Boon Hill Is A Graveyard Sim About Reading Epitaphs

By Graham Smith on March 24th, 2014 at 8:00 pm.

Hey I should record a podcast here.

I first heard about Boon Hill from a friend while we read epitaphs in a graveyard. That’s only fitting, given that Boon Hill is a game about exploring a graveyard and reading epitaphs. It’s been successfully funded on Kickstarter, and its creator recently climbed in bed with Nathan. It seems only reasonable that we now give it its own post. Trailer below.

Boon Hill is described as a “graveyard simulator”. There is no goal, no threat, no challenge. You simply walk from headstone to headstone, reading the epitaphs written on each. Maybe you’ll occasionally talk to someone. It’s up to you. From the long finished Kickstarter page:

I don’t want to imply the game is aimless. Boon Hill is about inferred stories, about the connections people have that continue even after they die. The graveyard tells many tales woven by those who’ve long since passed on: stories of love, life, sorrow, and joy, told over generations.

The threads of narrative are woven throughout the gravestones for you to discover, if you have the inkling to look. A row of graves all with the same last name, most of them having died very young, suggests a specific set of circumstances. An epitaph that reads ‘Survived by no one’ is dour, yes, but clearly someone carried out their last wishes. Here, people are tied together by something as simple as similar birth dates, the places they were born or died, and even the styles of their grave markers. Subtle stories abound in the rows of stone.

If this seems like unusual, maudlin subject matter for a videogame, then… yeah. Obviously. But I’m not a particularly dour chap and I still enjoy wandering graveyards, glimpsing brief details of the lost lives of others.

Why not take a look at the Boon Hill‘s Steam Greenlight and give it a push if you feel similarly. The listed features includes my favourite bulletpoint in a while:

  • Lie in an open grave!

Hell yeah.

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9 Comments »

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  1. archiebunker says:

    Another sunny day, so let’s go where we’re wanted…

  2. Geebs says:

    This sounds kinda like Being Trent Reznor

  3. Lemming says:

    It sounds intriguing, but I’m puzzled as to why it needed to be crowd-funded, or indeed that it made its goal with flying colours. The conceit is original and interesting, but it’s not exactly something that would take a lot of time to do. The bulk of it is writing, presumably what the creative force behind it is/has already done/doing. The rest is a few weeks in gamemaker for a competent user. Stuff like this existing is welcome, I’m just not sure I believe the asking for money aspect was particularly genuine. I’m a big proponent of Kickstarter in general, so am I just being too cynical?

    • kincajou says:

      I’m a backer, i can’t really say if you’re too cynical or not and i have no expereince in gamemaker to know how valid your statement is. What i can offer though is the rason why i backed, it sounded like a great project and something i wanted to see done. I also feel it’s one of those games that’s using a broader term of the word and that has some emotive potential.

      all in all i backed because it was something i wanted to see come to light.

      • Lemming says:

        I can appreciate that, but did you at any point think “there’s not a lot to this, it will probably get made even if the Kickstarter fails?”

        • kincajou says:

          I see what you mean, actually i did have a similar thought (if i remember correctly, it’s been a while) i think it went along the lines of “This looks relativley simple to make, it’s a project that should finish quite quickly” . I don’t think i was concerned about the fact that it neeced or not to be a kickstarter but i can see why people might have an issue with it running as such

  4. kwyjibo says:

    Yeah, but is it as good as The Graveyard?

  5. Muzman says:

    Spoon River Anthology was a somewhat oblique inspiration for System Shock, and therefore every subsequent use of audio logs and so forth as a fragmented story telling device.