Before being able to review the Game of Crone DLC, I had to play catch up and play Graveyard Keeper first of all. A tinyBuild follower, I’m mildly embarrassed that I hadn’t picked this one up yet.

If I’m to get an understanding of the DLC, I’ll have to do the double whammy and review the base title too, and it won’t cost you a penny. Just me diving deep into the world of death as a make-do Graveyard Keeper.

Before going on, let me just tell you that this is an old school RPG title from Lazy Bear Games where you have to manage the upkeep of a graveyard (not as mundane as it seems), and return to the living to your missus.

Graveyard Keeper Game of Crone Review

After a nasty car accident, well, when have you heard of a pleasant one? our protagonist shifts to an unknown realm and has been shoehorned into the caretaker role at the local cemetery. Before adjusting to your new environment, you’re told to dig up Gerry for assistance.

Graveyard Keeper - Game Of Crone - Feng shui
Feng shui. Source: Steam

Gerry is a talking skull and ain’t got no body (dad joke #291). He’s your tour guide and instigator for the seedy world of corpse collection and burger making. That’s right; you collect a corpse, and to make ends meet, sell the meat for a profit.

Before continuing, let me make it clear that I wasn’t a fan of the aesthetic. While it isn’t clunky retro graphics (they are well crafted), it wasn’t my taste, nor were the sound effects of characters talking. It was a mixture of retching and sawing sounds as far as I was concerned and would have preferred that old school tapping sound when a character speaks.

Still, the music was pleasant. Fortunately, the dialogue is well written, but it’s such an absurd and accepted scenario of landing in an unfamiliar place and just shifting dead bodies about because a talking skull told you to. If it were me, I’d keep running.

Graveyard Shift

As the Graveyard Keeper of the title, you will be the go-to person for meats – ensuring that you extract flesh from dead bodies while they’re still fresh. Yes, it’s morbid, but in a cute way. The visuals and music make cannibalism ‘acceptable’…

Controls are a mixture of the keyboard and mouse. You can’t click where to go to, but can interact with menus with the cursor, then controlling your bloke with the keyboard – interacting with items using E and actions with F.

Graveyard Keeper - Game Of Crone - Tech
Tech. Source: Steam

Graveyard Keeper very much reminds me of Stardew Valley, though I’d say the former takes the win for presentation. However, it didn’t have the same charm for me as the dialogue sounds were annoying, but more importantly, I struggled to identify/like the lead.

There’s nothing predominantly wrong with him, but the story is quite ambiguous, and you are thrown into the deep end. The vast majority of the game is learning how to play it rather than enjoying it at first. Despite the tutorials, the bit in between objectives was the more challenging part.

A Game Of Crone(s)

The Game of Crone DLC is an extension to the base game offering a dozen or so hours, depending on how thorough you are. With Graveyard Keeper, to progress, you have to learn technologies to improve the rating of your cemetery and to do so, you have to know about these before learning them.

This comes from talking to NPCs, going into town and striking up conversations. With Game of Crone, there are new technologies including the bag mechanic, additional gravestones and fences, as well as teleporting scrolls.

From my understanding, Graveyard Keeper has a broad community, and they keep dipping back into the game with each subsequent DLC that is released as Game of Crone isn’t the first. But in some ways, it’s a bit like binging on Animal Crossing, not playing for a bit and then the seasons change, or there’s an update, and you can pick up where you left off.

Graveyard Keeper - Game Of Crone - Lob
Getting rid of the evidence. Source: Steam

I’m lucky in that my graveyard is the mutts already as I have access to this DLC as well as Breaking Dead. But for anyone who delved into this world before can unlock new story modes including what happened to your predecessor, among others.

Until Death Do We Part

For me, however, the game doesn’t resonate so much. It’s not that Graveyard Keeper or even the Game of Crone DLC is particularly bad. Still, I’ve seen so many Stardew Valley ‘inspirations’, and in fear of breaking the internet, have to say I wasn’t wholly invested in that title, and that was a pinnacle for the genre.

If you’ve been playing the game for the past couple of years and invested a fair bit of time in improving your digs and technologies, then the Game of Crone injection will give it a boost. As I already have access to the DLC at the same time as the base game, I’m not only spoilt with the choice but a little indifferent to it as it’s all on a plate, like dubious fresh meat from the local ‘butcher’.

Graveyard Keeper + Game of Crone DLC

6

Graveyard Keeper and the Game of Crone DLC is entertaining enough, but in the ever-growing genre of farm-like RPG titles, there are other games out there with a bit more charm than working the graveyard shift.

Pros
  • Sharp retro graphics.
  • Aside from this DLC, loads of content.
  • Dialogue often witty.
Cons
  • Nothing is truly explained.
  • The protagonist is forgettable.
  • A grind to learn technologies.

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