Much like the randomized monsters that Skeleton Crew Studios’ latest game tasks you with assembling, GRAVE CHASE (available now on Steam) is the product of multiple arcade-style maze game influences (Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Bomberman, Pacman) fused together with a highly-satisfying horror polish that pits players against a homicidal Groundskeeper across 31 days (stages). The setup is rather simple on the surface—you play as one of two siblings (boy or girl) who witness their parents get murdered by the Groundskeeper and seek to use science(!) to exact their revenge by digging up body parts to create their own monster. It’s the type of revenge scheme I’d imagine Herbert West (Reanimator) coming up with if Micheal Myers had stalk-n-slashed his family…you know, if West actually cared about other people.
As mentioned above, this all takes place over 31 days (levels) in October with each day/level increasing in difficulty as new enemies and maps are introduced. Your mission, however, never changes—dig up bodies, collect power-ups and avoid the stab-happy, cleaver-wielding Groundskeeper, his ghoulish pals and environmental obstacles. Sounds easy, right? Well, it’s not. And, to be honest, that’s part of what makes a game like GRAVE CHASE so much fun. Despite a One-Hit Kill system that sees players go down bloody if caught, the difficulty scales well as the game progresses and the auto-save feature remembers which day/level you’re on so you won’t have to relive those stages (unless you want to try them on Nightmare mode).
Overall, GRAVE CHASE is the perfect game for anytime of year, but especially this month given that the Halloween festivities for many of us are already in full swing. If you’re looking for a retro-inspired game that gives you the feeling of being in a slasher film as you outsmart a gore-craving killer…this is it!