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Finn and Jake are back in another wacky adventure in the Land of Ooo. There have been several games based on the Adventure Time cartoon, and Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion is the latest attempt. This pirate-themed journey is an adaptation of the more recent seasons in the show. In it, you’ll explore the Land of Ooo and go on quests for fan favorite characters. The game’s turn-based combat is a change of pace for Adventure Time titles, but the humorous writing and oddball characters remain the same. Since Adventure Time has fans both young and old, I imagine it’s tough to strike a balance that will please both. Let’s see if Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion manages to do that.
Adventure Time, C’mon Sink Your Friends
When we first meet up with Finn and Jake, the pair fall asleep on their outdoor porch. After being chastised by their robotic friend BMO, they awaken to find their entire house along with the rest of their world completely submerged underwater. Some quick investigation leads them to the land of ice, which is controlled by the Ice King. There, the Ice King informs Finn and Jake that he has lost his crown, and because of it, his kingdom has started to melt. This sends the duo on a journey to retrieve the Ice King’s crown, rescue their friends, and solve the flooding issue that plagues their home.
Thanks to the high water level, Finn and Jake are able to explore the many kingdoms of their world at ease. Your adventure will take you to the Evil Forest, The Candy Kingdom, the Fire Kingdom, and other locations. These kingdoms are occupied by various characters from the show, who often hand out side quests for you to complete. Although the mystery of the flooding is interesting enough to those who are fans of the show, the story isn’t largely compelling beyond that. In fact, it’s pretty basic and often one-note. Although the game wants you to believe that there’s a mystery to solve, the awaiting answers are expected and unsurprising. It’s interesting to see my favorite characters sailing around the world, but the story serves more of a world building function than anything else. Since the world is covered in water and you navigate using a ship, the game uses the scenario to play out fun pirate fantasies. You’ll get to see some of your favorite characters attempting their best pirate imitations, and you’ll engage in expected side stories that fit the pirate trope. It’s an interesting take on the Adventure Time world that I enjoy, but it doesn’t exactly break new ground.
A Pirate’s Life
Pirates of the Enchiridion is part open world exploration and part turn based battle. In the beginning of the game you only have Jake and Finn in your party, but before long you’ll also gain the help of Marceline and BMO. Using a pirate ship that Finn and Jake stumble upon, you sail around the land of Ooo. You’ll make pit stops in various kingdoms, picking up side quests from characters and completing main objectives. Along the way, you’ll engage in standard turn-based battles and occasionally interrogate a few suspects. There’s not too much variety in Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion, but maybe that’s a good thing for younger fans.
Sailing around feels a lot like The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, except its slower and less interesting. The world has a handful of locations that aren’t too far spread apart, but the waters inbetween are far too empty. You’ll occasionally stumble upon boxes and other floating debris that you can destroy for in-game gold, but that’s about the extent of things. You can encounter enemies on the open seas, but these are directly tied into two distinct side missions. Because of this, once you’ve completed those quests, your time spent sailing is generally uneventful.
Besides the main quest, there are a handful of side quests they’ll be offered along your journey. Although these start off as an appealing distraction, they quickly become repetitive tasks or collect-a-thons. Some side quests will simply have you picking up items within a singular area or clearing out some enemies. There are a few others that have you seeking out Candy Kids and missing penguins across the entire map. These two specific side missions are made even more annoying when you take into account the fact that you have to deliver the missing kids and penguins to their appropriate home. You can only fit six of them on your boat at any given time, which means once you’ve rescued six, you’ll have to drop what you’re doing and bring them to the quest drop-off point. This means if you’re not beating up enemies or scouting around a specifically small area, you’ll most likely be sailing back and forth across the entire map with little else to do.
The whole experience hinges on the turn-based combat and how fun it is to play. Luckily, the combat mechanics are decently fleshed out for a somewhat simplistic RPG. Characters have basic attacks, special attacks, and ultimate attacks that they can carry out. There’s also an elemental aspect to special moves, so knowing a certain enemies weakness is important. There’s also a plethora of healing, buff, and defense items that you can purchase and utilize in battle. Unfortunately, you are rarely forced to use any items, as the game’s difficulty is less intimidating than a stiff breeze. By the time I reached the end of the game, I had never experienced a full party wipe. By keeping my party healed and mixing up basic and special attacks, I was easily able to best any opponent. There are times when the enemy AI can feel exceptionally tough, but you’ll likely have a dozen or so healing items at your disposal.
The Bottom Line on Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion
Overall, Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion is a disappointing adaptation that lacks content or replayability. If you’re a fan of the show, it might be worth a rental so you can play through it once, but I can’t recommend you purchase this game at full or even a discounted price. Even if you want to obtain every achievement and 100% complete the game, you should expect no more than 12 hours of gameplay. Considering that a good portion of that time is spent sailing through boring waters, competing in easy battles, for solving a lackluster mystery, I can’t say it’s time well spent. I really wanted to like this game, as I appreciate the aesthetic of Adventure Time and enjoy the humor within. Considering that the Adventure Time video game franchise has been rocky since it began, I shouldn’t be surprised.