Grave Keeper - a Mobile Port of a Twin Stick Hack and Slash

April 1, 2019
Grave Keeper - a Mobile Port of a Twin Stick Hack and Slash

You play as a bounty hunter that found his way into The Forbidden Stronghold which is ruled by The Skeleton King. To get to the treasure you will have to defeat him, and defeat him again, then again… You get the idea.

It is obvious the developers like Diablo 3, and the Demon Hunter and Barbarian classes in it. The gameplay really reminds me of those 2 classes, your secondary weapon is a crossbow, and almost all of the abilities you can unlock can be found in those 2 classes of Diablo. The weapons also have a similar feel to those in Diablo.

grave_keeper_the_skeleton_king

The game starts off with a short level that functions as a tutorial and you quickly meet The Skeleton King. Upon meeting him, he so nicely throws you out of his chambers because you’re too weak to fight him. From that point on, it’s your quest to get strong enough to fight him.

As mentioned this is a mobile port, and it really shows, so I didn’t go into it expecting much. The gameplay is very simple, your primary attacks are with a melee weapon, secondary is a crossbow, and you have a bunch of possibilities for your special ability and some more passive abilities you can unlock and upgrade.

It plays out like a twin-stick hack and slash that gets repetitive really quickly. You play through stages, each having 15 enemies. Every fifth stage is a boss fight, and after that, you go through the next five stages until you get to the next boss. There are various bosses, but none of them feel unique because you beat them so fast, I really only noticed 3 different ones, becase they had very specific attacks. There are also milestone stages after which you can fight The Skeleton King to get some gems and better loot. If you don't want to fight him, you can continue playing and every milestone brings better rewards for when you do fight him.

grave_keeper_bosses

That’s already pretty repetitive, but it gets worse. There is only a couple of levels that you play on and four types of enemies, melee opponents, ranged opponents, melee and ranged opponents, and suiciding opponents. They all look similar (Except the suicide ones, they carry a big barrel of gunpowder) and they just have different colors between levels, the only time they look different is the hell levels where it’s demons instead of zombies.

When it comes to difficulty, it ranges from too easy to unfair. It gets unfair if you forget to upgrade your weapons and armor because then you mostly get two to three-hit by everything. When you actually upgrade your items it becomes too easy, melee attacks one-hit everything, your crossbow kills everything in two hits, and you take very little damage. Then you forget to upgrade for a while, get insta-killed, upgrade, and you’re good again.

grave_keeper_enemies

Since the scaling is a bit broken, the abilities are a bit pointless. The dash attack, which you have from the start, is everything you need. There are a few other ones, some are good, some are eh, it just depends what visual effect looks nicest to you since they’re all pretty similar in effect. The items are also borderline pointless, just pick anything that has an increased attack speed.

So, you get to whatever stage and you decide to fight The Skeleton King. You’re going to beat him in a few seconds, get your rewards, and your character gets reset. You lose the weapons, armor, and abilities you had, then you start all over again. You go through the stages and bosses again, just to fight The Skeleton King again, for some rewards and points to upgrade your passive skills.

There is two more game modes, versus and survival. In versus, you receive a task and compete with another player to complete it first for a reward. Survival puts you together with three more players and you need to survive as long as you can, you get rewards based on the level you reach. If you want to play them, don’t fight The Skeleton King, because you’re going to go in without items and abilities that can be useful.

All-in-all, the game is not well balanced and it is repetitive, but I honestly did enjoy playing it. It’s a very casual experience and if you don’t actually expect much from it, you’ll be fine. It could have been better, but at the end of the day, it’s a mobile port and that’s all. If you want a cheap game you can tab out of at any point and tab back in to play for 15-20 minutes when you’re bored or you’re waiting for something, it’s a good choice for that. If you want a really in-depth game, with a story and perfect balance and loot, you should skip this one.

You can pick it up on Steam.