New Adventure Time Game Looks Great, But I’m Still Worried

What time is it? If you said, “Comic-Con”, you’d be technically correct, but also missing my reference entirely. Good job, reference misser. The convention’s firing news on all cylinders, though, including a new Adventure Time game that wears its Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past influences on its sleeve.

Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom will be out this fall on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, and Nintendo 3DS. Like the Zeldas of yore, it appears to be a top-down action-adventure/dungeon-spelunking affair. Hack and slash baddies, explore mysterious lands and temples, find keys, collect hearts, get new items — all those sorts of things. The twist is that you control both Finn and Jake rather than a single character.

Despite that, there are some definite superficial similarities to previous Adventure Time game, Adventure Time: Explore The Dungeon Because I Don’t Know here, and that one… wasn’t very good. At all. The title was disappointingly fitting, given that it was attached to a pointless slog through a boring dungeon. “I don’t know” indeed.

If nothing else, Nameless Kingdom at least looks a lot more open, which is a very good thing. There’s also a new developer (albeit one that’s largely worked on licensed games) doing the honours.

I still worry, though, that the huge video game potential of Adventure Time‘s endlessly imaginative setting is just going to end up squandered here. There’s so much that could be done with this world beyond a simple, predictable tie-in game. Imagine something with the scope and freedom of, say, Skyrim.

Adventure Time creator Pen Ward is a big-time gamer too (he’s even making a non-Adventure-Time game of his own with Double Fine), so it’s almost strange that Adventure Time games have traditionally been about as appealing as Cinnamon Bun dung.

If this one’s anything like the last couple, it stands a good chance of at least being competent, not broken or anything like that. That’s something. But competent isn’t great, and great is what Adventure Time deserves. Here’s hoping Nameless Kingdom is the game to finally strike gold.

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