Timmo Tuesdays: a review of Costume Quest
In an era where the turn-based rpg is becoming an endangered species, Costume Quest is a silly, entertaining, and casual turn-based game. Double Fine Productions (headed by videogame legend Tim Schafer) made this neat little Halloween romp for pc and consoles. You lead around a band of kids whose costumes allow them to transform into zany surreal monstrosities to wage battle against evil for the pursuit of candy (and saving the day).
Most of your time in this game will be spent trick-or-treating around malls and neighborhoods, swinging your pail around to smash candy-filled objects and collect your sparkly rewards. Many costumes have powers you can use while walking around, such as avoiding dangerous terrain or becoming invisible. Your searching and sidequesting is well rewarded with pieces of costumes for you to make new crazy allies.
When bumping into an enemy the screen shifts to a turn-based encounter with simple rpg mechanics. Attacks deal bonus damage for doing things such as pressing a button once at the right time or pressing a button rapidly. And each costume has its own special attack that can be used when the candy meter fills up after a few turns. Each character can equip a “battle stamp”, which adds some customization to your party. Some stamps give you usable actions, such as throwing eggs at an enemy to make them lose turns. The pc version comes packaged with a dlc pack which adds a chapter to the game along with battle stamps and new costumes.
- lots of humor and cultural references
- costumes are fun to collect, and visually ridicu-awesome (a word I had to invent to describe the costume images)
- Easy to pick the game back up after a long break, because its casual, and has a thorough quest log.
- combat is quick and fun and can be strategic with elements such as damge-over-time.
- combat is very simple despite bits of strategy, and can border on tedious.
- music is very sparse (I can forgive this because its better than having really bad music, and if they had more of a budget im sure thered be alot more sounds in general)
- terrains can start to feel same-y, but they do mix it up well at intervals.
- Game is on the short side, roughly 10 hours of entertainment in total.
Bottom line: I had fun. The quirky humor, the Zelda-like exploration, a big variety of awesome looking costumes, with a sprinkle of strategy and customization… made playing well worth it. I’d love to see a sequel with more depth all around, because the idea has all kinds of potential. If I had to place score on the game, I’d give it 8/10. lots of treat, little trick. (original pun i am sure)