Graveyard Keeper is a game on the Nintendo Switch eshop.
Full disclaimer: I received the game code in exchange for doing a review.
The game does not have much in the settings, but who cares, its all about the gameplay.
The game starts out with a tiny bit of back story. Its not too deep, but enough to give background context. After that you get right into the gameplay.
You start by digging up someone to help you, and a donkey shows up with a dead body for you to take care of. This is the story showing how to get started and guiding you into the gameplay. It’s a smart way to do it.
During the start of the first autopsy you learn you need to get meat, Get a death certificate and trade it for beer. It also unlocks new technology: a few Blueprints and Gather Flesh. After the autopsy you also unlock technology: How to create food such as burger, sandwich, baked meat.
Now we move onto the graveyard. They show that you use a blueprint desk and dig a grave. After you bury the body you can also decorate the grave site.
The game also explains that you need to maintain the graves, and keep a good score of the grave yard. The first game goal shows up at this point. Get a Grave yard rating of 5 to be promoted by the Bishop.
Now another new aspect of the game comes up, Crafting! You can craft “Grave Kits” Which help you restore the graves. By doing things in the game you earn points. There are 3 types of points: Red = Hand Crafting skills, Green = Knowledge of nature of things, Blue = Spiritual Knowledge. You use these points at the craft table to make things. A new skill tree opens up where you can use your color points and unlock new skills, such as: Sawing, Woodworking, Mining, Carving, Stone Sculpting. These are just on the building page, there are other pages of skills such as: Smiting, Farming, Book Writing, Cookery and more!
This makes the game more interesting, with lots to do.
I tried to sell my meat at the tavern in the village, but you need a stamp to sell it. I then deliver a letter to the blacksmith and he has chores for me, but gives me a lot of things such as a Whetstone to sharpen tools, and other supplies. The game now shows that when you do things it will take away energy and you need rest to restore it, but you can also use food and potions to restore energy.
At this point I spent time near the house gathering supplies. I like gathering supplies near the house because I need to have the character rest a lot in his bed to gain back energy.
At this point I noticed that I filled my limited inventory and had to unload a lot of things into a trunk.
There are trunks everywhere in the game, and some in convenient places such at at the graveyard, your house, etc.
I also got stuck on logs when cutting down trees, I expected it to auto add the inventory, but you need to click ‘A’ and carry them one at a time to your little holder rack near the house.
I use the points gained by gathering supplies to finally unlock items from the skill tree. I unlocked a lot of wood working skills, since I think those will be handy. I sure hope they are, I used a lot of points on it. The Blue skill points are the most difficult to get. I really struggled with those, but I did find some helpful hints at GamePedia.com on how to get the blue skill points. This wiki website about Graveyard keeper really helped me out many times. This game requires lots of grinding away to get the things you need unlocked. (The GamePedia website is not an affiliate, it was just a really helpful site I found)
The game lets you know when a new body arrives by a ringing bell sound. You can’t wait too long or the body will decompose, so you need to get over there and take care of it. I do not want to go too detailed because the game makes it clear what to do.
When you wake up from your sleep, you are full of energy and healed. The game also auto saves after you wake up.
Once you get your workshop setup with wood working, stone working, and metal working tools, you are jamming away at crafting the stuff you need for your graveyard.
Once I got to fishing in the game, things went bad for a while. I spent 2 days in game trying to fish and wasted a lot of bait. I then found this post on reddit from user RodrigoNOFX that says “I found out you have to watch the character’s arm instead of the rod. Right when it changes pace you have to press A”. This was a huge help to me and many others, as seen in the comments below the post. I was trying to figure it out from the wiki I posted above but it shows the controls from the Steam version of the game, which was no help on the switch.
You are watching for the extra flinch in his hand and push ‘A’ right away to get the fish caught. Then you play the mini game trying to keep the yellow bar on the fish by pushing ‘A’ to raise the yellow bar, keeping it in range of the fish.
I worked hard to get into the dungeon. The Dungeon starts out easy on the first level, but gets more difficult each level in by introducing more difficult enemies. In order to advance to the next level, you must kill all the enemies on that level of the dungeon.
After I finally reached level 10 of the dungeon I was not allowed to continue until I progress more in the story.
While in the dungeon there are several things you can loot from broken benches to barrels and by killing enemies.
Conclusion and Final words.
I feel this game is fun and great for anyone that likes Role Playing Simulation games like Stardew valley, Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, Terraria, etc.
There is so much to do in the game, and tons of things to craft, so that’s a plus.
But for the negatives:
You get tired so easily and need to go to bed and rest often.
There was a few times when I hit the wrong button and a blank error popped up.
Sometimes the dialog from a character gets cut off behind the screen elements.
I also had another glitch in the game where my Crafting desk in the basement would just disappear the next day. I had to rebuild it 3 times but as of now its been staying where I put it.
Besides these few minor issues, the game has been a large amount of fun.
I highly recommend this game if you are interested in this type of gameplay. My switch says I have been playing for “Over 25 hours”.
Special thanks to tinyBuild (@tinyBuildGames) for the game code to do this review!