Graveyard Keeper Review in Progress Part 2 (PC)
Developer: Lazy Bear Games
Disclosure: This review is based off of a review copy.
37 hours in
After playing Graveyard Keeper for 37 hours, I still have ways to go, but I’ve made significant progress in building my tech tree. Since release, Lazy Bear Games has put out a bunch of patches to help fix things in the game, most notably extending the days to be longer, custom keybinding support, and a teleportation stone. The biggest thing I realized in the game is how important it is to upgrade your church. The church is actually a lot more important than the game implies, and I wish the game did a better job emphasizing the church as a main quest, as opposed to displaying it identically to quests of all the other NPCs. I just got the big church upgrade and that’s where I left off here.
I have also researched the second graveyard stone upgrade and I am starting to get in the groove of building my graveyard up and noticing an uptick in donation amounts in the church. This element of the game is a lot more complex than I thought it was, due to the fact that each corpse has a special rating in the form of red/white skulls that helps determine how many max graveyard points you can get per gravesite with decorations. The RNG is random as far as I can tell, and I have also gotten in the groove of cremating corpses that don’t have a high skull rating, I wish the cremation pits weren’t a one-time use, as it is very annoying to keep going to get Wooden Billets.
The above leads me to my next criticism, which is logging, and that’s a bit of a chore gathering, transporting, and stacking logs in the stockpile. There is no form of transport, no wheelbarrow or wagon, so you are essentially forced to stack the logs next to each other and push vertically. This means that only certain locations are worthwhile for this push tactic. Another disappointment is that the cabin in the northwest doesn’t support wood building, despite the fact the area is filled with forestry. That seems like an oversight, as well as the ability to expand your build site there.
The other part of Graveyard Keeper that I feel needs to be more emphasized and slightly tweaked is the Study table, which is used to gain tech points of all times by “studying” various items. Of course it was totally lost on me that the items actually tell you what resource color you get after studying them. This is the best way to obtain the spiritual resource (blue), as studying corpse parts give plenty. The only reason I didn’t test other items was because I was worried an item would be destroyed. Possibly a notation stating the item won’t be destroyed would be best to get players to use the Study table without concern. While I am the subject of using church tables, the building area for Drawing tables, Alchemy workbenches, etc is just way too small and too specific for certain things. I had to destroy a few tables in order fit everything, but it shouldn’t be this way. There should be some level of customization allowed for placement. This brings me to my next gripe, which is you can’t move buildings after they are built. This is something that I hope gets added to the game because destroying buildings because of a placement mistake is just a waste of time and aggravating.
The other part of the game I have tried out is gardening, which I find gives way too few seeds per harvest. Gardening is a bit more important than I originally thought, as gardening seems to be tied to most things in the game. There is so much to do in Graveyard Keeper that I tend to prioritize gardening last in my list of things to do because it just isn’t profitable enough or worth spending the time there more than mining, burying corpses, gathering lumber, or focusing on church activities.
37 hours in and I still have a lot to do, but I’ve made significant progress. I still haven’t spent much time fishing and I haven’t opened the dungeon with Snake yet. I just unlocked alchemy, more morgue building choices, and the game just keeps getting deeper and deeper the more I am unlock technology. Graveyard Keeper is proving to be a sandbox juggernaut, even with its flaws, as I don’t see this game getting worse, only better. I still have to pry myself away from the game because it’s so addicting.
Graveyard Yard Keeper Review in Progress Part 1