Despite its simplicity and retro platformer allure, “Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?!” is a linear, shoddily controlling journey that’s missing the personality responsible for the success of the TV show it’s based on.
Those who grew up on “Super Mario Bros 3” and “Kirby’s Dreamland” will instantly fall in love with the game, but after an hour or so, the charm runs dry. The classic side-scrolling gameplay lacks the salt and pepper needed to make it truly fun. With no real level-up system, straight-laced combat and sometimes, “you’d never think of that” puzzles, “Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?!” is ultimately harder and more tedious than it needs to be.
If you fight through the game’s often irresponsible controls, you’ll find the game contains a nice level of the wit and charm that makes the show so enjoyable. The dialogue and story is well-written and the sound is some of the best on the 3DS to date. At times it feels like you’re stuck in the world of the cartoon. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to carry the game past the mediocre.
While the visuals feature a nice blend of colors and reinforce the look of the show, traveling through the different levels (the fetch-based quests that encompass the game will guarantee long treks from one side of the map to the other) is a chore. Simply put, the long walks and random battles from one level to another rob the game of the fun it could had been. If “Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?!” was laid out similar to “Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D,” instead of the pseudo open-world adventure game it tries too hard to be, it’s gameplay experience wouldn’t be nearly as lather, rinse, repeat as it is.
In the end, in spite of some of the fun you’ll have playing through the silly story, “Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?!” is a repetitive and shallow experience that you’ll have to force yourself to finish.