The idea of a Halloween based game doesn’t quickly come to mind. Holiday theme based games more then likely come out being a niche experience. However the devs over at Double Fine have found a way to bring out our inner child in all of us again in Costume Quest. From the minds that bought us Psychonauts and Brutal Legends comes the teams first venture in downloadable games but does it succeed?
First off this isn’t your run in the mill holiday theme’d game. You probably think since its halloween that you’ll go trick or treating and actually that part is true but the game takes you on an adventure of imagination. You start off as one of the twins Wren and Reynold on Halloween night in their suburban home. One becomes in charge of the other while they go trick or treating but something goes horribly wrong. While visiting houses your twin (the one you don’t choose) is mistaken for a large piece of candy and is kidnapped by a monster who takes them to headquarters. With the help of some friends from the Suburbs and Mall you encounter along the way, it becomes your duty to go save them.
The game is an RPG and the battle system is simple enough but you might be scratching your head wondering how they fight monsters? Well with the power of imagination the group can turn what looks to be a plastic costume with a sword, into a full fledge 20 feet tall fighter. Costumes can be collected throughout the game for different fighters and attributes. Each costume also has an ability outside of battle that can be used, for example the robot suit gives you the ability to skate fast, while the knight will use his shield to protect you from rain. Customization options are not something you will get in this game as leveling up will only increase HP and power, while items can only be equipped one at a time by the way of Sadie’s Stamp Stand.
Visually the game has a great cartoonish flair in a 3D atmosphere. Colors pop, nothing takes its self serious and the battle animations are a good time. The special moves in battle are also worth mentioning, with the robot firing all missiles and the statue of liberty using its healing abilities, its the best animation in the game. Collecting items and costumes is enjoyable however the game only spans across three areas and feels very short. Once you explore the suburbs, mall, and countryside you think you have a full grasp on the game and are ready to take it to its heels but then its over. We weren’t particularly fond of the auto-save feature as well as impulse savers and collectors will have to find the next part of a mission or item quest for an auto-save to kick in.
Costume Quest is a really good time and we’re surprised it didn’t get more of a buzz upon its release. The game is funny, has a fun battle system, decent story and is cute as hell to look at. While the price tag of 1200 MS points on Xbox live arcade or $15 on PSN seems a bit high for the short adventure its still something to experience as we would love more in the future. Everyone should definitely try this game out.
Overall = 8.2