Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! Hands-On! - Preview

By Chris Matulich, October 17, 2013
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Adventure Time is the type of show that's immensely popular with people of many ages. I can't exactly call myself a fan of the show, but I always enjoy it when I catch an episode here or there. At New York Comic Con, Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! was on display, and I was instantly charmed by this delightful dungeon crawler that features many aspects of the old school Gauntlet arcade games.

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Hopping into Adventure Time was like seeing an old friend after a long period of time, as it boasts an old school, pixelated visual style that resembles the old Gauntlet games before they reached their 3D days in the Gauntlet Legends series. It fits the overall Adventure Time persona incredibly well, as the entire series is an homage to video and table games of old. The game's dungeons range different locales of icy caverns, dark dungeons, and fiery death traps underneath the Land of Ooo, each holding a charming sense of nostalgia, as well as staying true to the series.

Each character in Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! holds their own uniquely enchanting personality and look, with the cast of characters including Finn, Jake, Marceline, Ice King, Cinnamon Bun, Flame Princess, Lumpy Space Princess, Earl of Lemongrab, and even more that will be revealed in time, as well as DLC characters to be released after launch. Most of the voice actors from the show lend their talents to the game, and with the help of series creator Pendelton Ward, the entire game manages to capture the complete essence of the show.

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The gameplay sees a mix of many Diablo-like dungeon crawling aspects, as well as mechanics that are similar to pre-Legends Gauntlet. Each character has their own unique form of attack, and must find gold with which to buy better equipment and upgrades, as well as secrets, all of which will need to be utilized throughout the 100 different dungeon levels.

The different types of attacks transform each of the characters into different classes of sorts, with the Flame Princess and Ice King providing ranged options, and Finn and Jake being the melee options. Everyone can also equip a sub weapon, which can be bought or found throughout the dungeon. Sub weapons play off the series' quirky style, such as a cat gun, that performs as exactly as it sounds. Sub weapons are a big help, as ranged characters can get up close and personal with different types of weapons, and vice versa for melee options. Each character has a unique feel that allows for different play styles, and each is greatly entertaining to play around with.

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Much like the old Gauntlet games, Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! sees players collecting pieces of treasure in order to upgrade themselves. After certain levels are completed, players can go back to the hub world of the Land of Ooo, where they can speak to a multitude of characters from the series and enhance their stats. Players can upgrade their strength, defense, life, and other stats typical of the dungeon crawling genre. Players can also drop extra treasure for those who need it, allowing for a more even playing field when playing with friends whose dungeon crawling skills might not be up to snuff. Explore the Dungeon supports up to four player local cooperative play, yet no online support, and the 3DS version will only have single player and will not use the handheld's local wireless connection system. While I love me some couch coop, it seems odd not to include online multiplayer as well.

With only about a month to go before it releases, Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! is looking to be a faithful adaptation of the source material, and wildly entertaining with a great mix of dungeon crawling action. Get ready to explore the Secret Royal Dungeon under the Land of Ooo on November 12th.

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