Between us, who has never dreamed of being a guardian of a cemetery? Nobody ? Admittedly, such a profession is probably not the most glamorous of options, but it is still the focus of attention in Graveyard Keeper. The new foal team Lazy Bear Games (Punch Club) allows you to plunge into the hard life of a cemetery guardian in the Middle Ages, who will do everything to help his morbid business to prosper.
Behind this particularly gloomy context hides a title whose style of play evokes the more classic Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons or Stardew Valley: Collection, repair and management of a domain are thus at the heart of an experience in the tone actually more light then one would think.
It is indeed at the end of an astonishing introduction that your avatar, accustomed to our modern world, finds himself propelled in the Middle Ages at the head of a graveyard in a sorry state. A meeting with the clergy later, and our man embarks on a series of works that will eventually allow him to manage the nearby church, grow his own plants or make his small business a real business of death. If there is a point on which Graveyard Keeper does not disappoint, it is of course the variety of elements to manage throughout the dozens of hours necessary to complete the adventure. Without going into details about each of them, know that between the crafting, the arrangement of the places, the resale of elements recovered in the nature or collected on the corpses even the sermons pronounced before the faithful of your church, you have something to occupy yoursefl with without being bored of having nothing to do.
However, you will need to manage your fatigue gauge, which once emptied prevents you from performing any activity. This one runs out very quickly and also has a tendency to slow down the pace of the whole experience, accentuated by a system of progression that is quite slow. Thus, each NPC you meet allows you to unlock a new quest line that usually only asks to retrieve an item or chat with a character. A progression that usually involves unlocking additional skills or new tools to craft new elements.
In order to progress further in the growth of your graveyard you will need to unlock skills in a skill tree, the number of layers sometimes consequent to craft a specific object hinders the clearness of the progression. Thus, it is not uncommon to have to unlock a skill to get the proper production tool used to design an object … before realizing that the materials needed for the design of the latter can be made only through from another branch of the skill tree. All of this is perfectly manageable during your first few hours of play, but can become a real drag and an endless grind further on in the game.
luckily among the intense grind is a very fun game that begs to be player further and further. It also has another asset up his sleeve with its very successful atmosphere, carried by a soundtrack as simple as effective, a retro style as charming as that of Punch Club and funny and light dialogue. It’s difficult not to enjoy this maccabre universe that was put up to enjoy this weird idea, although we regret the presence of many round trips on the map that could have been a bit better arranged.
Graveyard Keeper does not have many faults, but it still suffers from its slow pace of play and probably exaggerated farming, which artificially extends the life of this game full of dead people. Yet behind this slightly lesser layer hides a funny title, offbeat, already very complete and charming with a masteful pixel art style. Seeing your small business and its side development grow is a real pleasure, especially since it offers a context that has the merit of being distinguished in the mass of other farming games heavily available already.
Graveyard Keeper is a fun and unique farming game that works quite well, but has a tendency to be a deadly grindfest.