levels, making 28 in total. That may seem like a lot, but unfortunately each maze-like map is very samey. The gameplay is reminiscent of the old ToeJam and Earl that were released on the wonderful Sega Mega Drive back in da 90s – that is to say, you control Finn and Jake from an almost top-down perspective through the various maps, much like a dungeon crawler, encountering enemies along the way.
Killing enemies is kind of enjoyable, as it should be, but I feel like they could have done a lot more with it. You can switch at any time between Finn and Jake, though Jake appeared to be a lot stronger and quicker throughout the entire game, so I didn’t really feel the need. It would have been better if, say, each character had a specific skill so you had to chop and change between them. Anyway, fighting wise, the duo have a light attack and heavy attack, which can be mixed and matched to create three or four hit combos. This adds some flavour to the combat, but I found myself just using the same powerful combo over and over again, especially against enemies with larger hit bars, which is another little flaw…notably with bosses, who are very boring to fight. Enemies drop various things when they die, such as health potions, moneyz, keys to open chests, and Enchiridion pages, which enable you to cast various magical spells. Again, this is kind of cool, but like the combat, I found myself just using the same four or five spells on repeat, with some spells seeming absolutely redundant. Money allows you to purchase and reveal more Enchiridion pages from Choose Goose and Princess Bubblegum respectively, as well as being used to pay Doctor Princess to fully heal you, and have Billy upgrade your weapons. Both Finn and Jake have 5 possible upgrades, depending on what level the characters are at. For Finn, these include various swords he has used throughout the series – though I was disappointed to see no Grass Sword as his ultimate. Jake, on the other hand, just kind of upgrades his fists into various shapes such as an axe, anvil or mace.
The game boasts original voice acting from Jeremy Shada and John DiMaggio. However, apart from Finn, Jake and BMO, every other character talks using weird trumpet noises, which is kind of strange and unnerving. The musical score is pretty good, taking inspiration from the Adventure Time episode “Guardians of Sunshine”, though there are a couple of issues with audio clipping at times.
One thing I will say about this game is that, apart from the weird lack of voice acting, is does encapsulate the world of Adventure Time very well. Enemies are those that frequent the show, including Hug Wolf, Cute Pigs, Flambits, Penguins, Tree Witch and more. And each Enchiridion page is a reference to an episode – you can use spells such as the Jake Suit, equip fancy masks (from “The Creeps”), knife storms, PB’s liquid pyrotechnics, Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant and so on. Basically, if you’re a fan of the show (why else would you be playing this?) then you’re going to have a nice little nostalgia trip for a couple o’ hours. But that’s all really.
All in all, this game is very subpar. I know that it is marketed at children, but it’s very repetitive and offers little challenge, and I don’t even thing a young person would enjoy it that much. One thing that I am a bit surprised about is how there is no local co-op; it seems almost a given, with one character controlling Finn and the other controlling Jake. The level design is pretty lazy, and the gameplay quite stale. By the sounds of it, the non-Steam version of the game has a lot more levels to offer, so it may be more worth the money. I paid £6.99 for this, which isn’t much, but I don’t really think it was worth that. It’s kind of fun, but forgettable, with literally no replay value unless you genuinely enjoyed it. One day, maybe we will get a good Adventure Time game: I’m thinking some sort of wicked cool Ooo based RPG. Mayhaps one day…mayhaps…