When you were a kid, everything was left up to your imagination. You could turn a couple of chairs and bed sheets into a fort. That old blanket of yours could become a cape with magical powers, and that lamp in your room was just a lamp until you turned off the lights and it became the boogeyman. Well, imagine that in a video game about Halloween night and you have Costume Quest.
You play as either Wren or Reynold, two twin brother and sister kids getting ready to go trick or treating around your neighborhood. You choose who you want to play as at the beginning. The other twin, mistaken for a big piece of candy, gets kidnapped by monsters who are trying to gather all the candy up in the area for their boss. Now it’s up to you and your friends to get your twin back, get as much candy as possible, and complete quests all before bedtime.
The game centers on a turn-based RPG combat system. Each costume you find and equip will give you different stats and abilities. So, let’s say you dress up as a knight for Halloween. When in combat, you turn into a giant knight in shining armor with a high defense and a support ability to boost a party member’s defense. Same goes for the robot costume. You turn into a Gundam-looking mech with high attack power and the ability to fire rockets that damage all the enemies as well as set them on fire for turn damage. When in battle, there is a small quick time event that takes place right before you hit an enemy and right before an enemy hits you. If you get the quick time event right, you can increase the damage your attack will do as well as decrease the amount of damage you would take from enemy attacks.
The game is called Costume Quest, so you can expect a lot of quests to do. Right you are. There are a ton of quests that range from bobbing for apples, trick-or-treating a number of houses, finding kids in a hide-and-go-seek game, and collecting trading cards for other kids. There are three areas of the game and each one has their own unique quests to tasks and complete. You will also get patterns for newer costumes that you can use. You have to find all the materials for the costume. That could be by completing a quest, or finding them in treasure chests throughout the over world. There are a ton of costumes to collect, each with their own unique style and abilities.
One of the really cool things are the combat stamps. You can buy combat stamps with your candy from a girl in town. You can place one stamp on each party member to alter their combat abilities. Some stamps increase your overall HP or attack; some add a stun effect to your attacks, and so on and so forth. You can also get unique and helpful stamps by completing certain quests.
The presentation is great. Double Fine have a way of creating interesting and comical games. This one is no different. The dialog is clever and thought out. The only problem is that there is no voice acting. You have to read the entire dialog which can sometimes scroll a little too fast so I miss the last half of a sentence. It’s not a major problem, but it can be annoying if you really want to get into the story. The music is a stand out for me. It has a hint of horror sounds mixed with almost childish ambience that just fits perfectly with the game.
The only thing I can really tell you that was a bit of a downer for me was the fact that the combat was just too easy. I only “died” once during the game, and that was at the final boss. Then again, this is one of those games that I think a dad and their child could sit down together and have a great time with the kid still understanding how to play. The game is somewhat short. With three different areas to explore and a ton of side quests and costumes to complete, you’ll still finish this game in around 4 to 5 hours, but I still feel that the game has so much going for it that you’ll be having a blast the entire time you play.
Games like Costume Quest are a breath of fresh air in a sea of FPS’s and hardcore RPG’s. I welcome any more games like this. Yes, the game play is simple, and the play time is rather short, but the entire time I was playing I had a smile on my face. The game just has so much charm. The intelligent dialog and unique presentation really make this game stand out. For $15, you can definitely do a lot worse. I say drop the money on it if you like quest completion games as well as turned-based RPG’s. Even if you’re not, this game may turn you into a RPG player.
Review copy provided by publisher.