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Adventure Time and Regular Show keep it old school

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! Screenshot - Candy Kingdom

New York Comic Con featured not one, but two Cartoon Network shows-turned-video games developed by WayForward. I had a chance to play them both and if there’s one common theme between Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! and Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land it’s a dedication to old school gaming.

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW!

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!

Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW may be one of the most honestly titled video games I’ve ever seen. It’s a straightforward dungeon crawler in the style of Gauntlet, with four player co-op, 100 floors to explore, and some simple combat. Players can choose from several characters like Finn, Jake, Cinnamon Bun, and Marceline, and then upgrade them in a shop between floors.

Each character has different stats and abilities. Finn is the well-rounded stock hero, while Jake can stretch over pits to skip over them. Each adventurer has a meter that fills up as they fight, allowing them to unleash a special attack. Each special attack features a bit of animation from the show as well. I was playing as Jake, and his special gave everyone weapons to fight with.

Overall Adventure Time seems like it could be a fun time for four players, but I wasn’t pulled in by what I played. The combat felt too simplistic. It’s pretty much just a matter of facing the enemy and hitting them. Even within the demo, it was a chore to get lost in some of the bigger dungeons.

Still, that title is pretty honest. If you’re looking to explore some dungeons just because, then, well, here you go! The game will be coming to PC, PS3, 360, Wii U, and 3DS on November 12.

Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land

Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby  in 8-Bit Land

Translating the 1980s setting of Regular Show to a handheld provides WayForward with a good excuse to make a hardcore 2D platformer in the style they are known for. Regular Show is almost shockingly nostalgic, feeling closer to a licensed game from the NES era than a modern game coming to 3DS.

The basic gameplay involves jumping and head-stomping, along with the ability to switch between Mordecai and Rigby on the fly. Mordecai can jump higher than Rigby, but Rigby can fit into tight spaces. In addition, some themed levels give Mordecai the ability to transform into a Defender-style space ship for some shoot ‘em up action, while Rigby can transition into top-down perspective shooter sections. Nearly every level I played had some kind of trick or puzzle involving switching characters or transforming.

The nostalgia doesn’t come from the puzzle aspects, however, but from the punitive design. Get hit once and it’s back to the start of the level, unless you find a checkpoint along the way. Constantly retrying sections was a bit frustrating, and if that kind of trial and error gameplay gets to you then you might want to steer clear of Regular Show. On the other hand, it’s awesome if you’re into that kind of thing, so check your tastes and decide if Regular Show is worth a shot.

Enjoy random thoughts about the latest games, the Sega Saturn, or the occasional movie review? Follow me @JoeDonuts!

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Joe Donato Video games became an amazing, artful, interactive story-driven medium for me right around when I played Panzer Dragoon Saga on Sega Saturn. Ever since then, I've wanted to be a part of this industry. Somewhere along the line I, possibly foolishly, decided I'd rather write about them than actually make them. So here I am.
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