Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux, XBox 360, PS3, iOS, Android
As someone who’s long been obsessed with Psychonauts, and by extension, Double Fine Productions, as well as loving Halloween in general, Costume Quest brings me a whole lot of joy. It’s a short story about family, friendship, grand adventure, costumes, and trick or treating. It’s not a great game – it’s not even close to a great game, if we’re being completely honest – but it is a game that will make you smile.
It’s player’s choice if you want to play as Reynold or as Wren – whichever you choose makes no matter to the progression of the story. While out trick or treating, your sibling gets mistaken for a giant candy corn (and yes, you said that was an awful costume) and kidnapped by a monster who thinks he hit the jackpot when he found a giant, talking, wiggling candy. In order to rescue your sibling, you must scour the neighborhood for costume parts and candy, with quite a few quests that need doing along the way.
In case you haven’t guessed, Costume Quest isn’t a terribly serious game. It takes a lot of elements of a point-n-click adventure game, adds a dollop of simplistic combat, a whole bunch of collectibles, and just a whiff of RPG elements. The result is as messy as it sounds. If you haven’t come to the party for the art and wit, you’re probably at the wrong party. It’d be a kindness to call the controls clunky, and there’s no easy way to keep track of where you have and haven’t been, which can make looking for that last costume part you need to open up the next area exceptionally tedious.
Still, it’s a game I’ve played to completion* once, and have come back to a few times since. Once I readjust to the initial awkwardness, I get sucked in every time. Costume Quest is absolutely guilty of trying too hard, but it still manages to be a very playable and pretty fun romp, but there’s very little challenge here, even if you want to go full completionist. The main story will only take a few hours, and the bonus chapter even less, but the game is of an age now where it goes on sale fairly frequently.
*By playing to completion, I mean I’ve gone through the main story – I usually have had my Costume Quest fill at that point, and still haven’t touched the bonus chapter.