With a little over a month until release on August 14, Lazy Bear Games’ Graveyard Keeper has recently gone into alpha testing.
The main premise of “the most inaccurate medieval cemetery management sim of all time” is to maintain and improve a dilapidated cemetery. Bodies arrive from the village at an alarming rate, and you need to make sure you have somewhere to bury them.
This involves clearing out dead trees, and weeds, digging graves and generally a lot of hard work.
Graveyard Keeper Preview
It turns out that running a cemetery isn’t cheap. You need to find ways to earn enough cash to do the job and luckily, you have an endless ‘resource’ in the corpses that are dropped to you on a regular basis.
Who will notice if a buried body is missing a chunk here or a bone there? With a buyer for everything, all you need to do is find them.
The village is a short walk from your little hut by the cemetery and you’ll find that most of the NPCs living there have quests for you. Some will lead you to dungeons, some are basic fetch quests and some are a bit more complex.
They require you to go to certain places at a particular time on a particular day in the fast-paced, relentless, weekly day/night cycle.
This is where it all gets interesting because managing your time is critical. Bodies arrive every other day and it takes time to process and inter them before they start to rot.
You need food in order to have the energy to do the work which costs you time and money. Making a trip to the village to buy food seems to take half a day. Making your own food is really tricky until you have advanced far enough into the considerable tech tree.
Once you get there though, there are comprehensive crafting and alchemy, fishing, dungeons to crawl and full-blown farming just like Stardew Valley.
How to get the Perfect Body
Graveyard Keeper’s 16-bit style graphics are complemented by an excellent, macabre sense of humour. The visuals are used to pose ethical questions to you such as “Do you really want to spend money on that proper hotdog meat for the festival when you have so many resources lying around?”
Of course, it’s pretty plain from the beginning that you are encouraged to make darker choices in order to succeed. However, that doesn’t seem anything out of the ordinary for the world you find yourself inhabiting.
So far, I’ve quite enjoyed my experience with Graveyard Keeper.
Considering its still in alpha it plays quite well and it’s clear that there is a fair bit of content that is being kept back for the full release.
It looks as though Lazy Bear Games is onto a winner here and I can’t wait to see the finished product.