Costume Quest review

by Alex Morgen on October 24, 2010

in Game Review Bits

Costume Quest (PS3, Xbox 360) screenCostume Quest

Costume Quest

Available for: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
(reviewed on PS3)
Game Developer: Double Fine Productions
Game Publisher: THQ
Release Date: October 20, 2010
Official Website: costumequestgame.com

Review Summary:
Costume Quest offers a charming Halloween-themed action-RPG,  in which kids and grown-ups can enjoy. The dialogue is light-hearted, the comic graphics and animations are a joy to look at, and the ambient audio sets the Halloween atmosphere. There is a bit of repetition to the flow of the game that players will pick up on, but that helps in making Costume Quest an accessible game for any experience and kids ten and up to enjoy. Costume Quest stirs up memories of the fun days of trick or treating. It’s a satisfying treat to the sweet end.


Rating:
4.25 out of 5

Costume Quest review

Double Fine Productions delivers Halloween fun with their downloadable game, Costume Quest. If you want a game to get you into the Halloween spirit, look no further than curling up in a few evenings with Costume Quest. At the onset of the Halloween evening adventure, players have the option to select their lead character, Wren or Reynold. Girl or boy, one sibling will have to rescue the other after being mistaken for a huge candy corn treat and being kidnapped by Grubbins, the goblin-like adversaries in Costume Quest.

There are three main environments in Costume Quest, which include the Auburn Pines Suburbs, Autumn Haven Mall and Fall Valley. Each area has a familiar structure. Clear the area by trick-or-treating on all houses, find a group of hidden kids, play an apple-bobbing mini-game, seek out new costume materials and do a few other tasks along the way. The areas are chock-full of cute Halloween decor and the environmental sounds really set the mood. As players progress into the game, a couple other costumed kids will lend a hand in battles. The kids may look cute in their little cardboard cutouts or homemade garbs, but their imagination powers-up the costumes when encountering enemy Grubbins. One of my favorite costumes was the French Fries costume, which is also used to lure kids with the crackling deep fried sounds and aroma.

[Watch a gameplay video clip below, or here.]

The role-playing game mechanics are pretty rudimentary in Costume Quest. Unexperienced RPG players, don’t let Costume Quest scare you if you’re worried about lots of item management. When players enter battle with the Grubbins or other beasties, up to three characters execute moves in turn-based quick time events. There aren’t any items to use in battle, other than costume abilities that recharge over time, or Battle Stamps that are equipped before the battle. The player’s experience points (XP) gauge, noted by the Smarties-like meter, is filled by winning battles and completing tasks. Candy is the currency of choice in Costume Quest. Lollipops, candy corn and more can be found in chests, on the streets or mailboxes, and, of course, through trick-or-treating. Although players begin with a smaller capacity candy bag, it will be upgraded to a full-on jack o lantern later on.

[Watch a gameplay video clip below, or here.]

The overall difficulty in Costume Quest isn’t too tough. Earning all the Trophies (PS3) or Achievements (Xbox 360) is fairly easy in comparison to most other downloadable games out there. It could take just over five to six hours for more experienced players to fully complete. Costume Quest uses an autosave system. Sometimes that could be a pain in games, but it autosaves fairly frequently so it’s not really an issue (depending on how much you’re getting interrupted).

Costume Quest is a great way to get into the Halloween spirit. Although it is a one-player game, onlookers will easily be entertained by the cute cartoon-like illustrations. Considering the slew of games I’ve played all these years, Costume Quest was the first where my wife said “Aww, how cute,” and sat down to watch me play. That alone is a testament to the broad appeal (and cuteness) of Costume Quest. For older players, there’s a sweet nostalgic experience in reliving trick-or-treating. For younger players, the simple RPG mechanics makes it a manageable and fun game. I definitely recommend Costume Quest for players who want to indulge in Halloween fun without too much frustration.


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