An undeniably charming game full of imagination.

User Rating: 8 | Costume Quest PS3
The gaming industry is forever changing, as are those involved in shaping it. Take double Fine prod., a development studio known for clever critically acclaimed titles like Psychonauts and Brutal Legend. Not quite reaching the sales success they hoped, Double Fine have changed tactics, instead aiming for the downloadable market making financially less risky games without losing the creativity or fun as shown by their first game in this vein, Costume Quest.

Costume Quest follows the path of a brother and sister on Halloween. While out trick or treating some mysterious candy hunting Grubbins kidnap one of the two who look like a giant piece of candy and spirit them off leaving the other sibling of your choice no option but to give chase before their parents find out. The story is fairly simple but well written dialogue and undeniably charming characters really bring the narrative to life.

The gameplay is styled as a simple turn based role-playing game, though a very quirky and imaginative one. During combat with Grubbins your character's abilities and attack style revolve completely around what sort of Halloween costume they are wearing, turning from a kid in a costume into the full grown persona, much like how a child's imagination can make things seem real. It's a lovely touch.

In battle each costume has a basic attack whose top damage relies on varying quick time events depending on the costume, as well as a unique special attack. These special attacks can only be used once every few turns as it takes time to charge them up and differ from missile attacks that damage all enemies from the robot costume to healing your party from the Statue of Liberty's patriotism. There are no items or other options so the real strategy to the game revolves around picking a balanced group of costumes as well as timing the use of special attacks wisely. Not that it would be an issue as outside of a couple of fights Costume Quest doesn't really give much challenge.

Outside of battle some of these costumes also have abilities used to progress such as the robot's roller skates allowing the characters to jump ramps or the french fries that can give out a smell that lure hungry children. These abilities are not only helpful to reach hidden areas but can often be genuinely entertaining.

Though at first your three character party is rather limited in their costume selection more and more become available as the story progresses. To use them however involves finding plans for the costume as well as various materials to make it such as newspaper, tracksuits, cardboard etc. These are either located in hidden areas or gained through side quests in which Costume Quest has plenty to complete.

There are plenty of other items to collect on these side quests and mini games such as Halloween trading cards and battle stamps in which the latter can be equipped to boost character stats or give them a passive ability like counter attacking. These cards and stamps can be purchased from a children's stall that appears here and there using candy as currency. The candy itself is gained from either lying loose around, defeating enemies or knocking on doors and shops trick or treating though sometimes enemies answer instead.

The visuals to Costume Quest look fantastic. They are technically solid using a cell shaded format loaded with colour and great art design especially in the costume variety. The game has a sort of comic book feeling that runs throughout especially in the dialogue that appear more like speech bubbles. Sadly this title doesn't feature any voice acting to go along with it though it isn't a necessary feature. The music and sound effects are both top notch though with some catchy tunes.

Costume Quest also isn't an immensely long game coming in at maybe 6 hours if you complete all the side quests and explore fully. Despite being short Costume Quest more then makes up for that in it's imaginative setting, great dialogue and artistic flare. Overall it is an incredibly fun game that succeeds on many levels matching Double Fines bigger AAA releases. If you are a fan of those games or RPGs then Costume Quest is a game worth taking a risk on.

+ Imaginative premise.
+ Charming visual style.
+ Plenty of side quests.
+ Clever dialogue.

- Pretty easy.
- No voice acting.