Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: , ,

First of all let me say I am a big fan of both Adventure Time and The Legend of Zelda Series and when I saw this game I was rather excited as this seemed like the ideal formula for an adventure time game and if a sequel is released with the issues in this game addressed it could be a real hit.

I also wish to mention that due to constant issues with crashes (which will be expanded upon) I was unable to complete the entire game but from the various lets plays I've seen since the game itself is rather short (4 dungeons from which I completed 2) but with a lot of back tracking.
Now in this review I'll go over the following areas in depth, Story/Theme, Controls/Game Mechanics, Graphics/Sound though it should be noted there may be overlap at times.


Adventure Time: The Secret of The Nameless Kingdom strongest point is its loyalty to it source material, the games plot could easily be made into a two or three part episode and be well received and its newly introduced characters all have the charm and strangeness one would expect from Adventure Time.

Nearly all the monsters can be recognised from the show however there is no real reasoning or theme why they are in a location and are often recoloured and reused elsewhere throughout the game with only with more hit points to create an additional challenge, there is also no shortage of cameos from major and minor characters, all of which are voiced and have perfectly written in character lines.
This been said there is not nearly enough character interaction between them with each only having a handful of lines. Another minor issue is that unless you are very familiar with the series many of these cameos will be unrecognisable and having a small character journal which unlocks a paragraph about each character you meet would of been a nice addition.

Outside of cutscenes Finn is the only one who speaks at least in the early periods of the game, these short lines are spoken each time Finn picks up an item or treasure with 4-5 lines of alternative dialogue for each. While these didn't bother me so much as I naturally phased them out I do know players who would be driven crazy by this over the first hour so this is just a warning for those who have little tolerance for such things.
This also highlights another issue which is the lack of banter or comments by character to the environments or bosses as you go through the game, this feels like a real wasted opportunity and unfortunately means there is little to distract from the lacklustre game play that is the core of the game.

While there are side quests in the game they are of "Find Item A give to Person A collect item from person A give to Person B" which is typical of top down adventures, the only trouble been the location of these characters are not marked on your map and are often in tedious/awkward to travel to locations.

Controls/Game Mechanics

As basic controls go the game is passable, if you have played any of the gameboy Legend of Zelda series you'll feel pretty much at home however in spite of this you'll find travelling and combat becomes a chore.

First of all Finn seems to move slightly too slow which combined with the large amount of travel, exploration and fetch quests in the game begins to grow frustrating, also there are numerous stairs and cave entrances/exits which you need to traverse and unless you are exactly in the centre of them you just walk against them rather than up/down/through them which often leaves you open to been struck if your just passing through an area trying to avoid combat.
This can be a further problem when moving up or down stairs as due to this been an animation you cannot attack or stop but this often lead to cheap hits from monsters gathered at the top or bottom, while there seems to be an invisible barrier in place to try and prevent this it doesn't work very well and actually causes issues with any block pushing puzzles that require you to push the block past a doorway.

These movement issues begin to also affect combat as well with many monsters been able to out pace you in general or with sudden bursts of speed resulting you get hit (as any monster touching you harms you) or miss a swing often as unlike Link Finn requires to stand still to attack with his sword which again slows down the gameplay and makes combat somewhat unsatisfactory.

The Grass sword is your  main weapon throughout the game as Finn and has seeming extremely short range, I say seemingly short range as the hit box for the blade is very difficult to judge but as a starting weapon it has reasonable power with some early monsters dying in a single blow.
However by the second dungeon many foes take up to 4-5 hits combined with a slightly too slow swing animation and the inability to move when attacking means you'll be getting much closer than I suspect you need to and as such take damage more often than you would normally.
The sword can not be swung diagonal so if your moving diagonally and need to attack you will swing in the direction closest to the angle you are moving which again can result in been struck by enemies approaching you diagonally.

Even hitting a monster can actually do more harm than good in most cases as it knocks away and with most monsters possessing range attacks and you'll often get hit just as your moving in to finish them off. The ideal way to avoid this is to obtain the boomerang stand in which like the Legend of Zelda series paralyses monsters briefly if you hit them (and can be thrown diagonal) and then go in swinging.

You also get a ranged attack yourself by the second dungeon but you again need to stand still when using it, its slow to fire, it does less damage than the sword, if you miss you have to wait until it strikes a wall or goes its full screen travel distance before you can fire again which means its only good as a utility item in most cases.

Your main defence other than hopefully moving out the way of the monsters far faster attacks is a shield which bluntly borders on useless, Like the sword it can only be used in the main four directions it is also extremely picky about positioning and will only block attacks that are central on Finn, a few pixels either way and you'll get hit. Its inconsistent about exactly which attacks it will block for example it will block a monster that is running at you with a blade knocking it back but if a monster just walks into you it won't stop them and when using it to push spiky objects you can suddenly slip past its perfect blocking spot and be damaged.

