Updated: Dec 5, 2020
Graveyard Keep is a sandbox roleplaying game that has a lot of crafting and simulation elements in a beautiful pixel graphics world that is in a medieval or dark age period. Where you are shunned for thinking the world may be round, or the thought of the average person learning to read is laughable.
For the most part, you can do what you want, when you want to. You can have up to seven storylines going at once, one for each day of the week plus your own since the world has six days in a week. You can choose to do whatever story you want but will hit a roadblock without getting something from one of the other storylines. Each storyline is riddled with moral and ethical issues, but if you’re going to get back home, you are going to have to make some bad choices.
“Wait? Back home?” I don’t intend to spoil much of the game story, but you didn’t wake up one day and decide to be a graveyard keeper. You just ended up with the job. That is all I can say without running it, but the story is very in-depth and creative.
And it will take you hours, and then some. I found the game started slow. I struggled to get any money to do anything, and I spent days trying to harvest the items to build the crafting things to collect more items to craft items to work on tasks to complete quests. I did not find a super-efficient way to come across hefty sums of money, it is the medieval period, and I am just a nobody, so it makes sense. Once I was able to get to the unlimited supply of coal, things started to look up but still not easy.
I think getting people to donate to my church is starting to be the best source of regular income, but even then, it is much work to have a pretty place to worship. The lands around must also look beautiful. That means more bodies, thus more carrots. It is a graveyard, after all.
If only I had some helpers, that would make it so much easier. Now, if I could only figure out how I could employ some without having to pay them, feed them, or cloth them. *ponder* Maybe if I could find a way to animate one of the corpses. Something to consider, but I do not want to ruin it further. It was already so hard to come up with this blog when there are so many significant aspects to the story.
There are a few annoying things about the game, but for the most part, I understand the design even if it is old school compared to the games of today. These design choices could be a detractor for people.
1. Personal inventory is small, so you have to use chests everywhere. There is no way to remember what you have where or some master list. I get it, and this is the RPG aspect of the game. The inventory is not connected.
2. Crafting nice in the game as it does have essential craft items that they can be used as components of more complicated things. But what I hate is there is no recipe list where you are crafting. I have a literal notebook with chicken scratch to remember what I needed; otherwise, I would forget between the church and my house.
3. The quests for the stories are great. The annoying feature is that the quest lines are based on the day of the week. So, whatever you are asked to do, if you can’t bust butt to get it done, you must wait a week to turn it in. The waiting for the day slows down the gameplay more than I would like.
I would not consider any of those annoyances game-breaking. I still played just fine, and I enjoyed my time. I would recommend this game to people that like RPG games that leave you to your own devices. Warning, this game does take more than 3 hours to get to the blood and brains of it all.
Game: Graveyard Keeper
Developer: Lazy Bear Games
Initial Release Date: August 15, 2018