Costume Quest is a "little" game with the heart of a lion.
Costume Quest may be the greatest thing to happen to video games in a long time. After all, what good is a medium of entertainment if you don't have seasonal stories. You start out as either Wren or Reynold and get dumped out into the neighborhood wearing a robot costume with your candy-corn-costume wearing sibling in tow. The sibling you are not controlling then gets kidnapped and taken to be eaten by an evil overlord of candy named "Big Bones". This, needless to say, means that you'll be trying to get your sibling back before he/she can be eaten by "Big Bones", oh I'm sorry so that you can trick-or-treat your face off. Along the way you'll meet an interesting cast of monsters, children, and adults that supply quests, experience, candy (the games currency), and humor in equal measure.
Enter Costume Quest, the world's first trick-or-treating simulator. Okay, that's not entirely true but you will knock on doors and get candy. Where Costume Quest differs from your ever year, run-of-mill trick-or-treating is that sometimes monsters will answer the door instead of people. Monsters being the no good, thieving scum that they are, must be dealt with. How to deal with these threats? Just stick on a costume and turn into a robot. Or how about a Vampire? A robot unicorn? A black panther? Or how about my personal favorite, the french fry spider? Need I say any more about the charm and imagination of this game? Okay then, a very clever reference to The Chronicles of Narnia, a paranoid dude who sets up an apple-bobbing game in every area, an analogue to Garbage-Pail Kids, and fat jokes abound in this humorous game.
Costume Quest's gameplay reminds me of Paper Mario in that the turn-based battles are reminiscent of a JRPG, but far simpler. In fact, the game basically is Paper Mario, but simplified to the point where it becomes inexplicable (and inexcusable) that there isn't any sort of co-op to speak of. This is, in fact, the only issue I can think of with the gameplay. As this game is very obviously aimed at children it is almost a sin that no co-op was put in this game. Otherwise, the game is easy and inoffensive, neither challenging nor encouraging the player to do anything more than the fifty some-odd quests, the thirty some-odd "creepy treat cards", and the twelve to thirteen costumes to collect.
Costume Quest's seasonal nature may work in its favor in the long run, but does it have the chops to earn your dollar now? I often wondered this while playing through this three or four hour game. Equally as often as I wondered whether or not this game was worth my money, I said yes. However, I think that answer is far too short to describe this short game. I will give this longer answer in the form of a candy metaphor. If you like to eat candy really fast then this game is not for you, however, if you're the kind of person who savors each piece of candy as if it was his last then yes you should buy this game. It won't last as long as some other sweets, but what it lacks in length it more than makes up for it in its sweetness and charm.