It’s been awhile since I’ve played the main quest for Costume Quest (pun highly not intended). And there’s a good reason for it: It’s meant to be a quick romp through the eyes of children. There are a lot of great ideas in it, and it seems only natural that an expansion would be made: Grubbins on Ice.
Grubbins on Ice begins with Everett and Lucy meandering about the snow-filled streets discussing the events of the main game. Lucy is, for the most part, much more interested in finding scientific proof than hearing Everett profess his 10 year-old love for her. As quickly as you can say “Munster re-runs,” Lucy gets sucked into a portal. So Everett grabs his two best friends (the twins from the main story) and proceeds to save his lady lo— ... I mean, his friend ... and start a revolution in the monsters’ homeland.
The plot is a bit thin. The characters don’t get to show off their personalities nor is there any more character growth. In other words, what was great about the original is still present, and so are the same weaknesses. This means that you can fiddle with all of the costumes from the original and a few new ones: a yeti, an eyeball and a pirate. You’ll use each costume’s powers to accomplish goals. Plus, each area is unique and colorful.
This leads directly into the same complaints. The expansion is about half the size of the original, and they do not build off of each other. I remember feeling excited that one of the puzzles looked like it grew from the original in an organic manner. Yet it never truly happened; the puzzles are basic.
The real problem comes with its lack of audio. Yes, the same few tunes will happily play in the background. But now it is all the more obvious since the final boss and the pirate costume both laugh. Newspaper cutouts of letters just don’t cut it anymore. Little things like that abound in this game, and it was what drove the overall experience down.
Overall, if you’re looking for a decent DLC for a solid game then Grubbins on Ice is a logical addition to fans of the game. If you’re looking for something that will compensate for the game’s weaknesses, then look elsewhere. It shares the same exact strengths and weaknesses as the main game. And for about $5 (400 Microsoft Points), I expected a lot more in terms of gameplay and “corrections/improvements” to the main areas of play. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my time with Grubbins on Ice. If you liked Costume Quest, then grab it. But if you hated the main game, then feel free to ignore this DLC as it won’t change your mind. Now how’s that for “cold?”