Review – The Adventure Pals

I hear from younger people (not that I’m that old, may I remind you) that Adventure Time is one of the most popular cartoons out there nowadays. I’m not very acquainted to the series but I can definitely notice its art style from a mile away. I also remember having a lot of fun with Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom, a very competent A Link to the Past clone that was a lot more enjoyable than it ever had the right to be. This new PS4 release called The Adventure Pals immediately caught my attention due to its art style being extremely similar to that cartoon. Gladly, this isn’t just a cute but shallow title, it’s actually a lot better than I expected it to be.

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Gaming needs more giraffes with tongue-copter capabilities

The Adventure Pals is a simple yet adorable platformer that reminded me quite a bit of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, without that game’s insane difficulty, of course. You venture through side-scrolling levels, all connected in a top-down over-world map. The objectives are usually pretty simple, mostly relying on reaching the end of each stage and picking up treasure. The game itself isn’t exactly difficult nor complex at all, and it definitely shouldn’t be; we aren’t its target demographic, children are.  Everything is catered towards them, from the accessible controls, accessible difficulty to the absolutely adorable art style.

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Please tell me it’s Marilyn Monroe

The graphics, as you can see through those pictures, are downright adorable. It feels like an Adventure Time-esque cartoon, from the color pallette to the character design, as well as the animations. One look at your main character and his nonsensically entertaining giraffe sidekick, and you’ll clearly see the main influences. The “not entirely childish but still rated PG” style of humor is also very reminiscent of those cartoons, and it works. The game made me chuckle a bit from time to time.

The best aspect of the game isn’t its adorable visuals, however. Surprisingly enough, I actually enjoyed the gameplay the most. Granted, it is a 2D platformer, so there’s not much you can do in order to ruin such a simple control scheme, but the game’s combat system was a positive surprise in my honest opinion. Each sword slash dealt against an opponent feels intense and satisfying.  Racking up gigantic hits and dealing big combos against hordes of enemies and bosses reminded me of God of War in a weird way. For a game so focused in providing a somewhat relaxed and friendly atmosphere, I ended up loving the combat and finding new ways to murder as many enemies as possible the most. I may need to seek professional help.

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A lot more violent than expected

A great choice for a younger audience, The Adventure Pals knows how to take enough inspiration from Adventure Time in order to look like its source material while still maintaining an original personality of its own. It’s a very accessible and charming game with a decent amount of content and a combat system that’s way more enjoyable than anyone could ever hope for.

Graphics: 8.0

It recreates the aesthetics of the cartoons it takes its inspiration from pretty well, with vibrant colors and animations, even if the levels look too similar to one another.

Gameplay: 8.5

Very responsive, with a combat system that turned out to be more enjoyable than I thought it would be.

Sound: 7.5

The typical happy and upbeat soundtrack you’d find in a cartoon like Adventure Time. It gets the job done.

Fun Factor: 7.0

Works very well for kids with its lack of difficulty and appropriate level of humor. Might be a bit too simplistic for older players.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Reviewed on PS4.
Also available on: Xbox One, Switch, PC.
A copy of The Adventure Pals was provided by the publisher.