Costume Quest: Double Fine Return To PC

By Alec Meer on October 15th, 2011 at 8:03 am.

Gentlethings, prepare to perform your happy dance. Unexpectedly and suddenly, Psychonauts-makers Double Fine have ended their silly sabbatical from PC games, and announced that they’ll be releasing their Halloween-themed RPG Costume Quest on Steam. When? Why, it’s there right now.

Happy, happy days. And hopefully CQ is but the first of many of the Tim Schafer-headed studio’s titles due to return to the motherland. In fact, they imply as much below.

I know posting press releases is A Bad Thing, but you’ll like this one. So I’m going to shamelessly paste most of it in.

“I’m still mad!” cried that one guy who always posts on our forums, “I mean, what took them so long?”

“We have always said that if it were up to us, we’d release our games for the PC,” Schafer stated in a calm but inspiring tone. “Well, now… it’s finally up to us!” he said, holding his sword in the air while everybody cheered.

“Thanks to Dracogen Strategic Investments,” said a quiet, falsetto voice that no one could figure out where it was coming from. “Steve Dengler is so likeable and handsome, eh?” said the voice again, but this time we were starting to have suspicions about who said it, even if his lips weren’t moving much.

Costume Quest is a Role-Playing Game set on Halloween night. You play as Trick or Treaters on an urgent mission. Monsters have invaded your town, kidnapped your twin, and worst of all, they are stealing all the candy! The player builds a party, collects candy, takes on side quests, and crafts new costumes along the way. These special costumes transform them into giant fantasy warriors so they may fight a variety of monsters in exciting turn-based combat to save Halloween. It’s effing awesome.

Grubbins on Ice follows the further adventures of our young heroes as they plunge through a mystical portal into the dimension of Repugia, the very home of monster kind! New quests, new locations, new costumes, and a couple of sweet yeti jokes abound. So does a giant eyeball.

“Well, I’m a tiny bit less mad,” said the guy from the forums, “But they’d better keep making PC versions.”

“We’re working on it, eh?” said a tiny voice.

This ‘Dracogen Strategic Investments‘ mentioned is the cause of the PC version – Schafer having said a while back that if they could raise enough money to make PC games they would. Sounds like someone offered to lend a hand:

“Dracogen Strategic Investments is the creation of Steven Dengler— father, gamer, entrepreneur, pilot, co-founder of XE.com Inc., and all-round geek. Dracogen is committed to making awesome things happen whenever it can. Besides backing some pretty amazing tech companies, it also supports fun creative projects and has a particular affinity for Child’s Play Charity.”

So I guess we have Mr Dengler to thank for this. Thanks, Mr Dengler. Thengler.

Here’s a trailer from the filthy console version of Costume Quest last year:

Costume Quest, including the Grubbins on Ice DLC as part and parcel, is availble on Steam now for £11.99/$14.99. I am totally going to play it, yes sir.

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83 Comments »

  1. Stinkfinger75 says:

    A couple of unexpected Double Fine announcements within a month or so is excellent news! Surely a PC exclusive announcement is right around the corner.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      I was expecting (or at least hoping for) this after the previous one. Now for Brütal Legend and the one with the Russian dolls…

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      I kinda thought they would start with Brutal Legend since that one seems more marketable. It’d suck if they were to re-enter the PC market with something doomed to fail form the start, and then write it all off as “this PC market is just not profitable”.

      Also, Trumgottist – nice to see you here. :P (you might remember me as jacog on adventuregamers.com)

    • Ninja Dodo says:

      I suspect there is more than a little overlap between these two communities.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Brutal Legend would be doomed from the start on PC. It really wasn’t very good at all! Unfortunately neither is Costume Quest, it felt like a very poor JRPG to me. I hope the poor sales don’t put them off a Psychonauts 2 on PC.

    • Ninja Dodo says:

      I enjoyed Brutal Legend. The only thing I didn’t like about it was the non-curve-shaped learning… and maybe the controls were a bit stiff.

      Great world though, and the strategy part was interesting as long as you didn’t try to play it like an RTS.

    • johnpeat says:

      The first half of Brutal Legend is awesome – but something really, really horrible happens just as you’re begining to enjoy it which turns it into a bit of a chore which few people see through to the end.

      Stacking is a charming little title – not really outstanding in any way but it does what it does extremely well.

      CQ didn’t click with me at all but each to their own.

      The overriding issue with all of them is that they were targetted at consoles/controllers and I think the wall of wail which would come from the PC Hardcore might render the trip less than happy…

  2. Jim Rossignol says:

    Costume Quest is quite entertaining, in a lightweight sort of way.

    • Man Raised by Puffins says:

      Yes, ’tis a joyful piece of fluff.

