Finn freaks and Jake lovers rejoice! The quest for a truly great Adventure Time game continues this fall when American publisher Little Orbit releases Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations. That’s right, I said continues because this quest is far from over – but more on this later.
At E3 2015, I spent a few minutes with Anthony Dickson, the game’s associate producer, to discuss the ins and outs of this upcoming title. As the first fully 3D game based on the adventures of Finn the Human and Jake the Dog, Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations shows particular promise as a vehicle for transporting fans beyond the kitschy, innumerable iPhone games and more deeply into the widely beloved show.
“It plays out a lot like you’re playing through your own Adventure Time episode,” Dickson said. But I didn’t have to take his word for it. Even in its unfinished state, the game’s environments were gorgeous and engrossing. As Finn approached the gates of the Candy Kingdom, I noticed far off in the background the Gumball Guardians sitting atop the kingdom’s walls, and their slow movement with the camera as Finn ran made it feel as though he could keep walking and eventually stand right next to them.
Of course, fully realized 3D environments have been done before – over and over again – but this is Adventure Time we’re talking about, couldn’t the world use a little more frolicking around Ooo and a little less nailing pixelated pedestrians with a luxury car in San Andreas? Dickson said that in addition to the Candy Kingdom, the game’s “episodes,” each featuring their own unique title card, will take players to other explorable locales from the show, including the Fire Kingdom, the Ice Kingdom, and Wizard City.
The story centers around a machine Dickson calls the “tickertype,” which formerly belonged to Finn and Jake’s investigator parents, but has since been passed down to the two heroes, who then set out to solve the mysteries written on the little bits of paper the machine spits out. Making for an even richer, more authentic experience, Dickson said that all of the dialogue in the game will be voiced and that the show’s cast had lent their talent to voice over 40 characters from the show.
Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations gameplay
Players take control of Finn, with Jake trailing close behind. Upon closing in on key objects, locations, or characters, a context menu appears à la Ocarina of Time. Interestingly, Jake is often part of that menu and will use his powers to help Finn move around Ooo. While the game does not have random battles, characters will enter a separate sequence to face off with characters in beat-em-up style battles. Dickson said that the team is still fleshing out the battles but he showed off some of Finn and Jake’s combo attacks, including “War Dog” and the famous “Jake Suit.”
Unfortunately, games based on Adventure Time have typically received tepid to downright negative reviews, with one of the most common complaints being that the more high-profile games are uninspired rip-offs of classic Zelda titles. Judging by its format and some of the game’s other elements like the context menu, Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations seems like it too will borrow a bit from the mega-influential series. But it’s too early to pass judgment. The game still has a way to go before hitting shelves in October of this year. Be sure to check back here for a full review, and in the meantime check out Little Orbit’s teaser trailer below.
Here’s hoping Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations is nothing less than lumpin’ awesome!