So, Adventure Time: Hey Ice King, Why’d You Steal Our Garbage? (which I will from now on refer to as Adventure Time: Hey Ice King, Why’d You Steal Our Garbage? because it’s a silly title, and I think it’s funny to write it out over and over) is a wonderful Adventure Time story, but kind of a boring game. The writing is dead on, with several moments where I laughed out loud and a variety of familiar characters and locations acting just the way you’d expect. That’s all great. Unfortunately, there’s almost no voice acting in the game. Considering how much Jeremy Shada or John DiMaggio define these characters, just reading boring text really kills some of these lines.
As far as the game, however, it’s kind of a let down. It resembles Zelda II: The Adventure of Link in many ways. The same overworld, with monsters that chase you and toss you into a side scrolling fight if they catch you and the same side scrolling dungeons full of various bad guys. But here’s the thing, Zelda II is terrible. We all hated it when it came out, and then years later we all tried to pretend it was good, and that we only hated it because it wasn’t the same as the first game. But you know what? Our first response was a good one. The game was bland and repetitive and poorly designed. And this is similar. You go to a place, kill some monsters, go to another place, kill some monsters, go back to the first place, kill some monsters, go to another place, turn in a thing, then go back to the first place and kill those same monsters again. And then it’s just that over and over again. There’s a bit of Metroidvania, you can collect a couple of new powers that Jake can use, but for the most part it’s the same thing over and over. Fortunately, it is short. Even though they padded the game out by forcing you to visit the same locations over and over, and making you play through a few stages over and over to get to those places, you’re going to burn through the game in just a few hours.
In addition, the touch screen features are just terrible. There’s are a couple of screens, and you always manage to be on the wrong screen when you need it. The inventory screen has two tabs, and has the annoying tendency pop up the wrong tab whenever you really need that health thing. Even assuming you get the screen you need, the boxes are so small that you find yourself constantly activating the wrong item, leaving you with no health, but shoes that make you run really fast, which is not really as helpful as you’d expect. Add that to the fact that the system can’t seem to decide when you’re actually trying to activate an item, and when you just kinda want to look at it, and you find yourself dying more often that you really need. There’s also a weird system where you’re supposed to add condiments to your food to enhance it, which is a cool idea, but you always end up getting a long line of either food or condiments, meaning you’ll be eating, like, eight packets of ketchup mid fight. It’s all funny ideas that doesn’t really work as well as you’d hope.
But it could have been good. If this had been made for XBLA or PSN with full voice acting and less convoluted inventory system (and for less than thirty goddamn dollars, this game is not worth thirty fricking dollars) it could have been wonderful. Get some nice looking HD sprites based on the characters from the show, add some quick travel, or at least add the option to cut through levels that you’d already defeated without having to play through the whole thing again, and it could be lots of fun. This one, though, I can’t really suggest. You’re probably just better off finding out all the best jokes from the game, and just imagine them in context.
In fact, here you go: At one point, Hot dog princess wants to see Jake turn into bridge, and forces that image into his head, creating the text box “JAKE WAS FORCED TO CONCEPTUALIZE HIMSELF AS A BRIDGE!” Truly the finest moment in the game. You can probably skip the rest.
Oh, and Princess Bubblegum’s Pantyhose are stolen, and a number of people have silly names for that item of clothing. That’s fun.