Halloween has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean the buggy-eyed kids from Costume Quest have turned in their costumes just yet. In fact, the halflings have decided to ring in the New Year by stopping another one of their friends from being eaten by monsters.
You see, there are monsters that are even badder than the Grubbins from the first go-around, and these uber-bad monsters are oppressing the poor Grubbins and making them feel like second-rate citizens. And during the monster’s favorite holiday, Yeti Fest! The kids volunteer to help in exchange for candy - presumably the whole “kidnapping and nearly eating your twin on Halloween” thing is ancient history. Which just goes to show, kids will trust anyone with candy.
Mostly Grubbins on Ice serves as a slight extension of the first game. There are really no new game mechanics - the flaccid turn-based combat is the same, the witty dialogue is the same, the knocking on doors and receiving candy-currency is the same – heck, even most of the costumes are the same. Double Fine obviously vowed not to fix what wasn’t broken, but their attempt to play off the stale “trick or treating” segments as “invoking a revolution” segments is more futile than efforts by Lindsay Lohan’s defense attorney.
So why spend your hard earned five bucks? Partly because Grubbins on Ice is still tons of fun. Costume Quest hasn’t lost its magic touch, and GoI adds length to the wonderful game, which was already a tad on the short side. Plus, Costume Quest’s best costumes are in GoI. Transforming the kiddies into eyeballs, pirates, and yetis to take down monsters is still greatly rewarding, even if you’re not too sure why they’re still wearing costumes in the first place.
The game has been prepared with the same polish that made Costume Quest such a blast (despite an early glitch that switched the characters we had picked and nearly forced us to play the whole game as the girl twin). Mostly the game will have Costume Quest fans wanting more, and not just more DLC. There are serious kinks to be ironed out, especially the turn-based fighting, but once those issues have been addressed we wouldn’t hesitate to pick up a $60 retail copy of Costume Quest 2.
For now, the game’s saving grace is it’s price - at a paltry $5, it only costs about a buck for every hour of play. And twenty bucks for both is a real treat even months after Halloween and Yeti Fest have passed.
Jan 12, 2011