(If you want to see more of my work, go to camseyeview.biz. If you would like to, consider supporting my Patreon at patreon.com/camseyeview. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the review!)
Every year, I hope to find the hidden gems of that respective year, aka the games that are either under the radar, or the one that people brushed off thinking it would be bad. Well, for this year, I have found a few hidden gems, but the one I want to talk about today is the recently released Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations. This game, based off the famous cartoon, is noteworthy for being one of the first 3D games based on the franchise, and the second one not to be developed by the team at WayForward Technologies. This time, the game was developed by Vicious Cycle Software, who is known for games like Robotech: Battlecry, Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard, Dead Head Fred, Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon, and so on. Yeah, I know it isn’t the most high quality developer, but they do at least have some memorable games under their belt. So, is this game one of those hidden gems? Well, I think so! Read on to see why.
The game’s plot revolves around our two main heroes, Finn the Human, voiced by Jeremy Shada, and Jake the Dog, voiced by John DiMaggio. They find this old contraption that their parents used to use when they would go and solve mysteries. After finding the contraption, they also end up breaking their record player. Can Finn and Jake solve these mysterious cases? Well, you will have to play and find out. I do have some gripes with the story. I will say that some of the writing was very funny, but like I said, the game’s story has some problems that you will have to find out about later on in the review.
Finn & Jake Investigations is a 3D adventure game with some combat elements in it. If you have played any adventure games from the classic LucasArts games to the old Sierra classics, then what you have here is a 3D game with a lot of inventory-based puzzles. You will be collecting different items within the levels, and combining them to progress through the story. The game is luckily easier on the difficulty scale, and doesn’t pull any “oh, you messed up and can’t progress”-style puzzles. The puzzles themselves are rather enjoyable to go through, and I didn’t have a huge amount of trouble in solving most of them. The other part of this game is the combat sections. You will be dropped into large arenas, and will be able to use Finn’s many swords and be able to combine with Jake to unleash some powerful moves onto the gnomes and hairy apes you go against. The overall game’s length is not long at about five or so mysteries to solve, and each could take about an hour. There is some additional content where you play as the vampire queen, Marceline.
Graphically, it might not be the best looking game of the year, but it does look like the TV show. I also like some of the areas, like the outside of Finn and Jake’s house. The voice acting is also pretty solid. They got the original cast to do the voice work, and a couple of the lines are pretty funny. I mean, what else do you expect when you have the voice acting talents like Tom Kenny, John DiMaggio, and the rest of the cast?
Unfortunately, this game does fall short of being an ideal hidden gem. First off, the story. I should stop being surprised, but the story is the worst part of the game. They rarely, if ever, take full advantage of the characters or the world in which the show is set. Adventure Time is loved for its creativity and how it has tackled certain mature themes alongside other shows like Steven Universe. Why developers don’t tackle other themes with a medium like video games is beyond me. It seems like I need to wait for Telltale Games to make an adventure game that will do that. I also found the combat to be rather weak. At first, it can be satisfying when you beat down on enemies, but after a while, you see the same enemy types, and it all gets a little boring. The animation on the characters is also very limited. Everyone has a handful of animation loops, and the voices never sync with the characters. Once again, this show has some of the most expressive animation around. This team should have been given more time to make everything more expressive.
I do like Finn & Jake Investigations. Heck, I honestly went in not knowing what to expect, since there was very little advertising for this game. I think it’s one of the more underrated games of 2015 since the overall experience is a pretty good adventure game. I just wish there was more done with the universe. If you like adventure games or Adventure Time, you should check this game out.
This game gets a 6 out of 10.