I love WayForward to pieces. I think they’re a fantastic developer capable of great things. But an announcement that they’re working on another Adventure Time is the last thing I wanted to hear. It isn’t because I think they’re bad or that I don’t like the series. I love the cartoon. It’s just that the track record for WayForward and Adventure Time games isn’t good, and I have no faith in Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom as a result.
Let’s look at the past Adventure Time games WayForward has worked on. The first was Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?!! for the DS and 3DS. It wasn’t a bad game, but it could have been so much more. It looked good and lovingly referenced Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, but it was also quite tedious and could even, sometimes, be boring. Okay, so maybe Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom wouldn’t be that bad.
Except Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! , the second WayForward game based on the series, was terrible. Some people might have found it passable, but it was really a shameless cash-in. There was little personality, it was completely repetitive and boring, and the candy tax to enter a dungeon is a plague upon the people of the Candy Kingdom. It was just disappointing.
And now we have the Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom announcement. It’s a 3DS, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC action game, like Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW!. Players will follow Finn and Jake as they go through the Land of Ooo’s Nameless Kingdom, an entirely new area with all new characters. It also seems like it will pay homage to the Legend of Zelda games, like Hey Ice King!, as it will have an overhead perspective.
There are two problems though. The first is that there has been no mention of Pendleton Ward’s involvement with The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom. When the previous two games were announced, they were very up front, and even proud, of Ward having some input. The second is that WayForward has bigger concerns. This game is coming out in November 2014, around the same time as Shantae: Half-Genie Hero and Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse. The developer has bigger and better things to do, and are going to be focused on Shantae, their pride and joy, and not another game cashing in on a popular cartoon’s success.
All I’m saying is, don’t be too excited about Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom. We know too little, there are no screenshots even though it’s supposed to be out in 6 months, the last two games weren’t exactly instant classics, and WayForward is super busy with it’s Shantae games. Better to keep our expectations low. If we do, maybe we’ll be lucky and pleasantly surprised when fall comes.