Developer: Double Fine Productions
Release: October 19, 2010
ESRB Rating: E 10+
It's not often you come across holiday themed games. Most of the ones I've come across are simple mini game type games such as Elf Bowling. Costume Quest is a Halloween themed game created by Double Fine Productions.
In Costume Quest you are a young boy named Reynold. You and your twin sister are new to town and your Mother suggests the two of you use Halloween's Trick or Treat tradition to meet the kids in the neighborhood and make new friends. You and your sister obviously are more interested in the candy and being siblings, you really aren't interested in being seen together. Well, too bad. You are embarassed by your sister's Candy Corn Costume. At the 2nd house a Monster answers the door and mistakes your sister as one gigantic piece of candy and quickly runs off with her. He tosses her over a gate and tries to go back to looting houses for candy. This sets the tone of the game from here on out.
Like most RPG games you will meet NPCs, some who will join you on your quest, some who will give you candy, and some who will give you quests to complete for various rewards, including costume patterns. I do use the term RPG loosely though. Costume Quest is more of an Adventure game with RPG elements like experience points for leveling up. You will gain more Hit Points as you level up, but that's about it. Combat is turn based and simple. You do not have an inventory of items to heal yourself, but you do have various costumes that have their own abilities.
The costumes are an interesting twist on the traditional Job Class system that Role Playing Gamers are familiar with. You can collect several costumes during the course of the game, some with unique non-combat abilities such as the speedy roller skate type ability of the Robot costume, the light producing light saber with the Spaceman Costume, the sneaking ability of the Ninja costume and a couple other abilities. Not all costumes have an ability that can be used outside of combat but each one has a different ability in combat.
You can also 'buy' battle stamps from a kid that will boost your combat abilities, such as providing a splash effect that will damage all the monsters you're fighting at the time, more hit points or even a TP stun ability.
There are 3 major areas to explore in the game. Your home neighborhood, a mall and a village. Each area has sub sections that are locked until you complete a quest. The areas are very colorful and while the graphics are not on par with say Call of Duty or Uncharted, there is a simple charm to the graphics. In a way it almost feels like an American anime type cartoon, but it's beautiful in it's own way.
You can expect to play for about 10 hours. There is one DLC expansion pack that might add another 2 hours of gameplay. I managed to pick this little gem up for free via Playstation Plus, but it's price is reasonable for the experience. As a parent I can also recommend this to any parent with young children. It might be rated E 10+, but I think kids as young as 6 or 7 could easily enjoy Costume Quest. Even adults my age or older can enjoy this light hearted adventure.