With October quickly approaching and the sight of kids running around hopped up on sugar from eating too much candy becomes commonplace, Double Fine and Midnight City are bringing Costume Quest 2 in time for Halloween.
The original Costume Quest was a neat concept with adorable children collecting costumes, trick-or-treating and battling Grubbins in the process. The overly simplistic, yet tedious, combat overpowered the lovable art style. Costume Quest 2 picks up after the Grubbins on Ice downloadable content from the first game, but you don’t need to have played it in order to enjoy the sequel. Instead of having one of the twins, Wren or Reynold, get kidnapped, you’ll be controlling both of them as they travel through time portals to save Halloween from the maniacal dentist Orel White. After snagging a magical talisman, he successfully ends everyones favorite sugar fueled holiday.
The preview build for Costume Quest 2 picked up at the beginning of the game, introducing the main characters and some familiar faces from the first game, before sending us through time. After traveling through time both to the future and past, I still don’t understand the entire premise for time travel in general, but just thinking about it makes my head feel hurt. The game feels largely unchanged, although there are key differences that makes for a better gameplay experience. After donning their costumes, Wren transformed into a superhero complete with super strength and a cape, while Reynold became a piece of candy corn. Instead of being able to attack, you’ll get a snarky comment about how useless candy corn is, or how it doesn’t have arms. Battles are still turn-based, but features button prompts for secondary attacks and defense more in line with the Mario & Luigi series. Each character is now tied to a specific face button, so you must hit the correct button to defend with the targeted character right before the attack.
The new card system supplements the combat by offering new tactics to battles. I only used one of the cards of the three I was given, boosting one of my characters attack for a set amount of turns. It wasn’t made clear on how these cards will be attained or if they will be single use only.
Quests are handled in similar fashion to the original game. After the game opens up and I passed the basic combat tutorial, my first quest was to find another kid’s clown costume piece by piece. Turns out a bunch of alligators have decided to steal it, but thankfully you don’t have to battle the alligators to get each piece back. The quest served as a simple exploration puzzle, as I had free roam of the immediate area, smashing mailboxes, pumpkins and conveniently placed candy corn piñatas, filled with yummy sweets. No longer is your roller skate shoes limited to the robot costume, instead you are able to wheelie around town at any time. Upon finding all the pieces and returning them to the kid, he joined in our quest to save Halloween. At this point, I was given a brief tease at some of the other costumes, including Thomas Jefferson and a witch.
Costume Quest 2 has a Steam release of October 7 for PC, Mac, and Linux. The game will also be available on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Wii U at a later date. Considering the subject matter for the game, I would expect an end of the month release before Halloween.