Review

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW Review

  • Game release: November 19, 2013
  • Reviewed:
  • WIIU

Adventures in awfulness.

Adventure. The word suggests danger, daring, and excitement, perhaps a journey into the perilous unknown. In Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW, you do indeed venture into dangerous realms, but all you find there is unadulterated drudgery. The game possesses none of the whimsy and imagination of the cartoon that inspired it. This is dungeon-crawling at its dullest and most rudimentary.

Princess Bubblegum has summoned the heroes of the realm, charging them with exploring the Secret Royal Dungeon beneath her castle and dealing with the rambunctious monsters who are not so securely imprisoned there. Unfortunately, she doesn't warn Finn, Jake, and the rest of the gang that it's more likely that the boredom will kill them than the monsters. You trudge through floors of the dungeon, hacking away at enemies and picking up piles of treasure here and there. That's pretty much it.

Of course, there are some great games that rely on this basic premise. Some offer you a diverse range of attacks that feel powerful and are satisfying to use. Some pit you against memorable foes who use attacks that require you to play smartly if you hope to emerge victorious. Some include deep character customization options. Some have terrific gear you can find and equip to make your hero increasingly more powerful. Adventure Time has none of this. The game takes a few cues from the landmark multiplayer arcade dungeon crawler Gauntlet, but despite having the benefit of nearly 30 years' worth of genre advances and innovations to draw upon, Adventure Time fails to even be as exciting a game as that old quarter-muncher.

Yes, there are a number of playable characters with different abilities. Marceline can float right over pits and traps, for instance, while the Ice King can freeze enemies. But no matter which character you choose, the exploration remains slow and tedious; the dungeons remain bereft of interesting places, enemies to fight, or items to discover; and the combat remains excruciatingly shallow and simplistic. No subweapon you might find and pick up in the dungeon, be it a kitten gun or a fire hose (that is, a hose that shoots fire) does anything to liven up the process of pushing buttons mindlessly until monsters fall before you. You can play with up to three friends, but then you're all just sharing a miserable experience.

Oh yeah, the boss fights are terrible, too.

After suffering your way through a number of levels, you're given the opportunity to return to the surface with the treasure you've collected, but there's little of interest to spend that treasure on. You can sink it into a few absurdly expensive upgrades to attributes like health and damage, each of which can be upgraded only two or three times. The problem with them being so costly is that you can't stash your gold anywhere. When you reenter the dungeon, you must give up any unspent treasure. This is an idea that works well in games like Rogue Legacy, in which there's a satisfying loop of earning more treasure in the dungeon, which lets you strengthen your character, which lets you earn yet more treasure on your subsequent dungeon runs. But in Adventure Time, spending time slogging through several levels of the dungeon, only to realize that you don't have enough treasure yet to purchase any upgrades and must try to slog through several more levels and collect still more treasure, just feels like punishment on top of punishment.

There's the rare moment of humor, like when the vampire Marceline remarks, right after you upgrade her health, "I can't die anyway!" But cutscenes and dialogue exchanges are few and far between, so even the most devout fans of Adventure Time won't find enough entertaining quips or goofy moments to reward them for struggling through the dungeon. The game's title may not provide justification for exploring the dungeon, but the much bigger I DON'T KNOW here is why anyone would play this game.

The Good
N/A
The Bad
Mindless combat against mindless enemies
Nothing interesting to discover or purchase
Punishing treasure system
2
Terrible
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Carolyn has been playing dungeon crawlers since the days when "Warrior needs food badly!" could be heard echoing throughout arcades across the land. She thinks this might be the worst dungeon crawler she's ever played.

Discussion

59 comments
jerusaelem
jerusaelem

I've seen better looking games being played on BMO's face...

Razer361
Razer361

Frankly this whole franchise is crap, I don't know what people see in it at all. The episodes' stories are usually very dull and uncreative, the characters never say anything meaningful, clever or humorous- the script is painfully immature-, and not to mention every character looks like it was drawn by a 5 year old! I thought this was about as bad as cartoons could get nowadays, but then regular show came out, and now uncle grandpa... -_-

minkwarrior
minkwarrior

That moment when you have 2 more floors to explore before you can exit the dungeon and you're really really sleepy. Best remedy for those with sleep disorders, I think.

OHGFawx
OHGFawx

Based on the game play video I'd say this would be a good way to occupy young kids while you're cooking dinner or something, but very little else.

91210user
91210user

I think it's really unfair that some users in the past complained and poke fun about Carolyn when she was giving low scores to a few Nintendo games (Luigi's Mansion) and they don't praise her for this review if she sat down and play this crap.

I know somewhere, this six year old kid would be here reading this article, maybe crying and complaining about their parents about Gamespot, not knowing that they're giving GS free advertising as they cry about it.


