Graveyard Keeper: Game Of Crone DLCby Adam Dileva
For all the praise it got, I never actually played Graveyard Keeper when it originally released a few years ago, but it just fell by the wayside and I never got around to it. One of our other writers really enojyed the base game, which you can read HERE. Well, the latest DLC for Graveyard Keeper has now arrived, titled Game of Crone, so I not only had to learn how to play the base game, but sink time into it so I could understand the DLC as well; a task that took quite a few hours and eventually had me hooked.
Heavily inspired by games like Stardew Valley, Graveyard Keeper is similar mechanically but the setting is something quite unique. You are, well, a graveyard keeper, tasked with managing a medieval cemetery after dying in a terrible car crash. You just want to return back to the real world to your wife, but doing so won’t be so easy as he starts his new ‘job’. You dig up Gerry, a talking skull, setting the tone for a weird morbid-yet-lighthearted adventure where you can play however you like.
Lazy Bear Games has done a great job at keeping such a morbid topic fun without being too serious. Yeah you’ll be dealing with corpses and managing a cemetery, but there’s plenty of other people to help that will in turn help you as well. You, the Keeper, will have a near endless list of tasks to complete, but you’re never really timed or forced to do one before another.
I’ll be honest, I was quite frustrated coming in as a brand new player, as very little is taught to you, so you need to simply dump a bunch of hours into Graveyard Keeper before things start to make sense and ‘click’. One you turn this page though it becomes quite addictive. Every task you need to complete has multiple steps to be done beforehand, but some of those steps need other tasks to be done and those need others to be complete, so on and so on. Once I figured out how everything was intertwined and connected, it started to finally make sense and then I started to really enjoy myself.
Before you can dive into the Game Of Crone DLC, you do need to be at a certain point of the main game before being able to access it. While this doesn’t take long, as it’s shortly after opening the Church in the storyline, I spent hours doing things the wrong way initially and decided to delete my game save and start over once I realized I was making my adventure harder than it needed to be. From that point on though I was spending many late nights tending to my cemetery and harvesting materials.
For those that have already spent countless hours as the Keeper, Game of Crone adds a decent amount of gameplay with this DLC. There’s new bag mechanics where you can carry seeds, saving you bag space, new dishes to cook, new fences and gravestones and even new teleportation scrolls. There’s also three new main quests that differ greatly along with multiple endings, adding around six to ten hours of gameplay depending on how proficient and wealthy you are in the base game already. Being a new player I had no stock of supplies to fast track these quests, so it obviously took me quite longer to experience what the DLC has to offer.
There are three main quests which I’ll delve into briefly, as I don’t want to spoil any of the narrative elements, as it’s the main purpose of this DLC. One storyline has you building a refugee camp just north of your Sweet Home, figuring out the truth about vampire sightings around the village and partaking in Donkey’s revolution. As you can see, Graveyard Keeper’s sense of humor is still intact with this DLC.
Like everything else around the Village, when vampires are reportedly spotted around town it falls upon the Keeper to figure out the truth. The story is lighthearted and has you trying to do some light detective work, having you talk to certain people on certain days, etc. The Donkey’s quest was quite hilarious, as he finally has had enough and wants a revolution for his working class of donkeys. This questline is more crafting focused, tasking you with creating unique goodie boxes to be sent their way. For longtime players, creating these packages won’t be too difficult, but new players like myself will have to devote some time into gathering the resources before sending them off.
The highlight for me with the Game Of Crone DLC was the Refugee Camp questline though. This portion has you building an encampment for a band of refugees just up the trail from your own home. After reaching a certain point of the base game you’ll be awoken one night for someone begging for your help, opening up this questline. At first they simply want to survive, requiring food and water, so that will be your first focus, taking away from your own supplies. As they are fed and become happy the camp rating will rise, allowing you to eventually build other structures and attract new refugees.
Eventually you’ll be able to create gardens and wells, allowing for the camp to be a bit more self-sufficient, or at least less travel for you to bring them the supplies. As you attract more people to the camp, the list of requests will grow as well, so you’ll need to invest some time and resources into having it grow and thrive. Even though I had to share many of my resources and build items to help grow the camp, I felt myself actually caring about seeing them prosper, plus getting some new food recipes was a great bonus.
Like most of the core game, many portions of the Game of Crone DLC will take time and pre-planning to do it the most efficiently. If you’ve never played Graveyard Keeper and want to jump right into the DLC, you’re going to have to put some time into the base game beforehand and have a firm grasp on how it all works mechanically. Visually the DLC is just as well done as the core game with beautiful pixelized aesthetics, so there’s no change there, but the audio has had some additions, especially with the calming tune that plays when you’re within the refugee camp.
Graveyard Keeper: Game Of Crone DLC adds more longevity to a game that already has dozens of hours of gameplay. While it’s more meant for mid-late game for players that already understand Graveyard Keeper’s intricacies, I quite enjoyed myself once I grasped how the core game actually works and plays. For about $13 CDN, Graveyard Keeper fans shouldn’t have any issues with the new recipes, quests and items you get in Game Of Crone but it still doesn’t hold your hand as well as it should for new players to the game.
**Graveyard Keeper: Game Of Crone DLC was provided by the publisher and reviewed on an Xbox Series X**