WayForward designer Matt Bozon said the team “decided that something like Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link was the common ground”. He added:
“Because of this our top-view areas focus on quests and exploration, and the side view combines combat with platforming.”
From Nintendo Everything
Yet another thing from that WayForward interview featured today:
ND: Was [a top-down game development approach] the case with the Adventure Time video game?
In other words, instead of WayForward's typical work-for-hire games where they have a story, a setting, etc. and design a game around it, here they design the game first, then added the story. Plus, it's being worked closely with the Adventure Time creator himself, who seems cool, I guess. lol.
Voldi: That one was actually very collaborative with [Adventure Time creator] Pendleton Ward because he had been tweeting about game designs forever, you know, like, “Oh I want it to be Zelda meets, you know, whatever,” so that one was very collaborative. And he actually has really good gameplay sensibilities too, you know, but he and Matt Bozon would just go on these sprees where they would just kind of work out what was happening. So yeah, that one’s been pretty fun. I wouldn’t say that one was as bottom-up. That one, he had come up with a story, like the garbage stealing thing, and he probably drew it on a napkin. I don’t know actually. He’s so funny because almost any email he sends there’s a picture attached, like some little sketch of, you know, Finn doing a thumbs up or something.
Way Forward is on a roll today.
Edit: Here are the screenshots from Nintendo Everything.