Trick or treating might be somewhat irresponsible right now, but you’ve got a pumpkin carved at least, right? No? It’s only Halloween tomorrow, you’d better get cracking. Released for free (or pay-what-you-want) on Itch this week, Mayor Bones Proudly Presents Ghost Town’s 999th Annual Pumpkin Festival is a delightfully social little gourd-carver that doesn’t even require getting your hands messy.
Created by A Short Hike developer Adamgryu, Mayor Bones’ Pumpkinfest is a simple—if surprisingly robust—little creative distraction. There’s a wide range of procedural pumpkins to pick from, and while you’ve only a carving and scraping tool to work with, deforming the soft flesh of the gourd is surprisingly satisfying.
I imagine it’s even more so if you’re actually good at crafting Jack o’ Lanterns. I, evidently, am not.
The magic, really, is that Mayor Bones’ Pumpkin Festival is actually a kind of low-key MMO. Once you’ve perfected your pump’, you can take it to a small festival and set it down anywhere among the tables, carts, stumps and fenceposts lining the show.
Other players’ lanterns litter the scene, from menacing to cutesy to downright weird. There are more than a few cat-eared gourds on show, while one has lopped off an entire quarter to create a very awkward Pac-Man pumpkin. Their creators, fans, and other guests are visible as ghosts drifting around the show, giving hearts to their favourite decorations.
It’s been a good decade since I last carved a pumpkin, I reckon. But between the social display and lack of seeds, Adamgryu has created a wonderfully seasonal little showcase that’s well worth visiting. The servers are likely to go down a few weeks after Halloween, so get carving while you can.