Our story begins when we regain consciousness to a ghostly figure informing you to dig up Gerry and that he will explain everything. Gerry, a disembodied talking skull with a severe amnesia and a serious drinking problem, serves as your guide on your journey and shows you the ropes to become the best graveyard keeper this side of Camelot. That is until he gets thirsty and sends you on fetch quests to fulfill his alcoholic needs. This tutorial presents you with the basics before exposing you to a plethora of characters scattered around the landscape.
The gameplay mechanics in Graveyard Keeper are very similar to Stardew Valley but exposing you to a few more, complex attributes. Your main goal as the Keeper is to be a productive member of society while researching the town and its inhabitants in your efforts to escape this mysterious purgatory. Keeping up with the graveyard and holding church sessions for The Bishop is help in the highest order and will devote most of your time early on. Whether you are fixing gravesites, exhuming distasteful bodies, or performing autopsies for some extra gold (don’t tell anyone), you will find your calling sooner or later. If being Ye’ Ole Mortician doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, then don’t worry. Maybe you were meant to be a farmer, a scholar, or the village idiot, telling everyone you were from the future probably wasn’t the best idea. Friends are everywhere and trust me when I say it, they will not hesitate with getting what they want at your expense. There is always something to do, even if you do not want to talk to a soul. I really enjoyed the graveyard management section at the beginning, but as I played I found myself shifting towards fishing and tending the crops. I still did what was needed of me to progress, but I played the game the way I wanted to from beginning to end. The level of freedom present here is non-existent in a lot of titles today, so I am glad the title doesn’t restrict the player from doing what they actually prefer to do.
Graveyard Keeper’s visuals and soundtracks were high-class and done very well. The 8-bit top-down aesthetic chosen pairs well with games of this genre, I mean look at Stardew Valley. In addition, I enjoyed the medieval setting used, which provided amazing context for why you were managing a graveyard. Providing a sense of mysticism helped keep this game from getting stale and prevented it from falling into a category and being forgotten as a simple clone. The music felt right at home with its eerie vibes. The combination of the atmosphere, the visuals, and the soundtrack put the nail in the coffin for the spooky overtones that resonate throughout the entire game.
In the end, Graveyard Keeper is an amazing title that does a lot of things right but unfortunately fell victim to an excessive amount of technical issues. The game is priced at $20 USD, which I feel is worth the price, once they fix the crashing. Luckily for individuals playing on Xbox, this game is part of the Xbox Game Pass. While it would still require a purchase of the Game Pass membership, it will allow you to try the game out for a discounted price. Even with all the issues, I would recommend trying this game out, it has some nice quirks and is worth it overall.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 7/10
+Tons of Content
-Methods to Obtain Skill Points Are Annoying