To date Cartoon Network’s smash animated series Adventure Time has seen a trio of dedicated iOS video game releases. While the first was an engaging (but sadly too short) point-and-click-style adventure, the latter pair have instead elected to put that Adventure Time spin on the now iconic endless runner genre. It was with these rather narrow preconceptions that I dove into the upcoming fourth iOS title Rock Bandits, only to discover that it was a horse of an entirely different color. #ladyrainicornpun
Rock Bandits instead has a bit more in common with the WayForward-developed Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! than Canabalt or the Monkey Island series. It’s a full-on platformer that challenges Finn and Jake to run, jump, smash, glide and, of course, slash their way through 20 levels spanning the breadth of the Land of Ooo.
This design is both a blessing and a curse, as it trades the simple but super-tight controls of the previous iOS entries for a more expansive and sometimes less responsive move set. Swiping to the left or right moves Finn, while slashing can be used to dispatch any on-screen enemy regardless of how close it is. Holding in mid-jump/fall activates Jake’s helicopter-ears from within his comfy spot in Finn’s backpack to slow your descent, while a double-swipe throws a punch with his massive yellow fist to destroy environmental obstacles. Similarly, an upward swipe on Finn himself is used to jump, and a double up-swipe can be used to double-jump or alternately bound up narrow channels to find high-altitude loot.
All this action makes it a bit too easy for the player—some would say the device—to confuse the command inputs, making Finn and Jake run haphazardly into danger rather than smiting it with a mighty blade. On these occasions the most important control of all becomes the single tap; it stops Finn in his tracks. Still, the odd bit of interface wackiness aside, Rock Bandits is a blast to play, and it boasts the kind of bizarre content you’ve come to expect from the property.
The aforementioned sword mechanic plays into the game’s garbage collecting loot system. The Blind Blacksmith can be easily accessed from the world map, and he’s always eager to convert your trash into new blades and hilts that can be mixed and matched to your liking.
Combine all this with an outlandish plot unveiled in motion comic panels by BOOM! Studios‘ Ryan North and Shelli Paroline, and you’ve got a compelling reason to keep playing. The Earl of Lemongrab has tasked Ice King with procuring an audience for his new but horribly unsuccessful band Unacceptable, and the frozen citizens of Ooo (whom Ice King kidnapped from a well-attended Marceline and the Scream Queens concert) must be rescued!
You can battle your way through an adventure fraught with treacherous paths, dangerous enemies and frozen secondary characters tomorrow, March 14th, when Rock Bandits hits iTunes for
the customary 99 cents $1.99. In the meantime bone up on your Adventure Time lore at CartoonNetwork.com, and limber up your index fingers for the forthcoming rock ‘n’ roll madness.
Review and promotional materials provided by: Cartoon Network