Graveyard Keeper – Xbox One Review
Graveyard Keeper…….. Just the title alone is surely enough to catch a lot of people attention?
Well it caught mine and as one of the few people who didn’t really get drawn into the world of Stardew Valley I went into it with an open mind given that Graveyard Keeper looks and plays very similarly.
The concepts are the same in that you have an allowance of energy you must expend doing various task and this can be replenished by either sleeping, eating or drinking and various meals will offer buffs or perks.
There is a large contingent of characters for you to meet around the village all with their own tale and often giving you various quests to develop your friendship with them
The opening of the game sets the back story of why you are in employment as a Graveyard Keeper and starts you off in your new job with the basics.
I was immediately caught by the slightly gruesome and dark humour to the game, once you start the early quests you will meet your sidekick or dare I say sideskull Gerry, he will assist you by teaching you things and sending you on quests (to fetch him alcohol generally).
Daily the local donkey whose name is also Donkey will come and drop off a new corpse for you to deal with and a bell will ring to signify you have work to do. As the game progresses and your daily tasks increase the ringing of that bell will be ominous and will often ring just as you get into bed to recharge your energy.
Very early you will be introduced to how you receive money for burying the dead and also one of the ways that you can make your graveyard more profitable by passing off flesh from the corpses as meat to the local tavern. Although to do so you need to complete other questlines to get the royal stamp and make the meet look kocher (no pun intended of course)
As you develop the technology lines you can add more skills to your arsenal and more crafting equipment to your work yard plus even extend your yard and graveyard
Very quickly your workload builds on a daily basis and more characters want things from you so it becomes an exercise in spinning a lot of plates at the same time.
I’m far enough into the game to make my mind up on the game but still I can see so much that needs doing and the story has many different little sidequests to take while you are working through the main storyline.
The graphical style and sound are very much in the style of Stardew Valley and given its popularity that is no bad thing, there are plenty of things happening in the world around you and everything is animated well and written into a vibrant and interesting little world.
My only concern with the game is how much it forces me into very tight time management later in the game as even now in the earlier stages if I complete a full autopsy on a body and then bury it, that can use up almost a full energy bar, so then it’s off to bed for a recharge or use a prepared meal.
That is without taking into account any of the other activities such as fishing, farming, cooking, adventuring, building relationships or even fly tipping dead bodies into the river.
But regardless of this I have very much enjoyed my stint as a Graveyard Keeper and will continue on my quests to find out what happens and to make my church and graveyard profitable.
There are 62 achievements for a total of 1000 gamer score available and I think that this one is going to take a lot of work to complete all of the challenges.
Technically the game runs virtually identically on both the One/S and One X however I did notice the occasional random freezing and jerking as you move to different areas of the map or walk around different areas and this happens on both my S and X.
Overall I would definitely recommend Graveyard Keeper as a darkly humorous adventure that can tickle anyone’s itch to do a bit of Sweeney Todd type japery and it’s a great little adventure to experience too.
Developer: Lazy Bear Games
Twitter: @tinyBuild / @LazyBearGames
Price: £15.99 or included with Game Pass
Thanks to tinyBuild for the review code (can I add Graveyard Keeper to my CV now?)