Gotta pay the rent though – The Gravedigger
Down on his luck, no money in his pockets and with the rent payments due; Fagus is having a rough time. Luckily for him, his badger-fearing mate Tully has an idea to help line their pockets. Legend has it that the great grave diggers of old are all buried in the same graveyard, with all the loot they “acquired” over the years. Unfortunately for Fagus, to make their way inside and loot the place, they must first acquire 18 keys. Even more unfortunate is that the map to find these keys has been torn up. On a quest to pay the rent – and get pissed in the pub with Tully – Fagus sets off to find these keys, steal as many valuables as he can and make it home in one piece.
The Grave Digger plays almost like Pacman. The player moves Fagus around each maze-like graveyard, avoiding ghouls and digging up graves. There are some nice touches to keep you on your toes, mind. Digging up a grave takes time and as you dig your field of view narrows, meaning you never know who is creeping up on you. Graves have an assortment of goodies inside them, sometimes you will get nothing, other times you will get a key or piece of map. It pays to desecrate as many graves as possible!
The game starts out simple enough, throwing easily evaded ghosts at you. Over time though, the density and variety of nasties multiplies. A variety or ghastly ghouls are present in The Grave Digger. Military style ghosts who strictly patrol certain areas will deal swift vengeance on you if you dare cross their path. The Bride wanders aimlessly, beware though, it can be hard to shake her. Home Groan Games have did their best to keep things fresh and interesting, by giving each enemy an ability of its own.
Beacons allow Fagus to stay safe and secure away from the reaches of all the ghosts who are hot on his tail. Unlit beacons are scattered throughout each level, and lighting them provides further areas of respite. Kiting enemies away from graves you want to rob, and taking shelter under the light of a beacon is the easiest way to rob some of the harder to reach graves.
The game mechanics are fun but the game has a few problems. Presentation-wise the game is lacking. Textures are low resolution, models have a low poly count, and the design is basic.
Luckily The Grave Digger does have a saving grace, the dialog between Fagus and Tully – although poorly recorded and terribly acted – is rather chucklesome. Fagus catchphrase of “gotta pay the rent though” always hits the spot, his partner in crime Tully, is equally as funny. It may be an acquired taste though and I suspect Brits will appreciate the humour more than anyone else.
The Grave Digger has 18 levels to desecrate, as well as the hallowed resting ground for grave diggers past. Each level is bite-sized, mostly clocking in at under 5 minutes.
While its presentation is entirely unremarkable, the game is fun in short bursts. Priced sensibly at £4 ($6), The Grave Digger is a good purchase for those looking to rob a few graves without the fear of Johnny Law knocking at the door. Just don’t buy it if you gotta pay the rent, though.