The upcoming Adventure Time video game for the aging Nintendo DS won’t be the typical licensed shovelware we usually see late in a console’s life cycle. What makes me so certain? Well, for starters, the stellar WayForward Technologies is handling development duties. If the studio’s track record is any indicator, heroes Finn and Jake from the hit Cartoon Network show, along with the rest of AT’s post-apocalyptic world and offbeat cast, will make the transition into the video game realm just fine.
WayForward has shown that it knows how to make solid 2D platformers for handheld consoles. It developed the critically acclaimed Shantae, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge, and Contra 4. Its proficiency also shows in the recent Mighty Switch Force for the 3DS. Though we don’t yet know what genre the studio is planning for this AT title, I can’t see it ending up anything like the crap associated with so many other cartoon-based games on the DS.
Show creator Pen Ward revealed some interesting and encouraging information about the project through a handful of silly drawings he posted on his Twitter account. He made it clear that the title was going to be for the DS and not the 3DS. I imagine the justification for releasing the game on the best-selling handheld console to date instead of its younger, technologically superior successor is obvious. It’s the same reason (why we presume) Nintendo is doing the same with Pokémon Black Version 2 and White Version 2: to reach the widest audience and maximize sales. Plus, the 3DS is backwards compatible, anyway.
Though WayForward developing the AT game for an older system doesn’t really determine the finish product’s quality, to me, it at least says that they’re putting some decent thought into its development. Conventional market wisdom says to port a title based on a mega-popular franchise to as many platforms as possible and tack on 3D elements whenever applicable. To go against that seems like a refreshing focus on and commitment to the title’s gameplay…or maybe it’s just to save money on the development costs.
Either way, Ward will be heavily involved in the design of the game. “I’m going to be working so closely with WayForward Technologies…I’m gonna be working so so close to them…and also with them,” he wrote in his artistic announcement. “You will be playing my mind on your DS.” As weird as that sounds, this bizarre declaration should come as exhilarating news for Adventure Time fans. It’s reassurance that, regardless of what kind of game WayForward ends up creating, it’ll definitely do the quirky show justice. Mathematical!