Impious Pumpkins is not a Halloween game despite its outward appearance. The game is an epic battle between adorable ghosts defending their resting places and invading impetuous pumpkins. The player’s ghost army beats back the pumpkin forces through strategy and teamwork in this whimsical auto battler by Note Missing Games.
The player’s goal is to have more ghosts than pumpkins within a time limit. Each map has three levels that increase in difficulty. Ghosts make use of obstacles on the map to block the line of sight of ranged pumpkins. Obstacles can also work against the player’s ghost army by protecting pumpkins from the player’s damage and hiding balls of energy that accrue on the map over time and with pumpkin kills.
Energy is the player’s in-game currency. At the start of each level, the player begins with 50 energy. Placing ghosts on the map costs energy. There are four different classes in the ghost army the player can choose from. The Ghost Warrior is the only mobile unit available to the player while the ranger, mage, and healer are static units. Ghost Warriors and Rangers cost the least, while Ghost Mages cost substantially more. A single Ghost Healer can exist on the map at a time and it is the most energy-expensive unit.
Each class in Impious Pumpkins has its strengths and weaknesses, which helps to balance out the group. The Ghost Warrior is durable and mobile. Warriors can take damage and act as a shield in defense of the weaker units. Healers do well as support in the back lines for all units. While both mages and rangers deal ranged damage, the Ghost Rangers can reach further with their arrows than mages can with their spells. Not that mages aren’t powerful, their damage output is higher than the rangers. One well-placed mage can do the bulk of the damage when defending their area on the map.
There are five different maps. Each map and its levels quickly become about resource management and map awareness as the player progresses. Some maps have more objects placed on the terrain in favor of or against the player, as these can protect the player or hide the enemy. The tricky thing about some maps is they also hide energy balls better than others. The last map is in the middle of a cornfield and it is easy to miss a necessary energy ball hiding among the cornstalks. It’s a panicked rush to hunt out as much energy as possible and place another unit on the map. The rush against the clock and the RNG of energy and pumpkin placement is fast-paced and challenging.
Skill tree points become available to strengthen the Ghost units as the player progresses through the map levels. I focused heavily on the Warriors and secondarily on the Rangers. Later, I tested a skill tree build with points entirely on healers and focused the remaining points into Ghost Rangers to slow pumpkin attacks. I’d suggest testing different builds and different techniques. The balance between defense and offense is important to get the most out of an improved Ghost Healer. Each map also has an Endurance Level and the player may find some builds superior to others when competing against the clock while still staying ahead of the evil pumpkins.
I appreciate Impious Pumpkin’s easy-to-learn mechanics while still being challenged by the clock and the maps’ terrains. It’s nice to just be able to hop into a game and kill some time, but still be able to gain some fun out of the time. This makes it fairly simple to try different tactics without a lot of effort because of a steep learning curve. The adorable Halloween-like environment is perfect for someone who loves the holiday as I do. I wanted to see all the maps because of the cute themes.
“If you’re looking for a casual game with easy-to-learn mechanics and some challenges, Impious Pumpkins is an amazing option, especially if you think Halloween is perfect any day of the year.”— HAZZIESOF
Impious Pumpkins is a fun indie game even if it’s fairly short. I streamed the game for about 4 hours and made it to the end. There is some replayability for players through testing out different builds and Endurance Mode, but additional modes, maps, player types, enemy types, and builds might bulk up the length while adding variety to the game. The Endurance Mode is a chance for the player to see how long in time their strategy can take them versus the pumpkins. While it’s a nice addition, it would be nice to see more mode types. I enjoyed playing through each map with my Ghost Army as the difficulty ramped up. The difficulty feels just right, however, I’d like to see more options for players to choose from.
If you’re looking for a casual game with easy-to-learn mechanics and some challenges, Impious Pumpkins is an amazing option, especially if you think Halloween is perfect any day of the year. The game is a good price at five bucks and I’d suggest it for players who enjoy adorable characters and tower defense type games. While the game is not specifically a tower defense per se, it ends up functioning this way when ghosts have to defend a specific point on the map against hordes of pumpkins. Impious Pumpkins plays similarly to the original Plants vs. Zombies except with more RNG and different map obstacles part of the equation.
Impious Pumpkins is available now on Steam for PC. Thank you Indie Game Collective for providing the code to another amazing showcase. I loved my time with Impious Pumpkin’s charming world of ghosts and pumpkins. Join the Ghost Army and show the evil pumpkins who’s boss!