Last Halloween, Alice Bee visited Ghost Town's 999th Annual Pumpkin Festival, carving a pumpkin of her own to place amongst the spooky virtual showcase. It was a lovely little indie game from Adam "Adamgryu" Robinson-Yu, creator of the much-adored A Short Hike. Well, Halloween is upon us again, and Mayor Bones has returned with another gourd-o-rama, putting servers back online and inviting us to contribute new pumpkins. It's still lovely.
Here's a wee tour of some pumps I saw, starting with a fittingly wonky tribute to The Snowman:
This year, every player is invited to carve four pumpkins of their own. Picking from a selection of pumps and armed with a knife and a scraper, off you go to make something spooky. The tools are basic and my pumpkins are coming out awful, but seeing other people's pumpkins makes clear yeah, the problem is me, not the tools. Some impressive geometric designs out there.
Carving is only the start. You then can place your pumpkin in the festival, spread around a wee ghost town with a few ghoulish surprises. You can see everyone else's pumpkins too, and any other players online will hover around as cute little bedsheet ghosts. Be sure to visit the 'alternate universes' (aka other servers) to see them all. And don't miss the horrors waiting in the barn.
Other people's pumpkins really are impressive. Along with the classic jack-o'-lantern face, I've seen a great many cats, Undertale characters, monsters, memes, Moomins, many-eyed angels, tributes to A Short Hike, and even ch-ch-chilling text messages like "STUDENT LOANS", "LATE STAGE CAPITALISM", "CRIME 🔪", "16 MISSED CALLS.. FROM MOM!", and "CAN I SEE YOUR PASSPORT?"
Mayor Bones Proudly Presents: Ghost Town's 1000th Annual Pumpkin Festival is available pay-what-you-want (with no minimum) from Itch.io for Windows, Mac, and Linux. I paid $6.66 because I can't help myself. A few changes since last year, too. Servers are likely to go down in a few weeks, so visit while you can.