Costume Quest

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Costume Quest Game Poster Image
Trick-or-treat tale is tasty, mildly violent Halloween fun.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Begins with typical sibling rivalry that evolves into a rescue mission. The player-controlled sibling takes on hordes of monsters, makes friends and allies, and tries to accomplish everything by curfew. Some positive elements such as dependability, friendship, and helpfulness are reinforced through cartoon balloon-style text boxes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The point of the game is to make friends and secure allies for battles to help save your sibling from being eaten by monsters.

Ease of Play

Typically a keyboard-driven game (with the option of using a gamepad or controller, which makes it a bit easier). Navigating environments can be a bit challenging for younger players (and even some older gamers). But the set-up and menu are easy to navigate, and the game isn't overly difficult.

Violence & Scariness

Robots and other characters can use special powers to attack monsters. Attacks require timing to be effective, but the violence is cartoonish. There's no bloodshed, and characters can return later or run off after being defeated.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Costume Quest is a downloadable Halloween-centric adventure game featuring monsters and combat. The game is much like a three-dimensional platform game and is usually navigated with the keyboard. The control scheme can be tricky, especially when navigating through some maps. But it also supports a game controller, which does make things a bit easier. There's violence, but it's handled like a cartoon, without any blood shown during combat. There's one quick, entirely tongue-in-cheek reference to smoking.

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What's it about?

COSTUME QUEST is the tale of fraternal twins who are new to a neighborhood and about to go trick-or-treating in an unfamiliar place. Players take on the role of either Reynold or Wren, who dress in costumes; the non-playable sibling dons a candy-corn costume, while the other is a robot. Real monsters are out and about collecting candy, and the non-playable brother/sister is mistaken for a big piece of wiggly, talking candy (a real find!). It's up to the other sibling to rescue the kidnapped family member, make friends and allies, and be home before curfew.

Is it any good?

Costume Quest is a clever, cartoon-like title that's part platformer, part role-playing game and complete adventure wrapped in a sweet package. The game looks terrific and is easy to get into and play. There are some elements, mostly in combat, that require timing to deliver the maximum damage. Where the game stumbles is in movement, especially through keyboard keys. It feels predicated on movement in eight directions and less than fluid in this regard. A controller makes this far easier. Plus, the camera is static and can't be moved, which can sometimes be problematic when scenery obscures the view of the controlled characters.

But Costume Quest sports a fair amount of humor, and challenges and quests aren't hard to grasp or follow. This is very much a niche game that elicits a smile from the beginning and lasts through each element. The controls could be friendlier, but this is a fun, Halloween-themed game that both kids and adults will enjoy.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in games such as Costume Quest. Is the violence OK because of the game's cartoonish nature and the kid protagonists using imaginative weapons, or does that not justify it?

  • Discuss Halloween costumes and involve children in creating their own costumes. What costumes are appropriate for kids to wear, which aren't, and why? Would you wear a "tame" costume if it could do the things that the costumes in this game can do?

Game details

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For kids who love Halloween

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