Rock Bandits: Adventure Time iPad Review
At first, we thought Cartoon Network's Rock Bandits: Adventure Time was an endless runner starring heroes Finn and Jake, but it's actually a 2D side scrolling game that gives players full control, with options to change direction, stop, jump and attack through a variety of different locales set within the Land of Ooo. Considering the impressive number of characters that make appearances and original comic from Adventure Time writer Ryan North and artist Shelli Paroline, fans will find a lot to like, though on the negative side, poorly-implemented controls partially ruin what is an otherwise solid adventure.
To be fair, we can't blame the developers for trying something different. Instead of going with the expected virtual d-pad/analog stick and buttons, they chose gesture controls. To move Finn left or right, for instance, you swipe in those directions, while slashing enemies is the best way to fight back. Meanwhile, gamers can swipe left/right to instruct Jake to pulverize objects using his stretchy fist.
Not a bad idea. Unfortunately, you must swipe directly underneath Finn to make him move, which puts your hand partially in the way. Not only that, but the game will sometimes misread commands by jumping when you intended to do something else; the action also moves a bit slow, we're afraid. We never thought it would come to this, but Rock Bandit's controls had us wishing for that analog stick.
Beyond that, the game plays similar to classic adventure efforts from the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. It's all about traveling from one side of the stage to the other, slashing bad guys, avoiding hazards and gathering collectibles, which you then give to the blacksmith to create different swords that as far as we can tell are just for show. The presentation is where the game shines most, thanks to the aforementioned comic, original story involving the Ice King and his own twisted rock band and a variety of familiar faces. In the end, it's a good game, just not a great one, and the option to fix the controls now falls on Cartoon Network's broad shoulders. Add just one more control scheme, and Rock Bandits: Adventure Time may become more appealing. For now, it's just fan service.
What's Hot:Twenty unique and detailed levels, collecting trinkets to forge new swords, original Adventure Time comic and story.
What's Not:Sloppy controls.