I’ve been writing about iOS games for years and years now, and yet I’m still constantly surprised and delighted by the exceedingly weird ideas developers dream up for their projects. Take USM’s Steampumpkins (out now, free) for example. It’s a location-based PvP artillery game set in the midst of a war where rival countries are using giant catapults to hurl pumpkins and other fruits at each other. Now if that’s not a unique premise I don’t know what is!

Steampumpkins casts you as the general of your country’s army and sets you on a quest to defeat players from around the world in thrilling pumpkin-slinging duels. At the outset of each battle, you’re given the name of the enemy country, and you’ve got to try to find it on a globe. Once you’ve pinpointed the rough whereabouts of your opponent, you switch to the catapult view to select the direction and distance you want to fire your fruity projectile, and then BOMBS AWAY! Your first couple of shots will likely miss their mark, but that’s okay. The fun and tension in Steampumpkins comes from frantically trying to figure out the optimum coordinates to use for launching a successful strike against your foe, before they do the same to you.

The PvP duels in Steampumpkins are so intensely enjoyable that you’ll probably want to spend all your time with the game playing them. But sadly, you can’t. Since you’re the head honcho of an army, you’ve also got to put a lot of time and effort into overseeing tasks that are less interesting (but no less important), like tending to fruit crops and strategically upgrading your catapult. Planting and harvesting the right kinds of fruits really is one of the most crucial aspects of the game, as they all have special properties and having a good supply of each in your arsenal helps give you an edge in battle.

In addition to being fun and nicely varied in terms of gameplay, Steampumpkins is also a very good looking title with great production values. As you play through the game, it’s wholly obvious just how much thought and hard work the developers put into its imaginative art style and authentically steampunk-y aesthetic. The end result is a game that feels like it’s worth a lot more than its $0.00 asking price.

Verdict

Steampumpkins is a deliciously weird and action-packed artillery game that sees players around the world engaging in intense pumpkin-slinging duels. The core gameplay is wonderfully captivating, and the stylish steampunk-y aesthetic and impressive production values really help catapult the game to another level of special.

Positives
Thrilling PvP battles
Lots to do outside the main game
Striking steampunk aesthetic
Negatives
It's probably a bit too complex and involved to appeal to anyone looking for a casual pick-up-and-play experience
4
Great
Download on the App Store