The actual combat is fairly simplistic, taking cues from the Paper Mario series. Each player only has three possible attacks, so don't expect a Final Fantasy-level of depth to the battles. Each attack is met with a short mini-game, inane things like mashing the "A" button. When an enemy attacks, you'll have a chance to block your opponent by pushing the correct button. Learning the timing and each attack's mini-game is essential, but it's all easy enough for pretty much any age group.
The game clocks in at only a couple hours, but there's a lot of good natured comedy keeping things fun along the way. Unlike other Double Fine games, there's no voice acting in Costume Quest. But the game hardly needs it; the writing is witty and full of pop culture references. This may be the only game I've ever seen that can seamlessly go from a Project Runway reference to a nod towards Arrested Development. There are also a lot of great jokes about Halloween itself, which makes this a great game for the holidays (not just this Halloween, but future celebrations as well).
There's nothing about the gameplay that is especially original, but when you put it together with a winning script and likeable characters it's easy to fall in love with Costume Quest. The bite-size RPG elements work extremely well; it feels like a gateway drug to a bigger, deeper adventure game. Even if this doesn't turn new people on to role-playing games, I like the idea of telling a complete story using the trappings of an epic quest game.
Few games capture the spirit of Halloween as well as Costume Quest, which is just one of the many reasons why this game is so easy to recommend. The game has some minor control quirks, but the writing is constantly funny and there's a good sense of pacing. Hopefully this is just the start of many other holiday games, including Christmas Quest, Easter Quest and, of course, Arbor Day Quest.
More On:Costume Quest
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
It's all of the fun and excitement of Halloween told as a traditional turn-based role-playing game. Sound weird? Well, then you aren't familiar with Double Fine, the makers of Brutal Legend and Psychonauts. If you're looking for a great holiday-themed adventure game with laugh out loud funny writing, look no further than Costume Quest!
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