Costume Quest First Look

Trick-or-treating with transforming Halloween costumes should be the only way to tackle the scariest night of the year.

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From the minds of the developers over at Double Fine comes the role-playing game Costume Quest, one of several downloadable titles that the studio is working on. President and CEO Tim Schafer and project lead Tasha Harris stopped by the GameSpot office to show off their first game about a brother and sister who must rid the city of candy-stealing monsters. The charming art style and hilarious interaction between the siblings make this game ideal for just about anyone. Regardless of whether or not Halloween is your favorite holiday of the year, nothing beats transforming into a giant robot when all you had on was a cardboard box accented with tinfoil.

The demo began with mom and dad (mostly mom) lecturing the identical twins Wren and Reynold about making friends on Halloween and trick-or-treating together--what loving siblings should do. These twins don't have that kind of relationship, however. So after much fuss and girly slapping, you then point (with mom's finger) and choose which character you want to play as. The story will unfold the same way no matter whom you pick, so in this case, we chose Reynold. As the main character, you'll get the cool robot costume, whereas Wren had to sport the candy corn outfit that was probably crafted out of a trash bag. Her bitterness shows, as she tags along and finds ways to annoy Reynold as much as possible while they're out trick-or-treating.

The core mechanic of the game involves going house to house, snagging candy from friendly homes that still have their light on, and fighting monsters in the not-so friendly ones. Some candy-loving creatures have infiltrated the neighborhood and want to clear out all the houses of sweets. However, before we make it past the second house, Wren is snatched by a hideous goblin that mistakes her for a tasty bonbon and tosses her over a locked gate. Reynold decides to go after her, primarily because he's worried about getting grounded. He runs into an evil witch named Dorsilla and gets his robot costume taken away. But with the help of a black cat, he finds a pattern shortly after and is able to piece together a new costume after rummaging up some supplies. You'll collect multiple costumes throughout the game, and with the right pattern and materials, you'll magically have a new costume to put on and use to fend off foul beasts.

When you're not running around town knocking on doors, you'll likely be fighting in one of your various high-performance costumes. In battle, you automatically transform into a much cooler version of whatever it is that you're wearing. So in this case, Reynold transformed into a towering Gundam-like robot armed with heavy artillery. The battles are turn-based, and you use the X and B buttons to attack, and once you've charged up your special attack, you can unleash it with the Y button. A bar appears when you attack, which is like a minigame. If you can hit the A button as the cursor moves over the indicated spot, you'll be able to do a critical attack. The same applies when you're on the defensive, so you can take less damage.

Your costume also comes with benefits when you're out trick-or-treating. For example, the robot costume comes with wheelie skates, so you can zip along the streets much faster than you normally would, as well as launch yourself off ramps to explore new areas. Whenever an icon appears, you can use your candy pail to bash things like dumpsters and trash cans, and you can smash pumpkins and basically rummage through anything that would yield candy, the game's currency. Treasure coffins are strewn about and contain helpful items like the quest pieces needed to complete a new costume. Every quest that you undertake is logged in your notebook, and it keeps track of what's active, what's new, and what you may have missed.

This is when a dragon costume would come in handy.

Before our demo ended, Reynold approached a bully who was trying to steal candy from a small boy named Everett. By outrunning the bully Travis with his wheelie skates, Reynold was able to save Everett from having to return home without any treats. You'll run into plenty of interesting characters in the streets, including adults who never offer anything useful. It would be in your best interest to explore and talk to everyone, because with Schafer penning the script, it's hard not to laugh. The look and feel of the game also change as you play, because one minute you'll be exploring the cartoon-like suburban neighborhood and interacting with other cute wide-eyed children, but the next minute you'll be brought into a battle that's like an intense comic-book fight scene. Your enemies are more ferocious looking, and you're obviously much more intimidating--so it works out.

We're looking forward to seeing more of Costume Quest, as it is scheduled to be released in the fall time frame on the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. Stay tuned for more updates.

Discussion

30 comments
UdderJuice
UdderJuice

@ bballer343, I'm not sure what you are talking about. This game looks quite charming. Brutal Legend is an awesome game. Stick to Gear of War, buddy.

bballer343
bballer343

this looks like total crap the only good game double fine ever made was psychonauts

QtrArt
QtrArt

i love chibi Game i like it one of my best game

matt_hargett
matt_hargett

I simply can't wait to play this. My only wish is it had a local co-op mode of some sort. My husband and I loved Grabbed by the Ghoulies on Xbox, and this looks to scratch the same itch. If the music is anything like a mash-up of Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Psychonauts, and Brutal Legend, the soundtrack CD will also be an immediate purchase. I'd really like to see the online RTS portion of Brutal Legend make it onto PSN as a separate downloadable game. It's such a great online experience (like the Ghostbusters co-op), there just needs to be more folks online to play it!

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

I wasn't interested until I saw the first trailer. Then I knew I had to keep this on my radar!

NotoriusGlaedr
NotoriusGlaedr

Man this look really good, i thought it would be mainly for kids, but it seems just to be an original RPG. It's nice to have a change from the Cliche fantasy elements of most RPG games

Null7
Null7

Bad @$$! Saud will thumb me down! :o

Barighm
Barighm

I imagine a lot of people think this game looks juvenile, but it sounds to me a lot like FFT meets Super Mario RPG. A great SRPG combined with a raw fun RPG? Sounds good to me!

box0rocks
box0rocks

Looks like a nice change of pace! :D

GtownStripes
GtownStripes

Ohhh, nice to see something new to look forward too. Double Fiiiiine!

shawdad
shawdad

Dang. This actually looks way better than i was expecting.

JDWolfie
JDWolfie

@UniqueName2 Yeah, I know. That's what I meant.

IKillowatt
IKillowatt

Ohohoh I wanna be the pumpkin king!!!!

MKID232
MKID232

So how on earth would a candy corn costume help you fight?

CyberLips
CyberLips

i LOOOVE halloween games!!!!! can't wait!! :D

S2333
S2333

I will be interested. I like Double Fine's games and am happy to support them.

Meta33
Meta33

Looks interesting so far.

UniqueName2
UniqueName2

@JDWolfie Double Fine made Psychonauts too.

BadMonk
BadMonk

yeah looking forward to this! :) this should be a no brainer re release date, am i right to assume its gonna be oct 31st?

AverageGamer99
AverageGamer99

Its definatly something new and I'm curious on how this will do.

GodsPoison
GodsPoison

Looks awesome! If only my old Godzilla costume my Ma made me as a kid turned me into a towering radioactive fire spewing iguana! Id have had more candy and cavities than i could kno what to do with lol!

JDWolfie
JDWolfie

Kind of reminds me of Psychonauts. It looks fun though! Defenitly gonna buy.

ZombiePhoenix72
ZombiePhoenix72

Sorry I typed my comment wrong. I meant I can buy Super Scribblenauts at the same time because it's coming out in fall too.

ZombiePhoenix72
ZombiePhoenix72

This game looks awesome and since it's coming out in fall I can buy Super Scribblenauts too. . =)

magicalclick
magicalclick

Looks interesting. I hope to see more info on this.

rustedMECH
rustedMECH

Should be a nice change from all these shooters lately. I think more humorous and light hearted games such as Costume Quest need be developed to spice things up every now and then.