Saturday, May 16, 2015

VGR Hey Ice King! Why'd you steal our garbage?!!

After several smartphone games, we finally got our first proper console Adventure Time video game!

This first title is an action RPG in the style of Zelda 2!

You know what time is it? It's ADVENTURE TIME!!

VGR: Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd you steal our garbage?!! or simply Hey Ice King why'd you steal our garbage?
From WayForward Technologies/D3 Publisher/Bandai Namco Games/Cartoon Network Interactive
Played on Nintendo DS
Also available on 3DS

Type Sidescroller Adventure/Action-RPG/Platformer
Year 2012 

The first game ever based on the worldwide-popular Adventure Time Cartoon Network series!

Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!! was developed by the great 2D developer WayForward Technologies (Shantae, Might Switch Force) exclusively for the Nintendo DS and 3DS. It was released in 2012.

The game is essentially the same on both systems. A part from slightly better visuals and sound on the 3DS (but it was basically developed the exact same on for the two handhelds).

The only real difference when it comes to choice is which system you own.

In my case I absolutely wanted to grab a copy of the Collector's Edition. And those were only available in the US. And since I live in Europe and only the DS is region free, my choice was quickly made.

What is this collector I speak of?

It was a special steelbook case designed in the form of the Enchiridion book that conatined the regular game, as well as a bunch of other goodies.

Amongst which,

A "Book of Beasts" containing every single creature of the game along their names, pixel art, HP data and a few informative tidbits.


A mini-map poster of the Land of Ooo as seen in this game. Which was actually pretty useful near the beginning of the game (even though the game itself contains the same map as well), which was also great for a quick glimpse when backtracking for some last-minute later quests, looking for specific spots in the world of Ooo.

Hey Ice King! Why'd you steal our garbage?!! was specially crafted by series creator Pendleton Ward, who worked directly with WayForward Technologies on this game.

Adventure Time has always been entirely in his hands. So he had a very clear and precise vision for the game.

He is responsible for the story and gameplay of this this game and even offered some introduction doodles to accompany this game on his twitter account narrating the opening of the story.

The game begins at Finn and Jake's treehouse, when one day they notice someone stole all their trash...

Turns out the Ice King is behind all this! As usual (specially in the earlier seasons of the show).

IK stole all this junk to build his very own "Garbage Princess"! And now he wants Finn and Jake to fight through these different dungeons to save these garbage princesses.

Our heroes don't want to do that at first, but once they notice all the trouble IK cause through Ooo - he even strapped all kinds of weapons on innocent animals to provide enemies and bosses for the most mathematical duo in Ooo - Finn and Jake are then forced to kick his butt.

The quest takes our heroes all over Ooo, from the Grass Lands to the Candy Kingdom, until they finally reach the Ice Kingdom!

Several familiar faces pop up during the adventure. Such as Princess Bubblegum, Marceline, Peppermint Butler, the Snow Golem, Lumpy Space Princess or even the Cosmic Owl. Some will need Finn's help, but Finn might have to face some of the others...

It's a fun humorous adventure, with a ton to do, several fights through Ooo and many quests to solve.

But don't expect to see the game pack too much, since it was made earlier in the show's life. It was released in 2012, so it only takes from Seasons 1-3 of the show. Characters like Flame Princess seem to have been quickly added late in the production to try to follow the rapid developments of the series (the Flame Kingdom is basically absent from the game aside from a single screen).

Hey Ice King! Why'd you steal our garbage?!! is an Action-RPG. Think much of the same style of the original Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

When exploring the overworld map the game is seen from a top-down view where enemies will often pop up around you. Then once you enter towns, fights and dungeons the game switches to a sidescroller action perspective.

Finn starts the game by using punches but soon you find your first sword and can start slashing your foes. Finn takes Jake inside his backpack on this journey. Jake will unlock all kinds of new stretchy abilities as he learns those new moves. You get all sorts of useful upgrades through the game like Finn's stats or Jake's power-ups. Such as an ear-shield, turning Jake into a bridge and many more...

