Double Fine’s Costume Quest, a product of the company’s Amnesia Fortnite gamejams, was a cult hit on the Xbox 360 and iOS -- a simple, turn-based RPG that mostly emphasized the joy of Halloween and the idea of really becoming your Halloween costume. Thanks to publisher Midnight City, they got their chance at a sequel. After checking it out at PAX, Costume Quest 2 appears to be more of the same, with an emphasis on unlocking even zanier costumes from last time.
Costume Quest 2 continues the story of Wren and Reynold after their adventures in Grubbins on Ice. Their neighborhood is threatened by a dentist who allies alongside a time travelling wizard to take over the world and create a dentally hygienic dystopia. If that sounds like an actually quite useful dystopia, but it comes with the cost of Halloween itself!
Costume Quest 2 plays with the same energy that the first game held so well -- a love letter to the goofy "save the holiday" plots of children’s television with just enough self-awareness from all the characters to encourage humor and play out the absurdity of using trick or treating to initiate random encounters. Streamlining the combat and introducing the collectible cards as usable items in battle are nice additions, but the big draw of the PAX demo was the new costumes, which included Thomas Jefferson, a superhero(ine), a pterodactyl, and, of course, the useless candy corn costume. Each character’s special attacks become the highlight of their appearance, though their effects so far seem similar to costumes from the first game.
Repetition issues unfortunately linger with Costume Quest 2. The sequel might not capture the magic of the original, and at this stage I would say that concern still remains for Costume Quest 2. The first Costume Quest's sibling rescue mission soulfully boosted the game, but since the characters you rescued are playable this time around, the sequel may be rising beyond what the plot is properly capable of. Time travelling trick-or-treating is a cool idea in theory, but Costume Quest 2 needs to include more than just a Louisiana Bayou for Double Fine to mine the right humor out of it.
Costume Quest 2 releases in October 2014, for Steam, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3 and Wii U.