Mr. Jones' Graveyard Shift


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Rating: 4.3/5 (39 votes)
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Mr. Jones' Graveyard Shift

JohnBWhen I was a little kid, I wanted to run a graveyard when I grew up. I wanted to run this graveyard right beside my house, taking customers as they came, digging each grave by hand, planting flowers, setting out benches and lamp posts, then meandering about while the families came to visit. I also wanted to do all of this because a nagging woman living in the tropics demanded I raise a million dollars and buy her expensive presents. But hark and alas and such, none of that came true. Fortunately, Mr. Jones' Graveyard Shift is here to fill that gap!

mrjonesgraveyard.jpgOk, so none of that stuff has anything to do with me, but it must have been Mr. Jones' dream, as that's exactly how he's spending his retirement years. After retreating to the country with his trusty canine companion, Mr. Jones realizes he's lonely. A call from his old friend Mimi cheers him up, and she invites him to join her in the Caribbean. Provided he can spruce up his own wardrobe, bring her some jewelry, buy a house, and raise a massive amount of spending cash. A "helpful" flyer suggests he run his own graveyard to make money, so Mr. Jones grabs a shovel and starts digging.

Mr. Jones' Graveyard Shift is a curious combination of a free-form simulation, tycoon management, and time management game. Customers drive in on the right side of the property. Meet them at the gate and see what kind of memorial they are interested in. At first, most customers want something cheap with just a few niceties on the side. Later, however, you'll get big spenders who demand perfection for their loved one's final resting place.

No matter the price, your methods will be about the same. First, dig the grave on the field. Then, grab extras the customer requested, such as flowers, lamp posts, fountains, benches, etc. Set these beside the plot, add a headstone, and when you're ready to call the family, engrave the correct name in stone. After the service has ended, you collect your cash from the departing vehicle and are back to work.

Each day ends with Mr. Jones going to bed and, if you like, depositing cash in the Mimi fund. When morning comes, customers come in and Mr. Jones is back to work. A shopkeeper stops by at the crack of dawn and offers more headstones, flowers, and miscellaneous structures for you to buy. It's a good idea to stock up on everything you can afford, as you never know what the next customer will request.

mrjonesgraveyard2.jpgAnalysis: Despite its somewhat morbid nature, Mr. Jones' Graveyard Shift is an upbeat, humorous game. You're almost required to adopt a whimsical attitude when dealing with a sensitive topic such as death and want to keep the game appealing to a wide audience. The subject matter was handled well, however, and the game comes off as light-hearted and even cheery.

The description makes Mr. Jones' Graveyard Shift sound like an ordinary time management game. Really, though, it's anything but ordinary, and sometimes it feels more like a simulation/tycoon title than anything. For starters, you have complete control over your land. Graves can be dug anywhere there's space, as near or far as you like. Also, after setting flowers and benches beside the proper graves, you can always move them to a new spot later on. Remove too many amenities, however, and zombies appear to remind you to leave the dead resting in blissful peace.

Another major departure from the time management formula is... well... time. You have as long as you like to raise the cash to reunite with Mimi in the Caribbean. Want to sleep a few days without doing anything? It's your choice. Once you take on a job, however, you have a limited amount of time to accomplish the task. Otherwise, you're free to meander and spend money as you please. In fact, once you have enough cash you can let potential clients drive away while you tend to your "gardening".

Controls are a bit awkward in Mr. Jones' Graveyard Shift. The set-up is unintuitive, walking to where you need to go is cumbersome, and there are some frustrating shortcomings in the pathfinding and object collisions. When mourners attend the funeral, for example, you'd better be far away, as Mr. Jones can't pass through the people and will often get stuck if he's working near that grave. To make matters worse, when these collisions happen, everyone just stops, forcing you to remedy the situation with a panic click or two. Fortunately the game isn't on a timer, so you won't lose anything other than a bit of patience.

