While many well-known companies, such as Nintendo and Blizzard, have begun to expand into the field of mobile gaming, we are also seeing the opposite movement from mobile game developers. Many developers originally specialized in mobile games have begun to take steps to release their games on other platforms. Of course the most affordable solution for them is Steam, since the process to include their game in the Steam Store is not particularly complicated, as well as providing access to a large percentage of PC gamers. Baldur Games, creator of Grave Keeper, also belongs in this category of developers.
Grave Keeper, according to its description is an RPG Adventure, but we wouldn’t say it has many RPG elements. Our character is a Bounty Hunter who dared to enter the forbidden fortress owned by the Skeleton King and therefore has to fight him to make his own treasure hiding there. But the story ends there. During your adventure and until you reach the infamous Skeleton King you will have to face many obstacles, but the game feels like there is no progression in its story or character development as we would expect from the average role-playing game. In short, while there is a script and character that could evolve somewhat, unfortunately the company has just come up with a quick description of the situation you are in.
Your adventure in the Forbidden Stronghold, as the fortress is called, is full of dangers and enemies to deal with. Grave Keeper is divided into levels, where you have to defeat a certain number of enemies to move to the next level and reach the boss that is waiting for you. Although you will not see much difference between stages visually, the increased level of difficulty is an important example of your progress. At each stage you have to face 15 enemies to go to the next until you reach a boss fight, and at times you will be confronted with the Skeleton King. Every boss fight and battle with Skeleton King offers rewards, such as new weapons or armor and gold coins with which you can upgrade your equipment.
Grave Keeper also offers daily quests as well as missions that will reward you with potions, gems, coins and other materials to upgrade your armor, weapons and passive skills. It is worth noting that there are many different objects and the number of upgrades is unlimited, so you can reduce your hero’s weaknesses and become more effective in combat. Each upgrade will help you in a different way, as some enemies, and especially bosses, may require a bit of special handling, such as ranged attacks to avoid body-to-body combat in which you will likely lose. In addition to the main game mode, Grave Keeper has two other alternatives to play, Versus having to kill 30 enemies before the opponent and Royal Fight, where you work with other knights in survival mode.
Operating the game with the joy cons has perfectly come over from mobile devices. The Bounty Hunter you control can be attacked either with a melee weapon such as a sword, an ax, or a scythe or with a ranged crossbow. Enemies have similar capabilities, with slight variations per unit. If you are in a difficult position your game is covered as it is possible to use potion to restore your hero’s health bar to a good spot.
The creation of Grave Keeper has made use of the Unreal Engine, resulting in a very good look despite the fact that the game was initially only available on mobile devices. The Switch uses a mobile chip so it goes to show that the game runs precisely as their mobile counterpart, sometimes even better. The music of the game is good, but there are no particular changes so it becomes a bit monotonous.
In summary, this creation of Baldur Games is a remarkable time killer. Without a particular scenario and with quite repetitive gameplay Grave Keeper might not be suitable for all adventure fans, but we weren’t tired of it at all and we can’t deny that it is a great port for the Switch. Certainly some features of the mobile game are shouting, but if you could skip or try the mobile version of the game and you had a positive impression we would say go for it.
Grave keeper is a great time waster and a perfect port from it’s mobile counterpart. Just don’t forget that there are mobile game references to be found.