Graveyard Keeper is a macabre farming simulator about running a graveyard. There’s plenty of the normal grindy things you’d find in a farming sim such as chopping down trees, mining rocks and ore, fighting monsters, and a lot of crafting. There’s also dead bodies that get dropped off at your residence and you have to take care of them, one way or another.
The thing that took me by surprise the most about Graveyard Keeper were the narrative arcs. The game starts much like an isekai anime. You were a relatively normal person that dies due to a tragic accident and finds themselves in a strange new world, as a grave keeper nonetheless. Over time, you run into these random, and often time very hilarious, narrative arcs. One arc has you helping rebels establish their camp. Another has you hunting down vampires due to a misunderstanding with a local who thought you were the vampire, and after downing an alarming quantity of raw garlic later, you set off to find the real vampire.
There are many small segments like this and more and they all intertwine to create a goofy but charming backdrop to the constant grind. The core of the game play is pretty solid as well. You chop down trees, mine rocks and ores, fight monsters, and craft necessary tools and buildings on top of keeping the graveyard nice and tidy. The game play feels great and people who like farming sims such as Harvest Moon or Stardew will feel right at home.
As for the graveyard mechanic, it’s a pretty interesting upkeep mechanic to the game play. You must take care of bodies that get regularly deposited at your residence. Here, you have an interesting balancing act of making sure the bodies are disposed of properly versus saving time and resources. You can take short cuts such as dumping the bodies into the river and burning them, but with the drawbacks that the bodies in the river will end up back at the town and burning bodies does not give you money. You can also harvest organs and materials for crafting (and eating) as well.
The game features a simple tech tree where you unlock new skills, items, and buildings by using points unlocked by simply playing the game. Crafting and manual labor will reward red points, nature related tasks will reward green, and spiritual tasks will unlock blue points.
There’s a lot in this game, so it’ll be hard to cover all of it! As for the Better Save Soul DLC, it adds on about seven hours of new content. People are split over the dlc. Those wanting more closure on the narrative side felt that the dlc left things unfinished while people who focused more on the game play were more satisfied. Take that as you will.
I enjoyed playing this game. The grindy tediousness combined with the funny narrative arcs made me lose track of time.
Overall, Graveyard Keeper is a fantastic, humorous, and deep game that provides a lot of content for those looking for a farming sim with a touch of the macabre and some rather silly narrative arcs.