If you don't mind playing a game about digging graves, Mr. Jones' Graveyard Shift is a superb blend of time management and simulation genres. Because it's so open-ended, it actually scales itself to meet your gaming needs, providing more challenge if you want it, or resting on its laurels while you soak in some casual gameplay. The visuals are well above average and there are plenty of unique items to buy. You'll unearth lots of satisfaction from this lengthy, quirky game!

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Mr. Jones' Graveyard Shift is available to download from these affiliates:
Arcade TownBig Fish Games

Walkthrough Guide


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Mr. Jones Graveyard Shift Guide

There's not a whole lot to say about this game, it's fairly straightforward. However if you want to win quickly just follow these tips.
General tips

  • Whenever you are offered a special present, like when you buy a new lot, take an upgrade to your tractor, you will get better items than the special ones you can get soon enough.

  • You can keep working late at night as long as you avoid the ghosts but dont bank on this because if you touch one you fall asleep. Not good in a time crunch.

  • As long as you don't move stuff around from finished graves you will never encounter a zombie, so you don't need to buy the zombigone button.

  • Don't accept an offer you wont be able to finish, especially one of the monumental graves. Customers really don't like it.

  • There is no penalty for ignoring a customer, or for declining an offer.

  • Try to fit as much stuff onto each grave as possible, without going into the yellow to get maximum profit off each service.

Two graves for the price of one.

To make two sales for the price of one just follow these steps.

  • When digging graves place them one tile back from the path, and connect the bottom of each grave to the path.

  • Build graves with two tiles in between each one.

  • Put as many items and you can between the two graves to get the max profit.

  • You can sell both graves at the same time, and they will share the value of every item placed between them.

  • the two spaces between the next grave leave empty, and repeat.

  • You should have a grave, two spaces worth of items, another grave, two blank spaces, a grave, two spaces worth of items, a grave, two blank spaces. etc.

  • Follow this pattern and each of the graves shares the same value for only the price of one set of items. You'll have Mimi's gifts in no time!.

23 Comments

Mr. Jones Graveyard Shift Guide

There's not a whole lot to say about this game, it's fairly straightforward. However if you want to win quickly just follow these tips.
General tips

  • Whenever you are offered a special present, like when you buy a new lot, take an upgrade to your tractor, you will get better items than the special ones you can get soon enough.

  • You can keep working late at night as long as you avoid the ghosts but dont bank on this because if you touch one you fall asleep. Not good in a time crunch.

  • As long as you don't move stuff around from finished graves you will never encounter a zombie, so you don't need to buy the zombigone button.

  • Don't accept an offer you wont be able to finish, especially one of the monumental graves. Customers really don't like it.

  • There is no penalty for ignoring a customer, or for declining an offer.

  • Try to fit as much stuff onto each grave as possible, without going into the yellow to get maximum profit off each service.

Two graves for the price of one.

To make two sales for the price of one just follow these steps.

  • When digging graves place them one tile back from the path, and connect the bottom of each grave to the path.

  • Build graves with two tiles in between each one.

  • Put as many items and you can between the two graves to get the max profit.

  • You can sell both graves at the same time, and they will share the value of every item placed between them.

  • the two spaces between the next grave leave empty, and repeat.

  • You should have a grave, two spaces worth of items, another grave, two blank spaces, a grave, two spaces worth of items, a grave, two blank spaces. etc.

  • Follow this pattern and each of the graves shares the same value for only the price of one set of items. You'll have Mimi's gifts in no time!.

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rascalmom Author Profile Page August 28, 2009 8:20 PM

Just want to chime in somewhere to say...this game is GREAT. I love time management games but I also love the freedom to create in your own way that this game gives you. Plus it's pretty humorous. The humor is a bit like Plants vs. Zombies, just goofy.

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Yeah this game is awesome. Its has all the things of a time management game minus the often ridiculous time constraints. Highly recommended for anyone that likes games like this

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vole-in-hand Author Profile Page August 29, 2009 5:31 PM

Maybe this game is the prequel to Plants vs. Zombies.

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Looks promising, but I didn't get to find out! It doesn't like older and slower graphics cards. :-(

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I love this game! It's better than the plants and zombie game and I like that one too.

Planning to buy it.

