AD­VEN­TURE TIME: PI­RATES OF THE ENCHIRIDION

It’s about time the land of Ooo hosted a proper ac­tion-RPG

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Every gen­er­a­tion has a TV car­toon it dis­cov­ers young, but which stays with it for life. For those who had reached a sen­tient state by 2008, when it first aired, Car­toon Net­work’s

Ad­ven­ture Time will surely ful­fil that role. Fol­low­ing the ad­ven­tures of a boy called Finn and his mag­i­cal, mor­ph­ing yel­low-or­ange dog Jake in the bizarre land of Ooo, Ad­ven­ture Time may be kid-friendly, with a sub­tly moral tale de­liv­ered in each episode, but it’s so glo­ri­ously sur­real and glee­fully weird that it has plenty of adult ap­peal, too. It’s pretty much the only car­toon se­ries that any par­ent can safely watch with their off­spring without think­ing the words: “Kill me now”.

Pre­vi­ous games based on the show have been hor­rif­i­cally am­a­teur­ish. This, mer­ci­fully, isn’t. De­vel­oped by vet­eran Bri­tish out­fit Cli­max Stu­dios, and pub­lished by Bandai Namco, it’s a proper, open-world ac­tion-RPG that takes some cues from the Zelda games, has an ex­cel­lent turn-based bat­tling sys­tem and com­pletely nails

Ad­ven­ture Time’s sig­na­ture mix of hu­mor, cute­ness, and weirdness.

Time for ad­ven­ture

The game be­gins with Finn and Jake in­dulging in a spot of stargaz­ing in the boat that sits hand­ily atop their house. The next day, they wake up to dis­cover that the whole of Ooo has been mys­te­ri­ously flooded. Swiftly com­man­deer­ing a big­ger, faster boat, they set out to find out what hap­pened and save the day, be­gin­ning their quest in the Ice King­dom, which has melted, thus caus­ing the flood.

Var­i­ous game­play me­chan­ics are swiftly in­tro­duced, most no­tably a clas­sic turn-based bat­tle sys­tem which is pretty sim­ple to grasp, but has plenty of depth thanks to an ac­tion-points sys­tem that lets you per­form spe­cial at­tacks, along with a vast in­ven­tory of ob­jects that heal, cure, or buff ba­sic at­tacks.

There are puz­zle se­quences, too— of­ten in­volv­ing a char­ac­ter’s spe­cial abil­ity. Marce­line, the gui­tar-wield­ing Vam­pire Queen, for ex­am­ple, can turn her­self in­vis­i­ble for short pe­ri­ods, so must of­ten un­der­take stealth se­quences. And there are hi­lar­i­ous in­ter­ro­ga­tion se­quences in which you must de­cide whether to make Jake and Finn play good cop or bad cop.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, given its young tar­get au­di­ence, Pi­rates Of The

Enchiridion is pretty for­giv­ing. It’s lit­tered with smash­ables that pro­vide in-game cash and use­ful ob­jects, along with shops that trans­form the for­mer into the lat­ter. It also has an un­ex­pect­edly so­phis­ti­cated lev­elin­gup sys­tem that lets you up­grade in­di­vid­ual at­tributes with cash, so you can shape your party to your pre­ferred bat­tle-style.

Pi­rates Of The Enchiridion will de­light any Ad­ven­ture Time fan. It’s con­sis­tently funny—it can even make you grin in the course of a bat­tle—and bril­liantly cap­tures the essence of the TV se­ries all the way through. And when viewed purely as an RPG, it has a sur­pris­ing amount of cred­i­bil­ity. At last, there’s an Ad­ven­ture Time game which is truly worth play­ing. ■

“It nails AT’s mix of hu­mor, cute­ness, and weirdness”

rig ht You grad­u­ally as­sem­ble a full team in­clud­ing Marce­line and BMO , the sen­tient Game Boy.

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