Costume Quest is a game that I played for two of my marathons: It’s letter C for the A-Z Marathon, and also the first game that came up for my Steam Recommendations, recommended to me back Backloggery users Parkingtigers and Slayn_Bacon.
Costume Quest is a game best played during Halloween. It’s not a scary game in the least… but obviously, the game is simply just the spirit of Halloween, at least from the mind of a possibly deranged child. The main character’s twin brother/sister (you pick which one you play as at the beginning of the game) was kidnapped by an odd troll… ogre… thing for looking like a piece of oversized candy, and it’s up to you and the friends you make on the hallowed night to save them. It’s simple, it’s cute, and it gets the job as a motivator done.
Double Fine’s costume filled game is an RPG; you run into the various monsters, and fight them in turn based combat. The combat is over the top (have you seen the transformations?) and is command based in the sense of trying to preform an action for increased damage, or tapping the button at the right time to lessen a hit. To be honest, it feels unbalanced, if only because of how you get your party members. You start with just yourself, and when you’re fighting more than one enemy, you can feel yourself getting overwhelmed quickly. When you get your second party member, things feel more balanced, but some enemy formations can easily wreck you. However, when you get the final member, all normal battles become far too easy, with only the boss battle at the end of the game able to provide a challenge. This imbalance makes battles either a chore or a bore after a while.
However, what the game lacks in refinement with the battle system it makes up for with its presentation and atmosphere. You never doubt that this is a Halloween game, and going around trick-or-treating and collecting candy to trade in for battle badges is pretty neat. The few sidequests on offer fit the mood of either Halloween or the general playfulness of being a kid, too. The game itself doesn’t last too long, either: I finished everything but the DLC in seven hours, and the experience stayed just long enough without getting stale.
So, like I said, Costume Quest is best played when you’re in the Halloween spirit; it’s simply a perfect non-horror game for the time. Even without playing it during the end of October, though, it’s still a solid game, even if some things can grate the nerves. It’s not the next Psychonauts, mind you, but still a good game from Double Fine.