Love them or hate them, there is something the American people do better than anywhere else in the world, Halloween. Every year we encounter a plethora of TV specials which give us a small glimpse into the seriousness the Americans show this amazing time of year.
We are all aware of the streets being filled with children draped in cardboard boxes, bin liners and tin foil, the bullies looking to steal the loot from the weaker and smaller kids and the teenage parties where someone inevitably says ‘I’ll be right back’ and ultimately is found strewn across the lawn in pieces.
Apart from the dismembered corpse on the lawn, Costume Quest, captures this atmosphere perfectly. You start in your parents living room and depending who you choose, you are put in charge of the well being of your only sibling.
As we all know this always goes to plan. . . Yep you have guessed it, your brother/sister is kidnapped after being mistaken for a large piece of living candy (The enemies aren’t too bright). After valiantly trying to fight your siblings captors, your costume is removed and scattered about the suburbs of ‘Auburn Pines’.
‘Auburn Pines’ is your typical American suburb (with added monsters!). Houses are decorated with Jack ‘o Lanterns, plastic skeletons and cobwebs. Gangs of children tussle for territory and the adults are dressed to scare unsuspecting trick or treaters.
The gameplay involves knocking on doors and collecting candy before the ‘Grubbins’ , one of the games many enemies, steal it. The ‘Grubbins’ need the candy for their leader, Dorsilla the Witch.
Whilst knocking on doors proves to be a game of roulette it is in no way a chore. You are greeted by either a candy-giving adult or a ‘Grubbin’, The latter will force you into battle but luckily for us this is the best part of the game and a true show of the genius that ‘Double Fine studios’ possess.
Your costume changes from tin foil and cardboard into a fully realized robot, just one of several costumes gained during your adventure. Initially alone, you are tasked with defeating your enemies using a singular quick time event (QTE) per attack. After a few rounds you will have charged your special ability providing some much needed destruction.
Fighting gains you experience points which takes your level up as seen in traditional role playing games. Although it is capped at level 10 the level system works well. To help you further you can buy and win ‘Battle Stamps’. These are modifiers which help could increase your attack, raise your HP or help you evade enemy attacks more often.
Although simple, Costume quest is a lot of fun. It has a charm rarely seen in games of this generation. It makes you want to continue (I almost finished it in one sitting) and want even more when it is over. You will pick up friends along the way which really mixes up the battles as you work out which costume and badge is needed for each person.
It is available now on PSN priced at £8.99 or Free if you a Playstation Plus Subscriber.
Let us know what you think, was this a real treat or do you feel you have been tricked?