Boon Hill, The Game Where You Get To Know People Through Their Graves




Boon Hill isn’t really a game where you do a whole lot of different things—it’s a graveyard simulator, and its developers describe it as “a game with no goal”. But maybe that isn’t entirely correct. There actually is a goal of sorts, but it doesn’t involve “winning” the game.


In Boon Hill, you walk around a graveyard, reading the different gravestones and talking to the NPCs you happen to bump into. That’s all there is to it. There is no “end” to the game, even if you read every single gravestone there is to read in the graveyard. What you can do, however, is infer the stories that are being told through the various gravestones. The game’s developers explain:


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.


As of now, 1,000 grave markers are planned for inclusion in Welcome to Boon Hill, along with several NPCs to interact with. The game recently reached its funding goal on Kickstarter, so it’s planned for release on PC, Mac, iOS and Android.


Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.