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First Impressions: Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!

Posted by Lee Meyer

(More) Adventure Time with Finn and Jake!

D3Publisher, which published last year’s Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?, attended this year’s New York Comic Con with the next title in the growing series. Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! — developed by WayForward — will be released this November for 3DS and Wii U, and is a significant departure from the last Adventure Time title. While Hey Ice King! featured gameplay heavily inspired by Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Explore the Dungeon is a more conventional dungeon crawler in the vein of Gauntlet and Diablo. Nintendo Life had some hands-on time with the Wii U version, and all signs point to another quality entry in the growing series of Adventure Time games.

Unlike its predecessor, Explore the Dungeon features full voice acting, complete with the cast of the series. Hearing Finn and Marceline talk immediately adds to the experience and lets the show’s personality shine through. Where the game’s true potential lies, though, is in its cooperative multiplayer. We got to play with a D3Publisher representative, and after choosing LSP and Jake, we went off for our adventure into Bubblegum Princess’s deep dungeon.

Each character in Explore the Dungeon has special abilities, powers and attributes. LSP, for example, can pull out a cell phone and complain, causing massive damage all over the screen. Enemies drop plenty of loot, from health items to weapons (both ranged and melee); everything in Explore the Dungeon is taken from the show, from weapons to monsters. While the immediate impulse in a cooperative dungeon crawler is to button-mash, working together and using different strategies makes for a much more fulfilling game experience.

Controls are very simple, but the interface and presentation is cleverly designed; the GamePad and 3DS touch screen serve as fan favourite character BMO, where maps, weapons and items can be accessed. The visuals are pixelated, with an enhanced 16-bit look. There are plenty of classic characters to choose from, and D3Publisher confirmed that there is DLC planned to introduce more Adventure Time mainstays after the title’s launch.

Series creator Pendleton Ward has crafted the story, as he did with Hey Ice King; if you’re a big fan of the series, there are two very exciting story reveals planned. D3Publisher confirmed that Bubblegum Princess’s true age will be revealed, as will a major secret related to the show’s mythos, making Explore the Dungeon canonical with the show.

While our experience with Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! was brief, we came away confident that D3Publisher, Wayforward and Cartoon Network have another solid title on their hands.

Note: D3Publisher used the Xbox 360 edition of Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! for the demo, but noted that the Wii U GamePad features will enhance the overall experience and set it apart from the other SKUs. Other than the GamePad features, expect the title to be the same across all platforms.

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User Comments (18)



SpinelessOyster said:

I'm kind of looking forward to this game. Love the show, so I hope this turns out well. I enjoyed Hey Ice King more then I thought I would.



Blast said:

Just like with Rayman Legends and Deus Ex... This is another game that offers the best gameplay experience on Wii U BECAUSE OF THE GAMEPAD.



VoiceOfReason said:

Hopefully this takes up more of my time than Hey Ice King, because I think I spent six hours or so on that and then there was ABSOLUTELY nothing left to do.



Firejonie said:

I just hope the Wii U and 3DS versions get the DLC. Right now I'm split between the Wii U version with Gamepad play, 3DS with the Collector's Edition, or the Steam version with the Peppermint Butler pre order bonus.



antipop621 said:

Just like the rest of the world, I love this show. I went with the 3DS version since its "collectors". If I'm enamored with it, I'll grab the Wii U version later on.



Samurai_Goroh said:

I'm more a Regular Show fan, but talking strictly about games, this is more enticing because of the local co-op multiplayer feature than 8-bit Land. Hopefully I'll get both games in due time.



Drobotic said:

Nothing like a good dungeon crawler.Especially since it's made by WayForward.Looking forward to this.



C-Olimar said:

Looking forward to it! Should be a blast in multiplayer. Hopefully the 3DS version has download play.



hamsterfactor said:

I'll be getting this for my 3DS... at some point! I'm going to be crazy busy (gaming wise) between now and Christmas that with Ace Attorney, Zelda, Layton and Bravely Default. Not that I'm complaining...



NImH said:

I cannot keep up with all the new releases worthy of owning. This is rough. Excited to see how this game turns out because I kinda felt like they missed the mark with Hey Ice King.



business-scrub said:

Pretty excited for this, the previous 3DS title was one of my favourite games from the past few years so I have high hopes for this one. Just hoping it's a bit more of a challenge than last time.



business-scrub said:

@NImH And I don't think they missed the mark, I think they nailed it. It's just sort of a strange style of gameplay, definitely not for everyone.



Kitsune_Rei said:

I can't wait for this! Gauntlet brawling + a nice variety of characters and flavor of Adventure Time seems like win.

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