Costume Quest: Nostalgic Halloween Gaming

It’s almost Halloween. My neighborhood is filled with decorative plastic ghosts, goblins, and skeletons. Advertisements for scary movie marathons inundate television channels, and bookstores carry special displays of Dracula and Frankenstein. As a gamer, this is the best time to play chilling classics like Resident Evil, Silent Hill, or Left 4 Dead. But not all Halloween games fall into the traditional survival horror genre. I recently discovered a game that calls attention to my favorite part of this holiday: costumes.

Costume Quest brings back fond memories of my Trick-or-Treating days. Combining adventure and role-playing, this game provides an easy-to-learn battle system, witty dialogue, and, of course, a plethora of costumes and candy.

The game begins by introducing the two main characters, fraternal twins Wren and Reynold. I selected to control Wren. The game then attired the twins in Halloween costumes. Wren wore a robot outfit, while Reynold, as the non-playable twin, dressed as a piece of candy corn. While Trick-or-Treating, a candy-loving monster kidnapped Reynold, and I spent the rest of the game attempting to rescue him.

In order to find Reynold, I navigated Wren through a Halloween-themed neighborhood, completed quests to locate new costumes, and went from door to door to collect candy, which doubled as the game’s currency. By spending my candy, I could learn new skills and upgrade Wren’s costumes. The ability to change costumes is not only fun, but important for successful game play. When a monster opened a house door, instead of a parent handing out candy, Wren immediately transformed into a giant version of whatever traditional Halloween guise she was wearing. As an enormous knight, robot, or vampire, Wren battled the monsters she encountered.

Throughout the game, I convinced several other children to join Wren’s hunt for Reynold. I also decided which costumes to equip them with for maximum efficiency, which became the best part of the game for me. Certain costumes, for example, possessed better offensive traits, while others allowed the character to excel at healing or defense. I found great pleasure in finding the top combination for each scenario.

While Costume Quest won’t provide the thrills and chills often associated with Halloween, it does evoke childhood nostalgia. I used to enjoy dressing up and going from house to house in hopes of a treat, yet I was never quite certain who or what was waiting on the other side of the door.  This game reminded me of how much I love Halloween.