1337gamer | Added on: November 9, 2009
I started Mr. Jones' Graveyard Shift thinking it would be a sim game built around making graves and also tending to the needs of the ghosts and zombies at night, which would be awesome (imagine needing to find a steady supply of brains to make your zombies happy). Sadly, this is not the case, but it was still an enjoyable way to kill (no pun intended) an afternoon. The graphics were quite acceptable for a game of this type, and the names of the victims were good for a chuckle or two (I.C. Wiener, classic.) And to anyone afraid to give this a try because of the earlier reviews, you should know that you are not limited to just walking alone if you play the game correctly and give it some time. No spoilers there, though. The game offers up people that have passed on, and it is your job to build an acceptable grave. This can be anything from "we want the grave to be near a small tree" to "we hate marigolds" but that was part of what drew me in. Mess up the value of a grave after it's denizen is resting happily, and a zombie will appear. I only got one zombie throughout the course of the game, and I didn't dare find out what happened, but I assume you go to sleep as if you had touched a ghost. I merely added some daisies to make the zombie happy with the grave again. Now for the bad, and there is more than I would have liked, for such a unique and fun game that I played for 3 hours straight. First off, it is exceedingly difficult to manage everything all in a day. I got to a point where I could do 2 or 3 graves at the very end per day, but mostly I was stuck doing just 1. This is due to an awful, just awful design decision to only let Mr. Jones carry one thing. Let me explain this via scenario: In the later levels of the game your graves can be worth 6,000 to 100,000 dollars. You dig the grave, what comes next? A headstone. Mr. Jones goes all the way over to the box that has the headstones and walks (or drives) sluggishly allllll the way back to the grave site. Now the deceased would also like flowers around their grave, so let's once again go back to get that, too. now at this point your grave may not even be worth 6,000, and in later levels you need to make every grave count towards 100,000 (which is another very unfortunate flaw, but more on that in a second.) This usually means going back and forth, back and forth, and even sometimes going all the way outside the grave property to get supplies from the merchant that stands there. This process can take FOREVER. For a sequel, a simple addition like letting Mr. Jones carry at least two items would be worth it's weight in gold. Also, and this is not the aforementioned flaw quite yet, but the merchant almost never had what I needed to make my grave a winner. Say someone wants a satellite dish, because everyone knows the dead love TV. I go to the merchant THAT day... No dish. Next day... No dish. Finally on the very last day I can bury the dead, I would have a 50/50 chance of getting my dish or going without, which is just aggravating, because meeting special needs increases the value of a grave tenfold. If i had to go without, 9 times out of 10 the next day my needed item would be there. Get your stuff together merchant guy, gahh! And now for the previously mentioned flaw, and the only reason I can not recommend this game: I actually got to a point where I could NOT beat the game because I simply pushed too many funerals out for too few dollars, and by the bitter end I ran out of room for more residents, about 600,000 dollars short of the final goal. This irritated me to no end, as I don't usually like games that have an artificial wall like that. If you decide to tackle Mr. Jones as I did, learn from my mistakes and make EVERY grave count. Get as CLOSE to the latter half of the range as you can. During the 6k-100k range, make your graves worth 100k, no exceptions, or you WILL hit a brick wall, quite infuriatingly, and decide if you want to start ALL over again. As I always say with my reviews, download the trial and give it a spin, Mr. Jones' Graveyard Shift is worth an hour of your time at least for being so unique in a world full of Diner Dash clones. Thank you for reading my review, and sorry for the wall of text.