With these issues combined with the fact that monsters respawn the moment you re-enter an area you'll quickly start trying to avoid unnecessary combat unless you need money, this brings us to the next few points the shops and baggies..

Baggies are small plastic bags and essentially fill the role of glass jars from the Legend of Zelda but serve a wide range of functions, they are your potion bottle, your bomb bag, your monster catcher, by the second dungeon and I had already found eight items that can go in them, however they are as rare as hell and you'll often need a spare one to get through a dungeons puzzles so as a result all the different healing or buff items which you could collect (which are lost if you don't have a free bag btw) or buy (at absurdly high prices) will be ignored or you'll be forced to waste them as you need the space.
Those of you familiar with Legend of Zelda know that there are multiple different values of Zenny and Zenny chests littered everywhere, in Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom you get coins (or Rubles in game) in values of 1 sparsely (3-6 a screen if lucky) on average and chests are rare often giving you trail mix or one of the other healing item components (which you also have to pay to create). To be fair the most expensive thing I have bought was 200 coins but the combination of low coins, little bag space and high prices means I rarely go near a shop.
One final issue with the Baggies is the inconstancy of how to put items them sometimes you will have to use Jake to grab an item other times you must equip the empty Baggie and use it, both these animations force you to stand still which is again frustrating when the item your trying to pick up moves around, while this doesn't have a massive game play effect it just feels that they shoehorned this in as a way to make Jakes grabbing hand have a use.

Now I must mention that to save the game you must do it manually and the only reminder to do so is when you are about to quit the game, this wouldn't be so bad in some respects but given how unstable the game is and how it can randomly at anytime crash to desktop it is damm right infuriating and I lost 2 hours of play twice. In this day and age there is no excuse not to have an auto save after a dungeon entered, side quest is finish or a boss defeated, its sheer laziness not to have this function and to be fair this underlying laziness and feeling of bare minimum effort is something that seems to plague all the Adventure Time games so far.


You may have noticed that I've made references to the Legend of Zelda series through out this review this is partly due to the genre of the game and how highly it resembles Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past but also because the game itself is forcing a comparison between itself and Link to the Past in its very visuals throughout the game. Take these two screenshot as an example:


The environment and Finns actions all reference Link to the Past in design and many of the puzzles are similar, however I will give credit to Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom's bosses as these do not follow the common "Use the item obtained in the dungeon to beat them" pattern and are honestly the most enjoyable aspect in the game.

However the issue with all these design similarities is you lose a lot of the uniqueness of the Adventure Time series and makes it ever so apparent you are playing a poor Legend of Zelda clone, if they had gone a little further perhaps making the first dungeon a room by room copy of Hyrule Castle with a twist before moving into there own unique design for the rest of the map that would of served the purpose so much better than the constant presence of Legend of Zelda references.
The game unfortunately looks rather ugly as well due to the contrast between the smooth backgrounds and the pixelated sprites of the characters within the game, again the cause of this is laziness by the developers as the sprites have been ripped without enhancement from Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know.

As for the music there isn't much to say, its inoffensive and feels appropriate and upbeat most of the time but you won't be humming it and you'll forget it the moment you close the game.

Summary: Reasonable Zelda Clone that while has charm and is faithful to its source material suffers from poor communication and player feedback regarding objectives and puzzles, clunky controls, lack luster pickups/powerups and finally no autosave with a tendency to crash after cut scenes potentially losing hours of play time.

Thanks to various emulators and the Nintendo store there are far better games available at far cheaper prices.

6.5/10 Do not buy at full £30 price, purchase only with 80% off or more.

If you would like to see further reviews of this game and Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know then I recommend reading the reviewing the following reviews over at the

Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know

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Status Update

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category:

This is just a short update on this months post, unfortunately I've not had use of my pc for nearly a week due to a CPU overheating problem, thankfully its fixed now after replacing my thermal paste but unfortunately I've picked up a nasty stomach bug over the weekend while taking care of a friend who was suffering from it.

There is a good chance that this months article will not be posted until the 29th/30th.

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Losses of the month

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: , ,

In all honesty I have been sitting on this post I have been unable to decide it how to word it having rewritten it both mentally and physically over and over again for the last few days.

Unless you have been completely cut off from any news you will have heard that Terry Pratchett has passed away at the age of 66 due to complications with a chest infection he was suffering from.
While I never had the pleasure of meeting him Mr Pratchetts works have always had a place on my bookshelf and been some of the most influential fantasy novels, whether it was drawing me into the genre as a child, the colourful inventive artworks of Josh Kirby making them stand out from the somewhat bland selection, helping me relax in audio book form as I lay in hospital during my chemotherapy, or driving my creative thoughts and learning through the Science Of Diskworld.

I am not alone in this and over the last week people have come together to say goodbye and remember the great author. I was particularly touched by grantabridge's Terry Pratchett: A Fan's Eulogy whose early experiences very much mirror my own introduction to Diskworld.

In other sad news the Battle Bunker in Lincoln will be shutting down on the 18th of this month.
While the store was doing well enough to cover its own costs the tight profit margin did mean that Ben was covering all the work himself and it was quickly consuming all of his time even after the store was closed.
However Ben will be taking orders and is intending to move the business online.

Here is Bens own post below:

OK, so this announcement is probably going to get fairly long, rambly and mushy so I’ll start with the TL/DR.
As of 19th March, The Battle Bunker will be moving online only; the premises will be passing to Comic Culture. Vouchers and Paid Orders will be honoured as far as possible, but you can come in for full refunds if you feel the need - Comic Culture will honour Battle Bunker Vouchers from the 19th onwards. People who have models stored here for display will be given time to re-claim them. If you’re interested in any of the terrain, shop models, etc., make me an offer.
So with the summary out of the way I’m sure you have many questions, so I’ll tackle them in order of importance:
1. Wuh?!?
2. What does this mean?
3. Why are you leaving, don’t you love us anymore?

1. Wuh?!?
As Karl’s regulars, and a lot of the rest of you will know, the Arcade where Comic Culture is currently located is being closed for long-term refurbishment (I believe they’re planning on turning it into some sort of bar), and the businesses are having to find new locations. As many of you will also know, Comic Culture outgrew the space they were in a long time ago. With these in mind, Karl approached me with an offer to take over the lease of The Battle Bunker’s premises. This allows them to expand, and gives them a larger space they can pretty much just walk straight in to.
From my perspective, I’ve suspected for a while that the dream of running a shop and the reality are streets apart. There are definite appeals to being my own boss, and getting to do what I love every day, but there is no denying that it is an incredible stress and that the job very quickly takes over your entire life. We’ve all seen, or know of, people who get burned out on the hobby when it becomes their job, and I’m glad to say that this arrangement lets me ‘off the hook’ before I stop loving playing with toy soldiers.

2. What does this mean?
In terms of the physical location – Unit 10 The Stonebow Centre – there’s going to be a lot of changes. On the 19th Comic Culture will be moving in, and supplying you with Comics, TCGs, Board Games, etc. exactly as they do now. Unfortunately this does mean that Tabletop Miniature ranges – Warmachine, Warhammer, Malifaux, and the like – will no longer be stocked there, and that there will no longer be dedicated table space to play those games.
The Battle Bunker itself intends to live on. Firstly I will still be open for business up until the 18th, and there will be one final opportunity to order from one of my suppliers – they do Warmachine, Infinity, Malifaux and a couple of others, so I’ll be able to get next week’s Warmachine/Hordes releases. I’ll be looking to work with my current suppliers to see if they are happy with me continuing to operate from a home-office, and with any luck I will still be able to supply a few ranges over the internet or person-to-person. You’ll still be able to contact me here through Facebook, or mobile if you’ve got it. I’ll post updates as I get them about which ranges I’ll still be carrying – I know for certain that Battlefront (Flames of War) and Games Workshop will not, so once my last stock of those are gone, they’re gone.
Logistics-wise, I will do my utmost to fulfil any orders that have already been paid for, but if you would like to cancel outstanding orders in exchange for a full refund, I will accommodate you. Additionally, for those of you with outstanding vouchers, Comic Culture has agreed to honour them from the 19th onwards.
Also, as a mini aside for those of you following it, my “Year of Painting” Challenge is also going to be changing – without store projects to work on, amongst other things, I don’t think I’ve actually got enough unpainted models that I’m likely to use to fulfil it (no, I’m not offering to take on your projects!). I’ll be continuing to work on painting models as I go through the year, and will continue cataloguing my successes on my Facebook page.

3. Why are you leaving, don’t you love us anymore?
Obviously yes my time as full-time employee at the shop has come to a close. The reasons that I decided to accept Karl and Audrey’s offer to take over the lease are many and varied, and it certainly wasn’t an easy decision to reach, but I think the highlights will suffice. Principally, Fun-Ben is starting to approach burn-out; 2 years of planning and preparation, followed by 9 months of near-constant work (because as the owner, things don’t stop just because the doors are locked) is starting to really get to me. It’s been the hardest, and most rewarding, job that I’ve ever done, but as all appearances indicate that I won’t be able to afford an employee, or a break, in the foreseeable future, I needed to do something before it started to affect my love of the hobby.

Finally it’s time for the mushy bit. Running The Battle Bunker has been a massive adventure, and you all have my unending thanks for joining me on it. These past few months have been great, I’ve made some great new friends, and even with all the stress and work, I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. I hope that you’ll all continue to support the shop as it moves forward under new ownership, I know that I will. As for me, once I’m done helping Karl and Audrey take the helm, I’ll probably take a well-deserved, short rest before plunging back into the employment market – and don’t forget I will still aim to trade from my virtual shop and offer my usual good prices.

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