Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know!
|Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know!|
European box art
|Distributor(s)||Cartoon Network Interactive|
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! (stylized as Adventure Time Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!) is a video game directed by Tomm Hulett and developed by WayForward Technologies with the help of Pendleton Ward under license from Cartoon Network Interactive. It is published by D3 Publisher for Microsoft Windows, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo 3DS. This is the second game based on the animated television series Adventure Time after 2012's Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!. The game was first announced on May 14, 2013. The game includes voice acting from major characters and four-player cooperative multiplayer, except in the 3DS version, which has no multiplayer. Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita versions of the game were planned, but later cancelled.
The game begins with Princess Bubblegum entreating the player (as one of the various playable characters) to investigate the large and secret Royal Dungeon that lies below the Land of Ooo. Several prisoners have been escaping, but as the prison is supposed to be impossible to escape, Bubblegum is stumped as to how the prisoners are escaping and entreats the player to explore the dungeon because "I don't know". As the game progresses several characters are unlocked and become playable characters through various situations. It is briefly suspected that Ice King is releasing the prisoners, but is shown to have only been in the dungeon to create large Fiona and Cake ice statues. The game eventually leads up to a battle between the player(s) and a giant pink blob that is revealed to be Princess Bubblegum's parents. About a thousand years ago she was gestated within the blob and was later expelled from its mass. Bubblegum explains that she grew up to become more independent and became a princess. She kept the blob in the Royal Dungeon, but over time the mass expanded and inadvertently released the prisoners. This causes the Ice King to angrily demand to know how old Bubblegum is and she replies that she is 827 years old, which horrifies him. Finn questions Bubblegum's rationale for covering up the secret of her parents, only for Marceline to defend Bubblegum by saying that the others would have done the same for their parents. However as a result of the player's fight against the blob, it is unable to reform and turns into a set of bubbles, one of which kisses Bubblegum on the cheek.
Players are able to play as Finn, Jake, Marceline, Ice King, Cinnamon Bun, Flame Princess, Lumpy Space Princess, and Lemongrab. Peppermint Butler, Gunter, and King of Mars were released as DLC for users that purchased the game via Steam. Each playable character has their own special attack, which can be used to various effects, such as damaging enemies or regaining health. King of Mars and Gunter were later added as DLC in the console versions.
Players can collect treasure while in the dungeon that they can later use to upgrade the stats of the various playable characters, interact with other characters, and purchase goods from the game's ubiquitous item vendor; in this case played by one of the cartoon's minor characters, Choose Goose. The surface can be reached every 5 levels and any treasure not spent before returning to the dungeon will be taken by Princess Bubblegum as a "candy tax". Side quests are available to the player throughout the game. After the player finishes the game they have the option of playing through it once more with their current stats as well as through a "Nightosphere" version that allows the user to play a never-ending amount of levels without the option of returning to the surface until they quit or are killed.
Critical reception for the game has been predominantly negative and the most common criticism centers upon the repetitive gameplay and lack of depth. Destructoid panned the game, writing that the 3DS version's "presentation is lazy, lackluster, and shameful" and that it was overall "a disaster". Games Radar criticized the game's map layout system, as they felt that it was "very easy to lose track of where you’ve already been" and that it made the game more tedious due to players having to retread the same area in order to discover the level's exit. Hardcore Gamer was impressed by the game's initial charm but disappointed in most other aspects criticizing the "barebones plot, veritable lack of [overall] charm and frustrating hit detection" Eurogamer expressed disappointment over the game's treatment of the "surprisingly deep lore that has grown around [Adventure Time]", as it "simply drapes an Adventure Time skin over established gameplay tropes, reflecting the source material without truly adapting it."
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