E3 Hands-on – Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion
I may not be a massive Adventure Time fan, but grown fond of some of their games, namely Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! and the underrated gem that is The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom. I had the opportunity of testing a brand new game based on Pendleton Ward’s Emmy-winning series at Outright Games’ booth at E3 2018 and I have to say I left the session looking forward to the final product.
Pirates of the Enchiridion is an amalgamation of gameplay styles from other famous titles crammed into a nice and cute Adventure Time aesthetic. The first thing I noticed when the demo started was the fact I could freely traverse through a flooded Land of Ooo riding my boat. Does that sound a little bit familiar to you? It didn’t take long for me to feel a nice, warm and nostalgic Wind Waker vibe with the game’s exploration: there are tons of islands to explore, lots of secrets, as well as loads of floating loot scattered throughout the map. You can control four characters in the game, each one of them with a special ability to help you get through specific obstacles.
The game isn’t focused solely on sailing and exploration, however: this is actually, believe it or not, a turn-based RPG, with everything you’d want from a game from the genre, such as different equipments, critical hits, elemental strengths and weaknesses, special moves, and much more. Granted, the game doesn’t feature a complex combat system, but given the franchise and its target demographic, that’s actually a good thing. Pirates of the Enchiridion also retains the core sense of humor and charm from the cartoon series, and that was most noticeable during an “interrogation” scene of sorts involving Finn, Jake and the Ice King, with the player having to decide between acting like a good cop or a bad cop with the suspect.
Outright Games allowed me test the game on both a PC and on a Nintendo Switch in portable mode. One aspect that really impressed me was the fact the Switch version performed on par with the PC version, with the exception of the tablet’s reduced resolution. The visuals were largely the same, with a very good cel-shaded rendition of the series translated into a polygonal world, and the framerate was equally as good. If I had to pick a version, I’d most certainly stick to the Switch one: being able to play the exact same game with little to no differences from the PC version on a handheld is one heck of an advantage.
Pirates of the Enchiridion wasn’t what I was expecting. A turn-based RPG with a classic battle system, an open world to explore and an excellent sense of humor? I’m not very into Adventure Time but the preview alone was enough to leave a very good impression about the game. The fact the Switch version turned out to look, play and perform just like the PC version was even better. I’ll definitely check Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion out once it finally launches in a few weeks.