Costume Quest - Grubbins on Ice First Look

Halloween may be over, but that doesn't mean you can't dress up for the next holiday.


There really shouldn't be anything stopping you from wearing a Halloween costume all year round, especially if it lets you transform into a towering robot or an undead pirate. From Double Fine studios comes Grubbins on Ice, which takes place shortly after the events of Costume Quest, so if you want to avoid any kind of spoiler content, then you might want to skip ahead. The adorable kids and their makeshift costumes are back for a new adventure, now that their neighborhood is clear of the candy-stealing grubbins. The new downloadable content comes with a patch that will fix some of the performance issues in the original game, as well as add in a few new features, such as the ability to pause during cutscenes and save your game at designated phone posts.

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The first thing you'll notice in Grubbins on Ice is that the seasons have changed, so instead of bright-orange leaves and pumpkins littered all over the place, you're shuffling through streets that have been lightly sprinkled with snow. Lucy and Everett are wandering the streets in search of some tangible evidence that the monsters truly existed at some point. Young Lucy stumbles across a bizarre, demonic-looking receiver, which suddenly opens a portal and sucks her in. The panicked Everett seeks out the twins Wren and Reynold, and together--in their slapped-together outfits--they jump into another dimension in order to save Lucy. This portal plops them into the monster world of Repugia, where grubbins of all kinds mingle and eat candy. The current leader, Araxia--a crow in a bearlike costume--runs the place and has Lucy under his wing/paw. Apparently you've barged into the realm during a time of turmoil and political unrest, and a revolution is in the works. So after being tossed off a cliff (and harmlessly landing on some trowbogs), the three of you set off to find Lucy and decide to help the oppressed grubbins along the way.

As in the main game, you'll go door to door canvassing for candy to support the cause or fighting monsters that refuse to join. The turn-based combat remains the same, where carefully timed button presses will help you deal more damage or defend against enemy attacks. You'll find that there are new costumes to piece together that will yield some interesting results in battle. But there will already be several fun and familiar costumes in your wardrobe to start with, so you can wheel around the world in your robot suit or switch to your ninja outfit to sneak by guards. We came across a few new costume patterns, including a pirate costume, a track suit, and an eyeball. Using the costume's special abilities, like the pirate's hook, you'll be able to explore the realm of Repugia and complete quests along the way until you find poor Lucy. Once again the highlight of the game is not only the charming artwork, but the hilarious dialogue between the kids, which is now paced a little better for those who aren't speed readers.

Viva Repugia!
Viva Repugia!

We were told that the downloadable content is slightly bigger than a level in the original game and could take roughly five hours to complete, depending on how quickly you want to get through the game. By taking your time, though, and slapping around the foreign vegetation, you'll be able to gather more candy for the revolution. Grubbins on Ice looks to continue the adventure that Costume Quest started, fixing some of the issues in the first game, such as the save functionality, the pause feature, and the frame rate. Keeping with the holiday theme, the new content is planned for release sometime in December on XBLA and PSN.

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