Halloween… that time of the year when witches, ghosts, ghouls and monsters unleash terror on the world. No, that’s kids all over the globe on their annual door-to-door hunt for candy on their cosplay-fueled expedition. Either way, it’s an exciting time for all but not for one person.
In this latest adventure in the retro-styled Quiet, Please! adventure series from Nostatic Software, our unnamed heroine sets out with her younger brother to visit as many houses in the neighbourhood to collect as much candy as possible, just like all the other kids who are busy knocking at the door, but even though it’s Halloween neither she or her brother have got their costumes yet! You have to guide our desperate adventurer to construct the perfect costume and fill your candy bowl waiting for you at home and have the best Halloween ever…
Straight away if you’ve played any of the previous games from Nostatic Software then you’ll know what to expect from the visual style in the game. It’s a very stylised 8-bit feel with extremely chunky graphics and while this may feel dated for many, as I’ve said when I’ve looked at other games in the series it gives it a certain retro charm and feel and suits the adventure surprisingly well. I will say from the start that if you’re expecting – and feel the need – for high-end graphics in your adventures then this isn’t going to be a game for you.
At the heart of the game it follows the same basic format as the other three games in the Quiet, Please! saga – moving the central character left and right with the d-pad and picking up / interacting with objects using X, O and square and it’s something that you’ll pick up in a matter of minutes if you’ve never played any of the games before so you can concentrate on the game itself. As well as taking place in your house as with the first two in the series, the game is set in the exterior locations in the street in which our protagonist lives – the street itself along with the gardens of several other houses expanding the game’s world that we have become accustomed to once more.
The game starts off in our heroine’s bedroom next to her wardrobe – and this will play a major part in the game as I’ll come onto in a minute. As I said at the start, it’s Halloween but you don’t have a costume so that’s the main thrust of this adventure. You have to explore the house and neighbourhood to find various items to be able to make your own costumes for Halloween. You do this by bringing things back to your wardrobe and then combining them – a brand new game mechanic added to the Quiet, Please! game engine and something that is incredibly easy to use. All manner of objects and items of clothing can be combined and you can create several costumes both for the central character and her brother and you’ll need several to be able to collect as much candy as you can. There are still plenty of other puzzles to solve in and around your house so it’s not just about getting dressed up but this is a great new game element that really helps keep the game fresh from previous entries in the series.
Another welcome addition to the game is pumpkin carving. I kid you not! At the start of the game is a pumpkin located on the kitchen table and on collecting a large knife you can carve it ready for display outside of your house. When you do this, rather than using pre-defined graphics, the game switches to a basic bitmap graphics editor allowing you to customise the look of the pumpkin to whatever you want. It’s nothing overly spectacular but it works incredibly well and really gives that part of the game that little extra feeling of depth.
Onto the story itself and all of the regular characters from previous games make an appearance – our heroine’s parents, younger brother, and neighbour Mr Peabody, and all of the humour and in-jokes that you’ve come to expect from the series are all there as well. I won’t spoil any of it by revealing anything here but the game put a smile on my face on more than a few occasions, certainly when the kid brother tried on one of his new costumes for the first time but I’ll leave that for you to discover for yourself.
The puzzles themselves vary in difficulty from simple and blindingly obvious to ones that will leave you tearing your hair out in frustration (including one red herring that left me screaming out for a solution to a puzzle that wasn’t actually there!) but all the puzzles are logical enough and once you figure them out you’ll wonder why you didn’t work them out quicker. It’s challenging but you’ll have plenty of fun working everything out along the way and with an autosave function there’s no need to worry about memorising everything and having to start from scratch as was the case with the first two in the series.
I absolutely loved playing this and – as with the previous game in the series Vacation Vexation – I found this almost impossible to put down until I had completed it and is full of charm and characters that you’ll warm to if you haven’t already, although it has to be said that once you have played it through from start to finish you’ll find that it’s a game that you won’t return to because there’s no repeat play appeal. Certainly I can see a lot of potential now with the game engine that Nostatic have developed with the ability to combine objects, the image editor and the mini games featured in Vacation Vexation that were playable in the arcade during the game (and after completion) so I hope that these will be used in the next in the series as well to offer more post-completion gameplay to extend its lifespan.
This is another great game from Mike Oliphant and it’s another worthy addition to the Quiet, Please! series and is a fantastic, fun and challenging adventure. It isn’t the best in the series although to be frank Vacation Vexation has set the bar pretty high for Nostatic Software now and I think it will take a lot for any of their future releases to come close to the high standards of that one, especially with the repeat play value that it provides, but Candy, Please! still offers hours of solid adventuring and is a great fun game and should be an essential addition to any gamers collection. A solid adventure and one that I can’t find any fault with at all.
At A Glance
- Title: Candy, Please!
- Publisher: Nostatic Software
- System: PlayStation Mobile
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: No
- Online Multiplayer: No
- Local Multiplayer: No
- Memory Card Space Needed: 13Mb