The whole game is a reference to the Legend of Zelda Series, mainly Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. While exploring the world it is in an over-head view, and while exploring dungeons and towns it is in a side-scrolling view just like in Zelda II.

Not only that but when exploring the world map, random shadow monsters appear and you would have to fight a few enemies and get a reward. If you go into the first dungeon without Finn's golden sword Jake will say "Hey man... It's dangerous to go alone!" In which Finn replies "What?! We're both here!" Then Jake proceeds to say "Naw dude... What I mean is, this place is dangerous to enter without finding your sword first! I'm sure you'll find her soon!" Which is references the iconic phrase from the original Legend of Zelda.
Contributed by Charlie