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This game makes me really sad. Humorous and upbeat, you say? Yeah right!

This game is about a desperately lonely man who works tirelessly from morning to night at a graveyard for a woman who clearly does not love him.
The ghosts know what is going on, and they feel sorry for him. That is why when they reach out to him, they cut his overtime labor and put him back in his house to rest.

The game design is interesting, but not perfect, but certainly enjoyable!

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I like this game so far except I got a zombie and there were no instructions on how to get rid of them. I tried to add plants, etc to the gravesite but it didn't work. Anyone know what to do about a zombie?

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If you hover over the zombies grave (the one that has the green smoke coming from it) you will see that you have to increase the value of the site back to its original to make the zombie go back to sleep.

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grannygamer September 14, 2009 4:06 PM

I like the game but would like it more if didn't keep freezing up when I quit. Have to reboot computer to get out sometimes. Also don't care for having to click so many times to get him from point a to point b and lastly think it would be better if he could carry more than 1 item especially when he is motorized. Those tiles and flowers 1 at a time is silly.
Now my question is, are the celebrity tombs suupposed to revert to ruins after you've paid the$$ and jewels, and buried the celebrity after a bit? If so is there something I need to do to maintain em or keep em from doing that or re build em?
Seems silly to go thru all that trouble and have em go back to the ugly ruins. why bother in 1st place.
Anyone got an answer for me I hope?

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grannygamer September 15, 2009 1:55 AM

This game is okay, cute, unique and I have a question I hope someone can answer for me.
The celebrity tombs..after I paid for em, buried the persons, they looked great. Are they supposed to revert back to ugly ruins after a bit? All of mine have done so and I don't know if is something I did or did not do. Is there something I can do to rebuild em or maintain em so they don't revert to ugliness?
The constant clicking to move him about is redundant and annoying. I also think they could give him the ability to carry more than one item after he is mobilized. At least those tiles and flowers if not the huge columns.
HOPE SOMEONE can give me an answer re: the decay of the tombs.

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Granny gamer:
The tombs never went back to ruins for me when i played through. Also if you scroll the map you can click just once and he should walk where you clicked.

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grannygamer September 15, 2009 12:03 PM

KERO:
I wonder why your monuments didn't decay. I have talked with a lot of people who had same problem but no solution. I paid the gems n $$ and the cleb was buried. Tomb looked great but after while it was decayed.
I know to click spot for him to go but is just so annoying to click him all the way is all. Would be better if could click where I want him to go and he just goes all the way.
Any advise re: the tomb thing? I know I am not only one it has happened to.
I think this game could be a lot of fun with some tweaking.
Thanks for answering me.

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I was wondering... Is there any information as to how many crystals it takes to open each of the various tombs? I collected like crazy and I never came anywhere close to it. At least I think it didn't... Nowhere did it tell me exactly how many I needed to have. Does anyone know? Thanks

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I got the VIP person who wants the pyramid grave...says I need 250 of the crystals, I have over 300, but nothing happens. How do I get the pyramid grave to work? Tried clicking on it, etc...nothing. Thanks for any advice!

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Marie:

You have to accept the job before you will be able to use the crystals. I got stuck on that too but read a walkthrough that gave me the answer.

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I'm having the exact same problem as Marie. I accepted the assignment, I have over 300 crystals to spend, the job is in my queue on the top right... but I can't build it or spend the crystals. Help!

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Kelly: By each special tombstone there is a little pedestal that you click on, and it will ask you if you want to repair it or not.

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You have to place the crystals into the small activator box located near the tomb site.

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Why is there no way to save your game??? There definitely should be. Have I missed something?

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Anonymous November 9, 2009 8:50 PM

I was wondering the same thing, why cant I save my game??I get so far and it doesnt save, what gives?!

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The game automatically saves itself when you wake up after going to sleep. When Mr. Jones is standing outside after waking up, the words are shown on the screen... "Saving Game".

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Just saw your post and played the game, when he wakes up for the day of work there is nothing that says saving game, he just does his job. So maybe theres a glich?

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