Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations is a 3D point-and-click type game based within the Adventure Time Universe. The game begins with narration by Cuber (a minor character in the show), wherein the concept of “Playable Graybles” are introduced. Similar to the TV Show, in which a “Grayble” was a short story told by Cuber, a “Playable Grayble” is an interactive short story in which the player can assist. The Graybles begin the story with Finn and Jake as they discover the “Ticker Type;” a mystery-finding typewriter that was once their parent’s. The Ticker Type prints a description of any new mysteries in the land of Ooo, so Finn and Jake set off as “Finn and Jake Investigations” to solve them.
Throughout the new 3D world of Ooo, familiar characters and places are used (and abused) for the sake of the game. Princess Bubblegum, Lumpy Space Princess, and even Ice King make appearances during the investigations, but each character tends to be either underthought or over utilized. The choice of Cuber as the narrator is a questionable one, as Cuber is not only a minor character, he’s a dull character at best. In the very first mystery, the secondary protagonist is Abracadaniel, a (somewhat lame) minor character that adds very little to the plot as you hunt down kidnapping Wizards. The rest of the game follows suit, with minor villains becoming huge nuisances, and important characters making small, insignificant appearances.
The gameplay, while straightforward in nature, is far more frustrating than would be assumed. In comparison to similar point-and-click adventures, such as the early Telltale title, Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People, the actual pointing and clicking on interact-able items is maddeningly inconsistent and laughably glitchy. While the controls are simple and easy to pick up, the items are not, sometimes taking several attempts to show the interaction menu. Numerous times, the fluidity of the game was halted when a certain interact-able item would not remain available, or would disappear entirely. This was especially frustrating when items were close together, forcing a cutscene rather than allowing the other item to be selected.
The game is set up, understandably, like any other story-driven adventure game. Dialogue-heavy interactions mix with cutscenes and combat to create the feeling of watching an episode of the TV show. However, this was surprisingly one of the most annoying features of the game. Long, drawn-out cutscenes and dialogue options go on for an irritating amount of time, with no option to skip or move forward more quickly. Every dialogue option must be selected in every open conversation, leading to slow, repetitive exchanges. For those who read more quickly than the characters speak, this is especially frustrating, as the slow character interaction seems to eat up all the time in the game. It takes roughly 13 hours to beat the game, but you better believe the better part of that time is spent listening to an endless draught of exposition.
Combat plays a minor part in the story-driven adventure, but adds a little spice to the heavy commentary. During these mini-quests, waves of enemies assault Finn and Jake a few at a time, attacking and sometimes hiding when a power-up is enabled. The combat power-ups come in the form of a Jake transformation, in which Jake can become “War Dog,” catapult bombs, spin Finn like a pointy top, or morph into “Jake Suit.” The transformations are silly, fun to use, and add more enjoyment to an otherwise repetitive combat scene. The transformations themselves do become eventually repetitive, but still prove more entertaining than endlessly bashing gnomes with Finn’s sword.
Despite all the negatives with glitchiness and commentary, the story itself is surprisingly enjoyable. It gives the game an addictive quality, making it easier to look past the difficulties of gameplay in order to move forward with the story. While in the wake of a particularly frustrating bug, rage quitting seems like the best option – but it’s impossible to ignore the incessant desire to see what happens next. Characters and dialogue, while slow at times, still present the same humor the show is known for. The different rooms and areas of the maps are easily accessible, and load lightning fast, keeping non-dialogue gameplay fluid and fun. This makes moving between rooms to collect items less of a chore, since there’s no jog in gameplay. The music of the game matches the simplicity of the storyline, with peaceful beats and effects repeating behind the constant slew of conversation.
The game has a few noticeable nuances, though they’re more amusing than annoying. At times, Finn’s mouth will move, but Jake will be speaking. Characters will sometimes move through walls, and the jabbering of their mouths during dialogue never quite matches up with what is being said. These divergences just add to the silliness of the Adventure Time theme, and most of the time, they prove to be few and far between.
While buggy, frustrating, and repetitive, Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations still proves a decent story adventure. Beloved characters and simple controls mix into a fun series of short stories, though they may have been better off as mini-episodes instead of in-game adventures. Much could definitely be improved, but for a simple, by-the-by point-and-clicker, it’s still totally algebraic.
A PS4 code for Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations was provided by Little Orbit for the purpose of this review
Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations$49.99
- Dialogue is silly and true to the show
- Point-and-click interactions make for a simple game
- Sounds, music, and voice acting keep the story immersive
- Combat spices up storylines
- Dialogue-heavy with non-skippable cutscenes and interactions
- Objects and people are at times buggy, making interaction difficult
- Game can quickly become repetitive
- In-game characters prove to be at times more annoying than funny
- Cuber's narration and instruction is slow and grating