Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Adam Riley 02.01.2015

Review for Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom on Nintendo 3DS

Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom from WayForward is a shameless take on the Zelda series, mimicking the world of Nintendo's A Link to the Past in particular, and being quite proud of the fact as well. However, rather than being a poor copy, it takes the comical source material of the popular cartoon show and wraps it around a very impressive Action RPG. Available on home consoles (but sadly not Wii U), Cubed3 instead takes a look at the version squeezed onto the Nintendo 3DS to see how it shapes up.

Players take on the role of Finn, with a little bit of help from his canine companion Jake, as they work their way around a top-down world in an attempt to rescue three princesses in the Nameless Kingdom (at the behest of another princess, by the name of Bubblegum), taking on various side-quests along the way. It is what many would deem 'Zelda-lite' with the mainstays of the series present and correct - enemies are re-skinned, the game pays homage to many key items, and so on. Finn must use his special sword and can make Jake into a shield to repel enemy fire, certain items must be collected whilst traversing the Land of Ooo in order to unlock the temples where the princesses are kept, all the while trying to upgrade various items (sword, shield, boom…sorry, bananarang, as well as gaining new abilities). It is like a Zelda-mod, but the comparison is not made to belittle WayForward's title, since what has been crafted is very enjoyable indeed.

On the surface it is a run of the mill top-down RPG adventure, yet it has enough charm to lift it above the middling crop of other Zelda pretenders out there. Perhaps it is the WayForward magic or the comedic lines (all voiced) from the Adventure Time gang, but wandering around is far more enjoyable than first imagined, especially for those that are not familiar with the TV show - everything starts to become more natural and the overly critical comparison to Nintendo's RPG series fades as the game comes into its own.

Screenshot for Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom on Nintendo 3DS

Sure, when facing Tree Trunks, Space Princess, Ice King, et al, the names might be meaningless to some, yet the sheer quirkiness of the characters never fails to raise a smile and even a hearty guffaw at times - non Adventure Time fans can still sign up for a great time. The adventuring can prove to be rather tough if not careful, though, with deaths aplenty for those recklessly running around, trying to scarper to the final credits as quickly as possible and thinking this is a child's game, but thankfully there is plenty of health replenishment to be found in bushes when cut down, and the checkpoints are never too far back if death does indeed come a-knocking at the door.

The handy map feature on the lower screen acts as a vague guide to ensure wandering is not too aimless, normally with the princess that needs to be rescued next having her portrait displayed, flashing, but there are many times where getting lost can be irksome. This is where the side-quests from other Adventure Time characters come into play, such as that much-loved Zelda-style chain event where one item is passed to a person only for Finn to receive something else that someone else around the world needs, continuing until the very end of the chain for a special surprise.

The temples themselves are the biggest draw, with some clever puzzles integrated into the action (switches to remove spikes or alternate red and blue barriers going up and down, boxes to move to form bridges, changing of water levels, and so on) and great boss battles that really do require more brain power than imagined (one where coloured beams must be reflected around a cave to hit the boss is a specifically memorable encounter). They all help to make this much more than a sub-standard copycat product.

Screenshot for Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom is a fantastic take on the immensely popular The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, lifting the theme and layout, then draping the comical cartoon setting over it and lavishing it all with lashings of quality adventuring elements that will be familiar to long-term fans of both the cartoon and Zelda series. The only drawbacks of this enjoyable Action RPG are the times where it is not always too clear where to head next, and the unfortunate glitches/bugs that have crept in during the transition to the 3DS system from its home console origins.




Little Orbit





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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