It's a shame also, as this game has a low score, because I like Cartoon Network to make games aswell. I wish they made a Johnny Bravo game and don't mess it up! Learn from this Cartoon Network. 

Killermonkey97
Killermonkey97

Hey Ice King was alright, but still, one day, there'll be a great game for Adventure Time. 

PyroX4414
PyroX4414

Awww man!  I had my fingers crossed for this one. 

Hurvl
Hurvl

This game is so bad that I had to make some bacon pancakes to cheer me up.

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

What a bummer. I was hoping this was going to be my next Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles.

snake63
snake63

I have to disagree with Carolyn's score on this one. She was generous with this game. Adventure Time Explore The Dungeon is a 1.0. It rates right up there wit E.T. The Videogame and Superman 64.

Bgrngod
Bgrngod

Licensed game is terrible?


Duh.

wizardboyus
wizardboyus

this cartoon has a few interesting episodes, but otherwise it's audience is mostly younger kids..

Flaon
Flaon

perfect example of 3rd party developers wasting the WiiU's potential, especially on this terrible cartoon and terrible game based on this terrible cartoon

eze_sl89
eze_sl89

why would anyone buy something about this idiotic cartoon anyway

Klagmar1
Klagmar1

Is this Wayforward's first failure? Hopefully just a one-time only thing!

GameYakuza
GameYakuza

YEAAAAAAANOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

GameBeaten
GameBeaten

This game didn't even look like it deserved a console release. It should have only been on 3DS and skipped the PS3, 360, Wii U, and maybe even the PC.

Simsyas
Simsyas

Carolyn and Tom, sitting in a tree! R-E-V-I-E-W-I-N-G

Harty665
Harty665

i know this game is very repetitive but honestly i do not know how you can give any game a two the voice acting on this game was great and you also get to learn more about the show. i myself powered through it even though is was rough it was not as bad as she said

thom_maytees
thom_maytees

I wonder why GameSpot reviewed this game while previous titles in this franchise were not. Perhaps it is due to being multiplatform.

pcty
pcty

A lot of sub five scores lately.

Brakkyn
Brakkyn

A two!?  What the MATH, man!?

Halloll
Halloll

Wayforward messed up.

divinejester
divinejester

Was this done by the same guys that made the first game? The first one had good reviews, but this one has pretty bad reviews.

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

I regret asking for this for my birthday, but at least I didn't pay for it.

I'll be dragging my way through this for the platinum and then sell it.

Literally one of the worst games I've ever played.

jerusaelem
jerusaelem

@Razer361  I've never heard anyone describe Adventure Time as "dull and uncreative" before...even people that hate it. I'm not quite sure you understand what those two words mean. 

steve4123456789
steve4123456789

Going abit far there. It doesn't look to bad it just looks unfinished and boring.

Boat3600
Boat3600

@eze_sl89 ADVENTURE TIME IS THE BEST FUCKING GAME EVER! YOU ARE THE STUPIDEST PERSON SINCE JUSTIN BIEBER! YOU ARE THE KING OF ALL THE FOOLS ON EARTH YOU IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Leboyo56
Leboyo56

@Klagmar1 One could almost consider Silent Hill: Book of Memories their first failure. But I thought it was still pretty fun.

Klagmar1
Klagmar1

@GameBeaten The Adventure Time game that DID get released on the 3DS was miles better than this mess. To insinuate that all bad titles should be relegated to the 3DS is incredibly ignorant.

Apastron
Apastron

Neither of which really count when reviewing a game.

91210user
91210user

@thom_maytees

I don't know, maybe this website view and account registration count shot up, now that little kids as young as six are using the internet on them social networking websites, who may be viewing this website now a days!

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Doomerang@Simsyas And this is for the Wii U, so it's not possible to review it in a tree. If it was the 3DS version that would have worked, although reviewing in a tree gets kind of awkward.

wizardboyus
wizardboyus

@Apastron sound is a big factor when reviewing games, imagine any of your favorite games with subpar voice acting and sounds. 

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Doomerang@Hurvl@Simsyas If one sat in the others lap and he/she sat on the bonsai tree (which would break and be ruined afterwards) then I guess they would be able to review games from such a position, but it'd still be really awkward.

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW! More Info

  • Released
    • 3DS
    • PC
    • + 3 more
    • PlayStation 3
    • Wii U
    • Xbox 360
    Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW has you save the Candy Kingdom by exploring the mysteries surrounding a massive Secret Royal Dungeon deep below the Land of Ooo.
    5.1
    Average User RatingOut of 16 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!
    Developed by:
    WayForward
    Published by:
    Namco Bandai Games, D3Publisher
    Genres:
    Action, 3D, Open-World, Adventure
    Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
    Everyone 10+
    All Platforms
    Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief