Adventure Time: Pirates of Enchiridion Nintendo Switch First Impressions: A Passionate Title That Feels Rushed

GameAdventure Time: Pirates of Enchiridion

Publisher:  Outright Games

Developer:  Climax Studios

Reviewed: Nintendo Switch

Adventure Time is one of the biggest cartoons of this generation. It has funny and zany characters, the crazy world of Oooo and our loveable heroes Finn and Jake create one of the best cartoons for children as well as adults. It’s a special show, with many quirky sayings, character designs, and locations so you would think this would make a perfect video game scenario, right? Well, you’re right. It’s perfect, however, there have been so many attempts at making Adventure Time games that, honestly, I became quite stale when hearing another one was announced.

However, Adventure Time: Pirates of Enchiridion is one of the best, if not THE best, Adventure Time games ever made. The art style is on point, the voice actors are those of the show, and the humor is so funny you will actually laugh out loud. Its a true testament to the work developer Climax Studios put into the game. It shows from the very first minute of the game, but I can’t help but scratch the itch that this game was rushed.

Like I mentioned above, this could be the best Adventure Time game of all time, but that’s not saying too much. In the past, we received some pretty good titles from the series, but for the most part, they were sub-par. Pirates of the Enchiridion manages to make the best of the show and mash it into a video game form. We will get into more of the issues the game faces in a minute, but let’s first look at the features this game has to offer for the better.

Not knowing how this game would play due to the lack of press release prior to the launch of the game, I had no idea this would be a turn-based RPG-esque title. It actually blew me away the first time we encountered a battle. I was thrilled to see it was turn-based because when the game first opens up, the movements and action buttons feel sort of not quite done if that makes any sense. To be brutally honest it felt more like an early alpha/beta gameplay. But once the turn-based combat popped up, the game was instantly better. Each character has there own set of moves, specials, and inventory to level themselves up.

Pirates of Enchiridion is not just a one surface game; its multi-surfaced. There’s a progression system, stuff to buy from the shop, and special finshers that require the player to think strategically. The game doesn’t make you think too much as it is fairly easy to play. Another huge part of this game involves the boat gameplay. Let’s give a brief summary of what the game is about to bring you up to speed: The land of Ooo has been melted thanks to the Ice Kings freezing power. Something has gone wrong and now Ooo is flooded, it’s up to Finn and Jake to jump into a boat and figure out what’s wrong.

Players will explore the Ice Kingdom, Candy Kingdom, and the Fire Kingdom. If you’re a fan of the show, you will get a kick out of exploring the different Kingdoms for yourself in video game format. Taking the boat from Kingdom to Kingdom is pretty fun for the most part. Finn will steer the boat, Jake will collect items along the way, Marceline arms the canon, and BMO navigates. Everyone has a job to do, and thanks to the great writing, Finn and Jake will partake in plenty of sea shanties that will have players laughing out loud. However, that is where most of the fun stops and the struggles begin.

As good as Pirates of Enchiridion is, most of the good work gets tossed out the window when the main issues of the game start popping in. It’s a shame too because the game is literally half there — it looks like the show only in video game form, true to the source material, and has a decently intriguing story. However, the loading screens/wait time, glitches in the combat, and the automatic restarts are the games biggest offenders.

There will be times that you will be exploring the Land of Ooo by boat and a loading screen would pop up to load in the next section of the map, sometimes it makes sense since we’re going into a new area, but when it loads when we’re not going into a new section it starts to get questionable. In addition to that, the load screens from whether dying in battle or traveling by boat, the load time could take up to 2 minutes long. It was to the point that I thought I had to reset the game or something. It was concerningly long. This makes dying in battle 10x worse.

I wouldn’t mind dying if I made a stupid mistake and load up the battle again from the start, but now make me sit for 2 minutes then restart the battle from the beginning, I will want to walk away from the game altogether. It’s very frustrating, especially when this leads into the next issue. The enemies, at least in my experience, aren’t following any strict format of attack. Usually, there’s an ordered numbered to who goes next. There has been more than a handful of times that the enemy will keep attacking until he kills all of us. I’m sitting there saying” Ok why are they all attacking us when it should be one of my character’s turn to attack”. This illogical system causes a death which then leads me to sit for a 2 minute loading time. It even gets worse, now sometimes you will finish the fight, there’s one boss in particular, and the game will glitch out and you’ll be stuck waiting for the ending of the battle to happen. But it won’t come, you’re stuck and will have to start the game and begin the fight all over.

Side note — the checkpoints in this game are also pretty bad. You will complete a whole section, die at a battle and will be required to finish the same mundane task over.

The last main offender, from above was the automatic restarts/ shutdown of the game. Not sure why it shuts down or restarts randomly but it definitely is a problem. I’ve only had it happen a handful of times, but when it happens, it was infuriating. Hopefully, a patch can ease this problem soon enough. Besides that, the frame rate is slightly choppy in certain areas, resolution looks better in handheld due to the smaller screen, and the animation for the voices does not synch up with the characters. These a minuscule problems, but nonetheless problems. Pirates of Enchiridion has its fair share of problems that is for sure, I can’t confirm the same issues on other consoles, but the Switch is in sort of rough shape.

Adventure Time: Pirates of Enchiridion is for the hardcore Adventure Time fans. If you like the show and watch it more than just casually then you will be able to look over the problems the game is faced with. If you’re a semi-fan with not much love for the show, I would say wait for a price drop and a couple of more patches to release before jumping into the game. The turn-based combat, the witty writing, and the overall story are all great when talking about this game, but it starts to struggle on the technical standpoint.

Frame rate issues, dialogue synch ups, bugs that restart the game, load times, and plenty more issues plague this title. It’s a true shame as well because this game could have been the definitive Adventure Time game. You could tell the team cared and it showed like I said from the opening minutes. But leading up to its launch, no trailers, developer updates, or even many images besides the stock photos were released. They were enough to hype me up for what could’ve been an amazing game, but it turned out to be just a good game, some would even argue just passable.

The game feels rushed, there’s no question about it. Given if the developers had a little more time with the game, we could’ve been seeing a different outcome. Like I said before, its fun enough for those who love Adventure Time, but for those who don’t hold out for a little while longer.

What do you think of the latest Adventure Time Game? Was is passable for your playing pleasure or was it not as polished as you would have liked? Let us know what you think about the game in the comments below!

Full Disclosure: A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for purposes of this review.