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Grave Maker

Grave Maker
  • Release Date: 2012
  • Publisher: YoYo Games
  • Developer: YoYo Games
  • Genre: social
  • Official Site

Grave Maker is an upcoming new social game developed by YoYo Games, which is currently in beta version under test at the dedicated site. It is slated to launch in February of 2012 and will then be available on multi-platforms including Facebook, iOS and Android. In it, players act as graveyard keeper who need to clear grassland into usable soil, plant and harvest skeletons and crops, build up a scary graveyard and send minions (skeletons) into battle against the disgruntled locals.

Grave Maker Review:

Grave Maker appeals to me firstly with its name which signals out the hint of do-a-little-evil. And after half an hour’s point-and-click in it, I log out and have little intention of coming back again.

Upon entry, simple graphics present a graveyard with a small hut, one path leading to a locked gate with the rest being grass. The grave maker stands there with a shovel and six chicken-pawed minions (skeletons) wander aimlessly. Green, the main tone in the palette, is neither scary nor gloomy, rather just dull; and figures are simply not interesting. All is like a careless sketch drawing of a child.

Gameplay is no better than the graphic. Innovative it is not, it is a game that dilutes elements of farming, city-building and strategic tower-defense and then mixes them together. As guided by the quest, we turn grass into soil, dig up graves, buy skeletons in market, bury them and finally harvest them before they decay (in 12 hours). It’s the same with planting various crops, ingredients for potion to help defend the graveyard against the provoking locals.

Yes, a little battle is involved here. This part is justified in the back story, which explains that Locals regularly starts a fight, because they disapprove of the grave maker’s nasty action of bringing the recently deceased back to life (the very planting skeleton act). A timer at the right corner of the screen just continuously counts down to indicate Locals’ arrival out of the game for battles. When it is the time, we just send the minions to fight, first deciding their attacking order and then charging them forth for battles.

The strategy, if it is counted, lies with the order in which we sort out for minions. Both locals and minions have levels and health shown in the rosette above their heads. Higher odds of winning require us to order our minions according to that of the locals. Minions die, which makes sense of the planting of them.

By quests, we gain experience for level up and gold coins to buy common items in the market. Other than the skeleton and crops, we can also buy buildings, deco, animals for coins (in-game currency) as well as special items for Skull (premium currency) to build and expand the graveyard. Everything but crops carries with a Fear Factor (FF) value, which will influence the overall FF of the graveyard as they are added and taken away there. It’s said ranks of FF will be featured in the socialization, which is not activated during beta.

No background music, no full-screen. Hopefully they’re also temporary issues in beta. There is no Energy restriction either. That’s great, but sadly we don’t need that much energy. Had it set up with an Energy bar, the game would run out of interesting contents long before we run out of energy. I will not give it another try. Will you?

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