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    Daily iPad App: Costume Quest lets you be a kid again


    We may have to wait until early next year for the highly anticipated (an robustly funded) new title from Double Fine Productions, but to help hold us over, the company has released one of its most charming previous games for iOS devices.

    Costume Quest lets you play as one of a pair of young twins on Halloween night. You soon discover that the neighborhood isn't just filled with spookily dressed kids, but monsters as well. A kidnapping occurs, hilarity ensues and the story marches on at a fairly brisk pace. It's a relentlessly nostalgic experience as you trot the dimly lit streets with fellow trick-or-treaters, but the game takes a dramatic turn during battle segments where you must dispatch the demons that are terrorizing your town.

    As soon as you enter a battle, your character and their costume transform from cardboard and tin foil to full-sized robots, knights and other heroic figures. Being an RPG at heart, combat in Costume Quest is turn-based, and on the iPad's touchscreen you can tap specific icons during attack or defense to boost your performance.

    The game may appear a bit cartoonish -- and to be fair, the visual style and overall theme seem very casual -- but this is no walk in the park. Battles will test both the reflexes of your finger and the strength of your character, and you may find that you need to gain an experience level or snag some Battle Stamps before you can best certain foes.

    The game fits well on the iPad, and moving your character around the screen is done by either dragging your finger to new areas or tapping on the spots you'd like to travel. I played the game on the third-generation iPad, and while it was buttery smooth most of the time, I did notice a few instances of stuttering, though nothing that affected my overall enjoyment.

    Costume Quest is a bargain at US$4.99, and with its lengthy story and plethora of bonus objectives, it'll take you a while to beat it. It's a perfect game for the Halloween season, and if you've not yet given it a whirl on other platforms, you should do yourself a favor and pick it up on iOS.

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