Stardew Valley & Graveyard Keeper

August 19, 2018

Two days before my birthday, I logged into my Steam account to find a 25% discount coupon for a game that was being released that same day: Graveyard Keeper. This game was being suggested to me because I had played at least two games that were similar to it, one of them being Stardew Valley, which I had absolutely loved.

Given that it was only a couple days until my birthday, I decided to use that as an excuse, treat myself to a new game, and write a review about Stardew Valley and my first impressions on Graveyard Keeper. 😇

Although for Stardew Valley fans one of it's best features is how relaxing and effortless it is, it is also true that it didn't quite please everyone - some people found it boring for being so simple. Maybe too simple. For those people, who want more of a challenge out of this sort of games, Graveyard Keeper might be a better solution, as it's crafting system is a lot more complex and there's a high resource management associated with the game. I personally enjoy them both.

I'll try to make a quick summary of the similarities and differences I found between Stardew Valley and Graveyard Keeper so far.

The Similarities

When Graveyard Keeper was officially released, it didn't take long for the Steam community to point out it's similarity to another indie game, Stardew Valley. Here are some of the similarities I found:

  • Both Stardew Valley (SV) and Graveyard Keeper (GP) are indie games, with graphics made in pixel art, and an amazing soundtrack.
  • Both games have a very relaxed feeling to them. All quests have an "optional" vibe, there isn't really a sense of urgency to complete them on a certain time frame.
  • In both games, you can have a farm and tend to it.
  • Fishing is an option once you've acquired a fishing rod.
  • Both games have dungeons you can explore and monsters you can fight.
  • The townsfolk befriend you the more you interact with them and help them with their own personal quests.
  • You're free to gather resources from the world and use them to cook meals or craft tools and other stuff you need.
  • You can't enter certain houses without befriending the owners first.
  • Certain NPCs only appear in specific days.
  • There is more than what meets the eye. In both games the world map can be expanded by unlocking more areas as the game progresses.
  • Both games have ways of fast traveling and/or teleporting around the map.

The Differences

Although at first Graveyard Keeper does give you a Stardew vibe, both games also have some fundamental differences. Here are some I found so far:

  • Stardew Valley (SV) has a more happy-go-lucky mood, while Graveyard Keeper (GK) has a healthy hint of dark humor to it.
  • You can't change the gender of your character or change his appearance in GK.
  • In SV, you have a curfew; if you don't go to bed until a certain hour at night, you'll fall asleep where you stand. This doesn't happen in GK at all, allowing you to stay up for as long as you want and only go take a rest when your energy bar is completely depleted.
  • The crafting system in GK is a LOT more complex than in SV. You need to interact with the world to earn enough experience to unlock specific skills on your tree that will then let you craft crafting stations to craft new items. In SV, the NPCs pretty much do all the work for you.
  • Like most games nowadays, SV has a separate section where you can keep track of all your quests. The questlog in GK can be found under the NPCs section, which is a bit off-putting at first, but it's actually useful to let you know which person gave you which quest.
  • In GK the shopkeepers need to reach a certain tier before they sell you a bigger variety of items. This does give you an extra incentive to be as self-sustainable as possible.
  • Unlocking new map areas in GK requires you to use some resources to clear the path ahead of you.
  • For fast traveling in GK you can buy a teleportstone at the local tavern. In SV you need to build a stable to have a horse; you can also later unlock some teleport stones that are scattered around the world.

I have to admit, being an amateur pixel artist myself, I am probably a bit biased to games that feature pixel art graphics. While both games have some fundamental differences, I really enjoyed both of them thus far and would recommend them both to anyone looking for a new game to try.

What about you? Have you played any of these games before? Let me know in the comments below.

Go ahead, treat yourself to something else:


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