A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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
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.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
At one point, a character remarks, "Why did I have to pick today to quit smoking?" The game centers on children, so the reference is brief and entirely tongue-in-cheek.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.