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SDCC 2013 Preview: Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know

In the short time since its inception, Adventure Time has become a multimedia tour-de-force. There are Adventure Time comics, a float of Finn and Jake slated to appear in this year’s Macy’s day parade, and a ton of video games. At SDCC 2013 we got our hands on this newest outing in the land of Ooo, Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know, a dungeon-crawling hack-and-slash set to hit all major platforms November 12th of this year.

AT: EtDBIDK lets groups of up to four players choose from their favorite Adventure Time characters. So far only Finn, Jake, Marceline, and Cinnamon Bun have been announced as playable characters, but since the hubworld area players use to select their characters is friggin’ huge, expect all of your favorites to make appearances. They’re all fully-voiced, too, in case you were worrying that the normally glib Adventure Timers might be oddly quiet. The hubworld offers players ways of improving their characters, and an interface with which to access the dungeon everyone seems so keen to explore. Every character plays similarly, but with a twist — each has a special power that sets them apart from the others: Jake can shape-shift to form a bridge across gaps, Cinnamon Bun throws up sweets, and Finn can equip three medals — collectable gear imbued with different abilities, rather than the two medals most others are relegated to. They’re all charmingly animated in 16-bit style with little details like Jake morphing into different weapons to attack, and Cinnamon Bun letting out an occasional dim-witted giggle.

Players hungry to face off against the dungeon’s dark denizens will find a monster bashing, item-grabbing experience that harkens back to SNES classics like Zombies Ate My Neighbors, although here the levels are randomized to increase playability, with monsters, treasures, and exit/entrances that change every time you play. Plus, there are several different sub-areas within the dungeon, like an ice world and dank catacombs, to help add some spicy variety to ensure you don’t get sick of seeing the same backgrounds over and over. Periodically, you’ll face off against fearsome bosses. In the test build of the game we played, we fought the Demon Cat, the evil feline with, “approximate knowledge of many things.” Combat isn’t particularly difficult; even during the boss fight, should any player run out of life all it takes is a quick pick-me-up from another player to bring them back to their feet.

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know offers fans a chance to group together with their buds and play as their favorite Adventure Time characters while smackin’ some monsters and grabbin’ some loot. Though the multiplayer is local-only, which definitely shrinks its appeal, this charming, 16-bit-esque dungeon crawler captures the creativity and energy of the show, which makes it worth keeping an eye on for anyone whose a fan of having adventures or having fun.

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