With PAX Prime 2014 being right at the tail end of summer, it’s a perfect time to show off anything that is spooky or Halloween-themed. Double Fine apparently had this idea because they were on the show floor with a playable version of Costume Quest 2 that was every bit as delightful as I had hoped.
In my time with the game, I was treated to the basic premise as well as a brief combat tutorial and the chance to wander around. The game world is very similar to its predecessor in that it takes place in the suburbs on Halloween night. You explore areas and smack environmental objects in order to shake candy (the game’s currency) free.
Featuring the same characters and basic environment of the original, the premise of this installment is that an evil dentist (as if there’s any other kind) named Orel White is bent on getting rid of tooth decay, and tries to bring about the end of Halloween. It’s up to siblings Wren and Reynold to stop him using everything at their disposal, including timed attacks, special abilities, costumes, and even time travel.
Along with my primary quest, I encountered another child who was engaged in a tug-of-war with an alligator over his bag of candy. I was tasked with a mini-quest to go smacking other alligators to retrieve his costume. It was nothing too time or labor intensive, but gave just enough incentive to explore the world a little more closely than I would have otherwise. Combat is your basic turn-based mode like in a JRPG. Attacking and defending can be boosted by nailing a timed button press, but from what I saw missing them won’t be too devastating either.
The basic bottom line on Costume Quest 2 is that if you liked the original it looks like you’re going to like this one too, and vice versa. Not only did playing this demo make me want to check out the full release, but when I get back home I think I’m going to reinstall the original and play through it again as well. Such is the power of Double Fine.