    • schizopol says:

      lightweight indeed. It seems a game designed for the grownups to play in their living rooms on hallows eve whislt waiting upon the doorbell’s ring.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I like things that are entertaining in a lightweight sort of way. :)

    • Quasar says:

      … Which is probably why you don’t get on with your wife

    • Khann says:

      boom

  3. Baboonanza says:

    Rejoice!

  4. Kreeth says:

    Yeah, thanks. It’s just gone ten past eight and I’ve already bought another game I have no idea when I’m going to have time to play. Still, giving them money for stuff might encourage them to do more, right?

  5. MadTinkerer says:

    Can it be? Dare I hope? Could we finally be getting the one true version of Brutal Legend!?!

    I have the filthy console version, but I’d toss it away in a second if I could have it on Steam! Oh PS3, soon you’ll be worthless for anything non-Disgaea-related…

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      No, we won’t be seeing that on PC, I think.

    • HermitUK says:

      I suspect porting Brutal Legend would be a lot more work than these shorter games. Especially because you’d want to take a decent amount of time fixing the woeful UI and controls during the RTS segments. Sacrifice it was not.

      That said, yay, Schafer’s back! will be buying this shortly.

      Also, Dracogen Strategic Investments’ name pops up in the credits of Nuka Break, too, which suggests they’ve got a pretty good eye for investing in interesting things. Keep it up, Steve Dengler. What a brilliant name, by the by.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Double Fine didn’t publish Brutal Legend, so I’d imagine the answer is no. Unless somehow they had the foresight to keep the rights to a PC version.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      This investor chap’s Twitter bio seems most proud of the fact he just bought Psychonauts to Mac, so maybe this is an act of passion, not profit. Gonna try not to get my hopes up too much though.

    • Ninja Dodo says:

      They didn’t publish Costume Quest either. That was THQ… so I wouldn’t rule it out.

    • Dave L. says:

      @Jason Moyer: Double Fine didn’t publish Costume Quest or Stacking, either. And Brutal Legend was published through EA Partners, so presumably Double Fine retained the rights to the IP.

      And everybody should buy Costume Quest. It’s not fantastic gameplay-wise, but it’s cute and cleverly written and pretty fun. And if everybody buys it it will pave the way for Stacking to be released, and Stacking is a much better game all around.

    • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

      There was an enormous legal hoo-hah around Brutal Legend, wasn’t there? I don’t know the specifics of it, but it’s the sort of thing which usually puts a crimp on further development of titles…

  6. Stinkfinger75 says:

    My sense of time is totally shot, it must be that aging thing. I thought that this story might be relevant around October of last year. Then I realized it’s October of this year. Then I realized that spell check is right when it tells me that relavant is spelled relevant no matter how much I insist otherwise. Ah, getting older!

  7. Bull0 says:

    I wish I could share your enthusiasm. I’m not buying into the “Tim Freaking Schafer” thing. I’ll carry on judging the games individually, and when they do release something worthy of the regard they seem to have garnered I’ll join you on the rooftop.

    • Hypocee says:

      CQ was sold via XBLA and attracted a somewhat different market. I saw a lot of praise from people with little idea of Double Fine’s previous history. Seems like it might be Actually Good.

    • Wulf says:

      I don’t agree with you on a lot of things, Bull0, as you have been the sort of person to praise and support things with little reason to do so. ;P But here you’re not, and I actually agree with you. Though despite that I actually think that Costume Quest seems really rather good.

      If they’d gone with Brutal Legend though, I would have been very meh about all this. I must be the only person on the planet who honestly dislikes Brutal Legend. After having played it, I found that it was a particularly dreary game with poor gameplay mechanics and the most annoying, most utterly despicable main character in the history of videogames. Bar none. Well, maybe that’s an over-exaggeration but he was so, so, so annoying. He was all of the annoying.

      I won’t be bothered if we never see Brutal Legend on the PC, to be honest. I’m not exactly the sort of person to hope for really shite games on our home platform. Like someone else said: Sacrifice it was not. But nor would it ever be, either. Not even in its wet dreams would it ever become close to being Sacrifice. (Though I wonder if Sacrifice is actually as good as I remember it being, but it probably is.)

      Costume Quest though is something else, and I’m quite curious about it, so I’m going to give it a look. It actually looks quite endearing and charming.

    • donmilliken says:

      “After having played it, I found that it was a particularly dreary game with poor gameplay mechanics and the most annoying, most utterly despicable main character in the history of videogames. Bar none. Well, maybe that’s an over-exaggeration but he was so, so, so annoying. He was all of the annoying.”

      In what way was Eddie Riggs despicable? Because you found him annoying? Yeah, that’s not what “despicable” means.

    • Big Daddy Dugger says:

      I’m the wiener and you’re the buns, come on over and let’s have fun. How could you despise hearing that every 15 seconds? Brutal Legend wasn’t an outstanding game but as far as music games go it’s way more enjoyable than some Dance Dance Revolution or Guitar Hero carbon copy garbage.