The game is basically a collection of fetching and trading quests, just like the Zelda series.

Talking to non-playable character they will often give you a set of missions to accomplish, a bunch of stuff to find or collect through Ooo.

The second bottom screen will display BMO. BMO will keep track of the various quest items and various helpful items you find during fights - all based around iconic items from the cartoon.

You can also combine various food items to upgrade their health regenerative stats. Want to make the hot dog more useful to your health? Add some ketchup! A couple of character will also offer you super-combined items, like Tree Trunks can cook a few apples into a pie.

This treasure inventory will quickly get full. But it's natural. For most game you will have your inventory full, but you will soon use all that up once you enter a more challenging dungeon.

The game doesn't really hand you by the hand, there's no real help system, and you have to figure things out by yourself. But it's not that difficult and always comes pretty natural. 

There's only a brief tutorial at the start which consists in Finn and Jake smashing stuff around for fun.

The game is pretty accessible to most players.

There's lots of inside jokes. WayForward created this game with a lot of love and attention to the details to make the experience authentic to the show! 

The world is huge, even if it's pretty small compared to both the show and other similar games.

The game has a pretty simple storyline, but excellent writing just like the cartoon series. 

Adventure Time: HIKWYSOG has a fantastic old school vibe. It really reminded me of old NES-style adventure games.

Where the game really shines is how funny it is. 

The game is full of references, mostly to The Legend of Zelda series through this adventure. There's also a bunch of other allusions to other classic retro games (just see the final surprise boss!).

A lot of care was put into the details to make this a faithful recreation of the world of Adventure Time. From the way they have Tree Trunks combine apples to make apple pies for you to the quick appearances of the Party God or Wildberry Princess. I also liked how they integrated save points into the game by using these Water Nymphs

(There's also a quick reference to Fionna, Cake and the Ice Queen after the credits!)

The story suits the show. 

The game might feel a bit short. Despite the numerous quests and all the backtracking the game has you do near the end, it feels a bit short in the long run.

But I found it was long enough by handheld games standard. I just wish it was a bit longer, but that might have been asking a bit much from it.

There are a couple of additional quests you can miss and hidden power-ups to complete the game at 100%.

Once you finish the game you unlock a New Game+, but it is basically the same experience slightly more challenging.

The game has a great humor and retro charm. The controls are easy to grasp.

Hey Ice King! Why'd you steal our garbage?!! is a very funny and goofy adventure. It does a really great job at translating the unique tone and humor of the show into a game. 

The game looks pretty nicely graphic-wise, and the controls are simple but smooth.

There's no huge difference between the upgraded 3DS or the plain regular DS. In both cases it's a great experience with many fun surprises.

There's a lot of exploration in this big overworld, looking into every corner for missing items and new abilities to complete all these dungeons the Ice King has waiting for you. And you even get to interact with the likes of Lemongrab! 

Mixing items isn't that greatly implemented into the game, but it's a nice plus to look into.

The music was specially nice. It was composed by WayForward veteran Jake Kaufman. The game has such a great sound design. He composed a lot of original songs for the game and did a couple of arrangements such as a remixed extended opening theme song. The game features all kinds of great catchy tunes from 8-bit-style chiptunes to a couple of rock songs in true spirit of the source material! 

Overall, Hey Ice King! Why'd you steal our garbage?!! is a great game. A totally algebraic adventure!

The perfect type of game for Adventure Time, combining a focus on dialogues, quest-solving, adventuring and fights.

Adventure Time: HIKWYSOG works as a nice complement to the show. It's far from perfect, but it does get the nature of the show. It's a bit on the short side, but it was such a fun experience!

Highly Recommended if you're a fan of the show or just looking for an old school gaming experience!
I give it:
2.5 / 3 Murrays!


  1. I'm totally going to gt this game. Thanks for the review.

    1. Awesome!^^

      Sadly the next 2 AT games aren't exactly that great... (but they're not bad either)

    2. You gonna review them as well?

    3. Yeah, I plan to review all of these AT games, just like I plan to keep reviewing the comics once in a while.