Graveyard Keeper

Game review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Graveyard Keeper Game Poster Image
Dark comedic adventure gets lost in repetitive tasks.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Few positive messages expressed, other than the fact that hard work is important.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Very little known about main character, who seems to be doing whatever he needs to do just to get back home.

Ease of Play

While controls are simple, gameplay can be complex, with variety of quests to complete. Some tasks have multiple steps that have to be finished to successfully clear those missions.

Violence

References to cannibalism and desecrating the dead, but nothing seen. Players will deal with corpses, and occasionally some blood is seen, but pixelated visuals limit impact. 

Sex

Some female characters appear to show cleavage in their outfits.

Language

Some mild insults as well as references to eating human flesh.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One of the characters, a floating skull, is fond of alcoholic drinks.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Graveyard Keeper is a downloadable action/adventure game for the Xbox One and Windows PC. Its dark comic tone does make much of the gameplay not for younger players, thanks to talk about cannibalism, the desecration of corpses, and gambling. Players will also interact with a floating skull who enjoys alcoholic beverages, and will see some female characters that show some cleavage. But a lot of the inappropriate content is slightly limited by its top-down perspective and blocky pixelated graphics, which reduce the impact.

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What's it about?

In GRAVEYARD KEEPER, you're just a modern guy on his way home to your beloved wife when you're struck by a car and wake up to find you're ... somewhere else. Is it the afterlife? Is it a medieval land? All you know is that you're now in charge of running the local graveyard. Oh, and for some reason, there's a talking skull in this graveyard who may have a drinking problem that you'll have to deal with. To get home, you'll have to do your job while exploring this world and participating in many strange, unexpected activities. Oddly enough, this will include selling corpse meat burgers.

Is it any good?

While it has some problems, and will bore action junkies, this adventure game is rather unique and will engage gamers looking for a new career. In Graveyard Keeper, you're a modern man whose life is cut short by a car accident, until you wake up and find that you're now in medieval times and in charge of the local cemetery. What's more, there's a talking skull in this graveyard with a drinking problem who likes to give you advice. As you try to get home, you'll fix up the place, deal with the locals, and perform the duties of a grave digger, a coroner, and so on. All of which comes with a healthy serving of gallows humor.

But while this game has controls, visuals, and perspective similar to those in classic role-playing adventure games, it doesn't focus on combat like those games. It's more about running errands and performing tasks. The problem is that there are times when the work becomes redundant, or needlessly complicated, while knowing where to go is sometimes a challenge in itself. It also doesn't help that, in a game with so many text-based menus and dialogue, the type is so small that it's impossible to read if you sit at a reasonable distance from your television. But if your eyesight is really good, your stomach is really strong, and your work ethic is really solid, you'll have a morbidly good time being this land's Graveyard Keeper

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of family. In the game, you do what you must to get back to your family, but why is family important? Are your family members important because they're related to you, or do you get to define family by the people that you include in your life?

  • Talk about respecting the dead. Why do people and cultures have so many ceremonies or rituals around death and people who have died? Is this about respecting the person who has died or maintaining the societal balance between the living and the dead?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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