  8. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Fantastic news, as a PC purist i’ve not played this & wanted to.

  9. D3xter says:

    And they said the guy being mad on a developers forums would never accomplish anything… hah!

    This looks somewhat interesting, but it’s a little high in price to be a “Day 1″ buy and I have sooo many games that I’d have to either start or finally finish like Human Revolution, Space Marine, HOMM6, Limbo, From Dust, RAGE to just name a few with titles like Batman and Battlefield 3 coming up that it’ll have to wait xD

  10. JackDandy says:

    Oh, sweet. I’m hoping they get Trenched on PC, myself. Always wanted to play it.

  11. Kollega says:

    I just wrote in to RPS after seeing that on Steam, but apparently was too late to the party. A bit of a shame, but completely insignificant compared to Schafer’s comeback. I hope he gets that other game of his, Trenched, on PC too.

  12. Burning Man says:

    TIM F***ING SCHAFER!

    Oh, and that Dengler dude too. I guess.

  13. Heliocentric says:

    I love me some turn based strategy, so I’ll certainly give this a spin when it goes on sale on Halloween… What?

  14. CLD says:

    Nope. Too late, Schafer. Maybe you were relevant in the industry ten years ago, but after all this time of you ignoring the PC, i got over it.

    • JackShandy says:

      If you don’t like the look of the game don’t buy it, but don’t make out that you’re doing it to hit a personal blow against some guy on the dev team because he had the temerity to not release a game for you since 2005.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      How can you hate someone who eats his cookies like this?

    • DrGonzo says:

      I don’t think Tim Shafer was on the dev team for this game was he?

    • donmilliken says:

      Don’t be petulant. Double Fine has never ignored the PC. Various forces (including, not insignificantly, the game’s financial failure on the consoles) lined themselves against Brutal Legend’s chances of ever seeing a PC release. THQ, their publishing partner for their recent spate of downloadable releases, had no interest in funding PC versions.

      They finally got the funding they needed to bring Costume Quest to PC and here it is. Don’t be ungrateful, recognize that they’re a small developer that must bend to the whims of major publishers in order to bring their games to the masses.

  15. adonf says:

    Great news! And good timing too for me since I just finished Psychonauts (The Meat Circus wasn’t as horrible as the Theatre level, why are you guys saying otherwise ?)

    Also I almost bought the filthy console version of Costume Quest when it came out but my X box is a European version and my Live account is a US one for some reason. I guess I could have bought MS points but I didn’t know if they’d let me buy games with those and didn’t feel like wasting money to try it.

    • Falcon says:

      If you played Psychonauts recently and fully updated (say, on Steam) the Meat Circus was updated to be less frustrating. I played the original Meat Circus, and while it was certainly more difficult than the rest of the game, I didn’t mind the difficulty except for one ridiculous curved jump toward the very end that was extremely evil on keyboard and mouse.

  16. theunshaven says:

    *visible eyetwitch*

    TREEEEEEEEEEEEENCHED!

    So yeah, I have some hopes on this score…

    • Zeewolf says:

      It’s not called that any more, I think…

      Anyhoo, trying to balance my weird need to support PC-loving devs with the fact that I, er, don’t really feel all that interested in this game. I guess I’ll buy it when the inevitable Halloween discount comes around.

    • dreadguacamole says:

      Interestingly enough, it still hasn’t come out on consoles in Europe (or at least the UK) due to legal problems – so we may actually get it on the PC at the same time…

  17. MSJ says:

    Bring Stacking next!

    • donmilliken says:

      Seconded. That’s the one I’m really interested in, though I’ll probably pick up Iron Brigade as well whenever it makes its way to Steam.

    • runtheplacered says:

      “though I’ll probably pick up Iron Brigade as well whenever it makes its way to Steam.”

      Except, that’s never going to happen.

  18. Dave Mongoose says:

    Problem is I’ve already bought and played the XBox version and, while it’s very enjoyable, I won’t be buying a PC copy as well.

    Hopefully there’s still a big enough PC-only audience for it to still sell well, otherwise it could be one of those ‘our games don’t sell on PC’ misunderstandings.

  19. AmateurScience says:

    Loved the Look Around You reference :)

    Thanks Hanks. Thanks.

    • Mollusc Infestation says:

      Ah, closure.

    • thurzday says:

      Edit: reply failure–this was meant to be under the “Psychonauts 2 please” comment.

      I’d actually rather Schafer stick to his old “no sequels” policy. Psychonauts was great and has plenty of room to expand, but I’d rather have an original game (Psychonauts was one of those, you know).

