December 16, 2012
Much like most episodes from the show, the story in Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?! requires zero background knowledge to enjoy it. Still if you have been following the past five seasons, there are tons of characters and inside jokes ranging from early to recent episodes. Once you start up the game, you should just take a moment to enjoy the fantastic theme song. At this point, any information you need is delivered in a chatty song, the perfect introduction to what you're about to experience. After you are introduced to Finn the human and Jake the dog, the crazy plot centered around getting your trash back begins.
Thanks the brilliant writing, the story ends up feeling like an interactive special episode, but the only downside is that this adventure can be completed in one sitting. As you travel the land of Ooo and discover what the Ice King is really up, you end up with a funny story that ends sooner than most might expect from a retail game - it's difficult not to be disappointed. While the experience may have been a brief one, the story is present with so much attention to detail and that's what makes it so memorable - it really does feel like a true extension of the show.
Your journey will also feel familiar to any retro games fans out there, since the game pays homage to Zelda 2. Traveling the overworld and picking battles with random groups of enemies wraps you in a feeling of nostalgia. The majority of the game is played as Finn, as Jake will help to solve your next problem in this sidescroller. There are also very simple elements of stat building, but this can be ignored as the game never really presents much of a challenge.
The young and old alike can find something to admire in this faithful video recreation of the Adventure Time world. Feelings of the show aside, it is simply an enjoyable sidescroller. Expect to be pulled in by its charm and don't expect to be let go until the credits roll. Not only does the show come to life with the beautiful sprite work, the soundtrack really comes into its own. Tracks range from something you might hear on the show to other tracks that just can't help but be rather addictive.
Obviously the length of the story mode is going to range depending on skill level, but most gamers should be able to bash through it in under five hours. However, if you were looking for any excuse to play it all over again, there is a new game plus mode that raises up the difficulty for more challenge. It's a nice touch, but it doesn't do that much to compensate for what ultimately is a rather short experience.
Some may argue that this should've been a downloadable title, but that doesn't change the fact that this is what most Adventure Time fans could want in a game. It's hard to recommend this as a full priced Nintendo 3DS title to anyone outside of the diehard fan of the series, but there's no denying that WayForward still did a fantastic job bringing this outrageous world to life. Hopefully this will lead to even grander ideas for any future Adventure Time titles.
Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?! was reviewed on the Nintendo 3DS. You can read more about GamingUnion.net's scoring policy here.