Costume Quest, DoubleFine’s adorable four-party Halloween adventure videogame, is once again coming to entertainment screens—but this time in a completely new form. The series, which spawned the 2010 original and a 2014 sequel, is debuting today as a 13 episode streaming show on Amazon Prime, backed by a strong children’s programming pedigree that includes the studio behind Adventure Time and The Fairly Oddparents as well as Netflix’s adaptation of Castlevania.
The game Costume Quest centers on the exploits of a group of neighborhood children as they collect costumes and fight monsters while trick or treating on Halloween night. As co-executive producer Bryan Caselli tells Paste, the show retains this premise, but also adapts to the story demands of television by digging deeper into some of metaphors and themes hidden within its narrative potential. “We made a real effort to keep the Costume Quest animated series spooky and playful, in the spirit of the original game, but since we had an opportunity to tell a long format story across thirteen episodes, we also worked hard to layer in a lot more coming-of-age character stories as well,” Caselli says. “The kids in our show grow and reinvent themselves as people across the season in addition to battling nougat-munching monsters.” Adds Will McRobb, executive producer and story editor on the show, “In the game, all the monsters are external problems the kids have to face. In the show, the kids also have to face classic coming of age problems, which play out as them confronting their internal monsters too.”
Fans of the games will recognize a mix of the old and the new in the TV show, from the four main characters to some of the gameplay features like the costume powers and interdimensional portals, “and specifically a party filled with kids dressed as Abe Lincoln directly from the game”, says Caselli. “A few new characters in our show include our junk shop costume supplier, Norm, played by Fred Tatasciore; the mysterious nougat factory president, Oona, played by Kari Wahlgren; and our big bad villain, Bob Dickerson, played by Christopher McDonald.”
So how will a game that is essentially all about one very specific holiday translate to a full season of episodes? “Halloween is absolutely a key element of our show,” Caselli says. “We begin our story at the start of October with all the kids in town clamoring for this year’s coolest blockbuster movie costume, and our season finale climaxes on Halloween night. That being said, we have many episodes in between that don’t focus as much on the holiday specifically. We’re confident that we have plenty of character stories, imagination wielding, and unraveling mysteries that will keep audiences engaged all year long.”
Other seasons and holidays, however, will also play a factor. “As a matter of fact, we are working on a Christmas special right now,” McRobb adds. “For future seasons of the show we intend to bring kids, costumes and monsters together in all the earth seasons plus any strange alien seasons that come our way.”
Costume Quest is now streaming on Amazon Prime.
Holly Green is the assistant editor of Paste Games and a reporter and semiprofessional photographer. She is also the author of Fry Scores: An Unofficial Guide To Video Game Grub. You can find her work at Gamasutra, Polygon, Unwinnable, and other videogame news publications.