  20. Geralt says:

    Awesome, I’ll be buying this next week. I remember watching some gameplay of it when it was first released on consoles some time ago.
    I’d really wish to see Brutal Legend on PC as well but I think that’s too much to hope for.
    We might have better chances with Stacking though, that looks like a fun little game.

  21. Daniel Is I says:

    PC Psychonauts getting achievements and fixes. Costume Quest port. Sounds like Double Fine is getting back into the swing of things! All I could really ask for is Trenched ported over and one other thing. I’ll give you 3 guesses and a hint: It’s Psychonauts 2.

    Don’t taunt us, Schafer. If you’ve found a publisher to work with on the project, we want to know NOW.

    (Before you ask, yes. Every update concerning Double Fine or Schafer that does not involve the death of either will contain a push for Psychonauts 2.)

  22. ahoydizzle says:

    Awesome! I remember seeing Giantbomb’s quicklook of this last year and wishing I could play it. Already downloading on steam!

  23. InternetBatman says:

    Huzzah! I’ve been wanting this game forever. Honestly, I’m kind of surprised now when companies don’t bring games over to PC. If your game is good it can make quite a bit of money over the long term, and now it will always be in stock and playable for years.

  24. ceson says:

    Oh, please let me license Trenched for my home computer! Pretty please!? Has that been announced without me knowing? Gaah, it seems awesome.

  25. TheGoddamn says:

    What are the odds of that Sesame Street game coming to PC as well? That and Forza 4 are pretty much the only things I want to get a 360 for.

  26. wisnoskij says:

    I would rather have Stacking but this bodes well for the future.

    • malkav11 says:

      Having played both, I finished and 100%ed Costume Quest (so probably won’t be picking it up for PC, alas) and lost steam two levels into Stacking. Both are fairly simple, focused games, and both are funny, but the gameplay in Costume Quest is a basic but reasonably tactical RPG with turn-based combat and some light environmental puzzling. Stacking pretty much just involves finding unique dolls and using their power in the right place, which is cute but not terribly involving. Ideally we’ll get everything Double Fine for PC, of course, but this is IMHO a solid first choice.

  27. shoptroll says:

    Yay! Hope we get Stacking and Trenched (err… Iron whatever I guess it’s called now) too :)

  28. BobsLawnService says:

    Let’s hope this little gimmick game is a precursor to more meaty fare in future.

  29. Demiath says:

    Nice to see the game on PC at last, even if the gameplay concept isn’t that appealing to me personally. Also, there’s still only one right way to deal with Halloween (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u0RQkj3Tic).

  30. Lemming says:

    It’s a great little game, I recommend it. You’ll probably finish it in one sitting but it gets you in the mood for Halloween in a fun way. The costume transformations are brilliant. You WILL want to be a box of French Fries.

  31. Kato says:

    Iron Brigade would be brilliant…shame I already got this on Xbox. :(

  32. donmilliken says:

    I told myself that whenever Double Fine was able to start bringing its recent downloadable to the PC, I’d be there. True to my word, no sooner did I read the words, “Why it’s there right now!” than the game was bought.

    I’m happy to not only buy an awesome game, but to help fund the release of existing and future Double Fine games on the PC.

    I see other people excitedly predicting a PC release of Brutal Legend though and I have to say guys, I fear that one’s a bit of a lost cause. That’s unfortunate for those who never got to play it, I’m just glad I had the opportunity to enjoy it on my Xbox back when I still had one, even if it was, ultimately, a bit of a disappointment gameplay-wise.

  33. RagingLion says:

    Stacking! Stacking! I want to play Stacking!

  34. CommanderZx2 says:

    Why wait until interest in the game is almost entirely dead to then release it on the PC to low sales? Oh well…

    • donmilliken says:

      Because they had no choice in the matter, obviously. They can’t bring games over to PC until they have the funding to do so. They are a small publisher, remember. Sales on this game may well be low due to the long wait, but they haven’t forgotten the PC and I for one am appreciative.

    • Urthman says:

      I don’t understand this attitude at all. If you’ve already played it on Xbox, then of course you’re not going to care that it’s out on PC. If you haven’t played it then, hey! it’s a new Double Fine game!

      Why would this be any less fun to play now than it would have been a year ago? Did you already watch the whole thing on a Lets Play video or something?

    • Oreb says:

      This is a Halloween-themed game being released 2 weeks before Halloween. I think their timing is as good as it can possibly be.

      Also, I played Costume Quest in its entirety last year – my mini-review: the game play gets old before it is over, but the charm and the humor sustains it.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Even more than that, they didn’t drum up its PC release. Normally you hear news about ports, engage PC news sites more than just a press release, and let enthusiasm build again. They didn’t even get a splash page on steam.

  35. SquareWheel says:

    Hooray!

  36. Gap Gen says:

    Dracogen Strategic Investments have the most evil name ever. It’s glorious. But only if their headquarters are in an active volcano.