October means video game pumpkins are back, baby!

As has been the tradition for many years now (three), Mayor Bones is proud to present: Ghost Town’s 1001st Annual Pumpkin Festival is back! I first reported on this free Adamgryu Pumpkin Carving Game (from the famous A Short Hike) in 2020, when it was only the 999th festival, and Alice0 also walked there l ‘last year.

This year, pumpkins are back, and better than ever. Download the Pumpkin Fest to pay what you can on Itch, sculpt your own pump with the tools provided and place it among the efforts of others in a spooky and peaceful scene. You can walk around and vote for your favorite push-ups. But that’s not the only pumpkin game to enjoy! I found a few others too. This is the reason for the scary season.

As you can see from my stroll around the festival this year, there aren’t many entries yet, but by gum, there are people stopping by. My favorite was a Nightmare Before Christmas pump, with the rolled up hill sculpted in the front and Jack’s silhouette in the back. Good for you if this is your pump! This year, you can assign rosettes to your favorites and customize your ghost self with a mustache or a cat’s face (with haunting accents from the Moonlight Sonata). The Ghost Town Pumpkin Festival is becoming one of my favorite Halloween traditions.

I am also a pumpkin lover. In the UK we don’t eat them in pie or coffee form, and we just cut them up and throw them away for Halloween, but there’s something very magnetic about them. Big orange hollow things. It’s a kind of magic to open one and see that somehow there’s a big gap in the middle. Imagine my joy when I discovered that there is fillers of pumpkin games to enjoy.

Boo!, a spooky puzzle game that Brendy (RPS In Peace) wrote about in 2017, is now complete and released. The goal is to use paint dips in the correct order, combined with things like eye patches and hats, to make a pumpkin decorated in the same pattern as yours. You’ll recognize the work if you’ve played Factory Balls, as it’s the same developer. It’s both challenging and charming, and I’m a huge fan. Currently stuck on pumpkin number 12.

Boo! is pretty cheap, but if you want less, there are some really fun pumpkin games on Itch which, like Ghost Town’s Pumpkin Festival, are available to play for free. I really appreciated Pumpkin, which amounts to a kind of time management game. You explore a graveyard, hit ghosts with a shovel, and keep pumpkins alight by feeding them candles. There is also Pumpkin Spice Heaven (which also has a sequel), a very cute Bitsy game where you traverse invisible mazes to find Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

My favorite, however, is pumpkin festival. You stand on a treadmill and press a key to carve, light up, or destroy a pumpkin depending on its current state, keeping pace if possible. If you get a good sequence, the disco lights come on. It’s very challenging, but also very fun.

So why not put your pumpkin on this year? Or, if you fancy something really spooky, check out our list of the best horror games (which I recently updated, just for you). In the meantime, I’m still going to take a few more laps around the Pumpkin Festival.

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