Developer Lazy Bear Games has released the first gameplay trailer for its intriguing new cemetery management sim Graveyard Keeper - which has more than a hint of Stardew Valley about it, albeit ripe with the stench of corpses.

Lazy Bear, which previous created boxing management game Punch Club, describes Graveyard Keeper as "the most inaccurate medieval cemetery management sim of all time".

Your goal is to build, expand, and manage your own graveyard, "while finding shortcuts to cut costs, expand into entertainment with witch-burning festivals, and scare nearby villagers into attending church". As you'd expect, there are locals to impress, crops to be farmed, resources to be gathered for crafting purposes, and even a spot of alchemy.

Ultimately though, Graveyard Keeper is "a game of capitalism and doing whatever it takes to build a thriving business". To that end, the developer asks, "Do you really want to spend money on that proper hotdog meat for the festival when you have so many resources lying around?"

Although managing and improving your cemetery is your primary concern, it's not your sole focus. There's a whole world waiting to be explored beyond your graveyard's dilapidated boundaries - not to mention a host of mysterious dungeons.

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Away from home you'll be able to forge strategic business alliances with other characters, all operating to their own schedule ("These dead bodies don't need all that blood, do they?", Lazy Bear ponders, "Why not sell it to someone who can put it to good use? Same for body parts"), and you might stumble across all manner of useful ingredients too. One of these, says Lazy Bear, "may or may not poison a whole bunch of nearby villagers".

Graveyard Keeper's deliciously grim twist on the village life sim genre is certainly appealing on paper, and we'll know how it all stacks up when it arrives on PC and Xbox One later this year. In the meantime, you can find more specific details about the activities that drive Graveyard Keeper forward over on its Steam developer blog.

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Matt Wales

Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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