All I have to say is Mr. Jones’ Grave Yard Shift has to be one of the most overlooked and underrated games of the year! This game has so many elements to it that make it a 5 star game. This game has everything from beautiful graphics, funny characters, comical names given to the graveyard clients, plus it creatively blends tycoon money management, time management, and simulation gaming styles all into one package.
The game starts off with a short story explaining how Mr. Jones and his old friend Mimi came to know each other and explains Mimi’s wish that “Jonesy” come join her in the Caribbean, but, before he can join Mimi, she has numerous gifts she wants to receive before Mr. Jones is welcome to come meet her. Mr. Jones’s faithful canine companion finds a flyer about running his own graveyard, which starts the adventure of running his own graveyard.
The game play concept for Mr. Jones’ Grave Yard Shift is really pretty simple. Customers or clients (what do you consider a dead person needing to be buried?) drive into the graveyard area in front of Mr. Jones house. Mr. Jones must meet them at the graveyard gates and speak with them to discover what kind of grave plot the family would like for their deceased family member. The first clients will only require simple grave plots with simple decorations, but as the game continues, clients will be much more particular about where in the graveyard they want to be buried and what items they want around the grave site, plus the value of the grave plots will start to increase dramatically.
Now knowing the clients wishes, Mr. Jones goals are always the same. First, he must first dig a grave in his graveyard. Second, Mr. Jones must attempt to satisfy the customer’s wishes by purchasing the items requested such as flowers, lamps, benches from the shop keeper and place those times around the open grave. Finally, Mr. Jones must purchase and place a head stone above the grave and engrave it with the family members name to complete the deal. When all these steps are complete, the casket will drop into the grave, a burial service will commence, and finally Mr. Jones will be able to collect his graveyard fees from the family waiting for him back in front of his house.
Each day ends with Mr Jones going to sleep in his house, either voluntarily by entering his house and choosing to go to sleep, or, ghosts will come out at night and if a ghost touches Mr. Jones, he will be transported to his house and forced to sleep for the night. But, before Mr. Jones can sleep, you must decide how much of his graveyard earnings you will give to Mimi’s gift fund to purchase her gifts.
So, some of you may be thinking “Why on earth does this sound fun? Dealing with dead people, graves, grieving families, etc?”, and yes, the games concept is a bit unorthodox, but, Mr. Jones’ Grave Yard Shift has really done a great job of taking all this in stride and making the whole process very humorous, light hearted and entertaining process. The whole concept is so unique; it just begs to be tried out!
The core of the game play really does a great job at mixing tycoon style money earning and management strategies along with time management gaming styles. While the time management aspect of the game is not as critical to your overall success, Mimi is waiting for her gifts, so the longer you take getting her the gifts, the more vocal she becomes about being impatient about waiting. Mr. Jones also has to manage the time it takes to burry each client, usually you only have two days to complete the requested work or you will lose the client and as a result, you will lose reputation points.
The tycoon game play style becomes more critical to Mr. Jones success as you start to encounter new clients with more expensive tastes. Balancing purchasing gifts for Mimi at the end of each day while keeping enough money in your account to make more and more expensive item purchases from the shop keeper can be a balancing act in itself.
The beauty in all these gaming styles is none of them overshadow the other. The game really has no time limit so if it takes you 30 days to satisfy Mimi’s requests or 90 days, it’s all up to you. It allows a lot of freedom in the game while still allowing you to achieve your goals and enjoy the game play at the same time.
Final thoughts; while the idea of dealing with dead people and running a graveyard may seem a bit morbid, don’t overlook this game! I found it to be extremely entertaining and well worth checking it out. The graphics alone in this game can be stunning. For example, stand in your yard in front of your house as the sun is setting in the graveyard and watch the realistic shadows grow as the sun sets, very impressive for a casual game!
I give Mr. Jones’ Grave Yard Shift a solid 5 out of 5 stars for its unique concept, well crafted gaming style blend, and the fantastic personally ingrained into this game. Check it out today!