Adventure Company didn’t click with me right away.
The first couple of missions felt a little too simple, timing attack button presses to hit enemies took a bit of getting used to, and there just wasn’t anything that initially caught my interest.
Then I played a couple more levels. Then a couple more after that. And somewhere along the way, it finally clicked.
Once you stick it out past the first few dull bits, Adventure Company starts to show a lot of that Foursaken Media charm that I’ve come to expect (and look forward to) from these developers over the years. The characters are simple but stylish looking, the humor is goofy, and the first impressions of simplicity quickly give way to reveal a much more involved game than expected. Not to say it’s necessarily an overly-complex game, but there’s definitely more to it than you might think.
Adventure Company all revolves around missions — usually split into multiple parts — that your “adventure company” will have to complete in order to earn money. Because money is pretty much all the boss cares about.
Simply finishing a mission is enough to unlock the next one, with a few more options (such as training and an item shop) opening up fairly early on. Of course the real goal is to complete all of the challenges for each mission in order to get stars that can be used to unlock permanent upgrades that can benefit the entire team. Well, that and ceaselessly farming for experience and gold.
The focus on managing a large group of somewhat interchangeable (at least initially) heroes is actually pretty enjoyable. You want to have as large a team of heroes as possible so that you can complete more missions easier. It sounds like it’d be a grind and kind of boring, but there are actually quite a few systems in place that make it interesting. Each hero can be promoted along a surprisingly expansive job tree, with classes that branch off into several more class branches, which branch off into more and so on. Each class has four skills that unlock as that hero gains experience. You can also assign heroes to training, which will have them steadily gain experience over time whether the game is open or not.
In practice it’s even more enjoyable, with different hero classes teaming up quite well with others. Some classes and abilities can be so beneficial it’s actually a tough call when it comes to promoting them. The best part about it, though, is how experimentation is encouraged. There’s no real penalty for failing a mission (aside from the time spent playing), so you’re free to try all sorts of hero teams and classes. You can even send someone solo on a tough mission to try and earn them extra experience. If they get knocked out, no big deal.
Sometimes the difficulty of a given mission can be tough to discern, though. It’s usually not a huge deal since you can simply retry a mission with a new hero or team, but it can be a little frustrating to fight two-thirds of the way through a three part mission only to get to the end and be blindsided by a particularly tough scenario. Also (and this is really nitpicking), I really wish there were a way to directly compare the stats of items in the shop with what your heroes already have before you buy anything. Again, not a huge problem, but a somewhat irritating one at times.
Whether you’re a shameless Foursaken fan like myself or have never heard of them, Adventure Company is worth a look. It’s accessible but not too simple, free-to-play but not overbearing with it, and it’s just an all-around good time.