A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Costume Quest 2 is a downloadable Halloween-centered adventure game. The Costume Quest sequel features fantasy violence, but no one actually dies; enemies just fall down when they're defeated. There's no blood, and special attacks can be fun to watch. The charm lies in the humor and pop-up dialogue boxes. Though not inappropriate, the game does have the same tongue-in-cheek humor of the original game, and younger players may not get all the jokes. Although it's controlled primarily by keyboard, the game is better when manipulated with a controller or gamepad.
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What's it about?
In COSTUME QUEST 2, the obsessed Dr. Orel White, DDS, is out to destroy Halloween and rid the world of candy; he uses time travel to accomplish this goal. The game's heroes, siblings Reynold and Wren, must go back and forth through time to disrupt the doctor's plans and restore the costumed festivities, complete with candy galore. The game is quest-based, with one quest leading to another through approximately six hours of total gameplay.
Is it any good?
Costume Quest 2 follows the same general look and feel of 2010's Costume Quest. With some games, this could be a bad thing, but the use of creative environments, a fun archenemy, and crazy costumes with special attacks all combine to add a fresh coat of paint to the formula. As they say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"; Costume Quest 2 delights with eye candy; fun dialogue; a campy, menacing bad guy; and time travel thrown in for good measure.
This is very much a niche game. What plays in October might lose its luster in December or March, but for fall, it's a joyful reminder of the fun of Halloween. Unfortunately, trying to play it with a keyboard is almost like trying to paint a fine paint-by-numbers picture with a brick -- it may be doable, but it's awkward. A controller makes things much easier. Another drawback is that, after battles -- if you survive -- you have to run back to drinking fountains (which may be at the start of a level) to replenish your health. This can be intrusive in the game's flow. But overall this platformer, sprinkled with a hint of role-playing and boosted with vivid cartoon-like graphics and a fun storyline, is a fun sequel.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games such as Costume Quest. Is it 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. 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 the costumes in this game can do?
- Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360
- Price: $14.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Midnight City
- Release date: October 7, 2014
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Holidays, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence
- Last updated: June 20, 2019
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