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Collect the pumpkins, avoid ghosts.

  • Mirak
  • 08/21/2017 12:29 PM
  • 954 views
At time of writing I had played Lembayung, another game by 1550 (the author of this game) which was made after this one. Attracted by the charm of that game I decided to take a look at this one, which was made for RMN's 10th birthday event a few weeks before.

Had I played this game before I'd have noticed 1550's style has a pattern to it. This game follows a similar structure, in that it's a story with a style of "show, don't tell" where the story is told visually without dialogue (mostly) and you have to proceed by exploring a repeating room collecting things in order to advance.

It falls on the player to weave the story together by appreciating the graphic symbolism and figuring out what the text you find inbetween stages mean until you reach the ending.

Gameplay wise the game is a bit repetitive, you're a creature with the titular Pumpkin Head and you must collect pumpkins strewn across the level you're in, which is represented as a forest, occasionally avoiding roaming ghosts who steal one or more pumpkins from you should you come into contact with them. Once you collect 10 pumpkins, you can head to a square patch of dirt located somewhere in the level and interact with it, at which point a ladder will surface. Interact with it again, and you'll finish the level. You'll be greeted with a few text choices in-between levels, asking you cryptic questions with no initial significance; The answers you select for these questions will decide which one of the three available endings you get at the end of the game.

Each stage breaks repetition and tedium by introducing a new kind of enemy, background elements, and audio. Avoiding the ghosts is easy in the early levels but gets difficult later on when the paths become unclear and tight, with the punishment for walking into ghosts increasing as you progress with some aggresive ghosts taking up to 4 pumpkins per collision which will set you back a few minutes, since picked up pumpkins take a while to respawn.

There is the possibility to get screwed in the game by choosing your walking routes poorly and getting trapped by the ghosts, setting you in an unlimited loop of spawn, touch ghost, spawn, repeat.

Style wise, the music and graphic imagery gets creepier and somber the more you progress. The audio is great and consistent, it sets the proper mood for the message the game tries to tell, with my only gripe being the sound effects which feel out of place with the game's style.

I only got one ending, since the later levels can drag on since the unpredictable nature of the roaming ghosts made it too difficult to amass enough pumpkins to proceed without losing a bunch thanks to an errant ghost and this caused me to stop trying after the first playthrough. Still, the game is short, and the filesize is small, so give it a chance if you're looking for a short abstract story.

Posts

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Thank you so much for your kind review :)

Sorry about that last stage, the trick is to wait until one of the ghosts disappears so you can get out of their circle and collect the pumpkin and wait again so you can get back to the square. I'm still learning about music and sound options for game so maybe the RTP sound is kind of not suitable with this game xD

But thank you very much for giving this game a chance :D
Mirak
Stand back. Artist at work. I paint with enthusiasm if not with talent.
8231
No problem. You have an interesting style and I can't wait to see what marvelous things you'll produce in the future.
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