Note: This review is based on the Early Access release, so plenty of things to come!
“You there! Come into my shop! Please! No, don’t walk away…You sire! Come forth into my shop! Buy my gloves! Oh, just throw it on the floor then you ungrateful cretin. Stop stealing my shield you assburger!” – And that is just a short insight into my vocabulary whilst playing the latest FPS shop keeper simulator.
Shoppe Keep by “Arvydas Žemaitis” is a fun, cell-shaded styled, fantasy game where you undertake the role of a newbie shop keeper, and your job is to supply the customers with potions, swords, shields, gloves, armour, and more. Your goal is, as you’d expect, to get a hefty income and improve your shop.
You get to run around your shop and place down – to start with – a limited amount of furniture to hold your items on. It would be nice to have an information box where it explains what furniture holds what, because pedestals can only hold small items, like potions, gloves, and shoes. Tables can only hold swords. Shelves can hold potions.
There’s no “slots” to place your furniture down, so placing them is entirely up to you where you want. And once you’ve opened your shop doors, there’s a town you can run around and explore…but nothing to explore. Maybe the final game will feature rival shops, markets, traders, etc otherwise, at the moment it just seems pointless having a huge space to explore.
On that note, once you’ve opened your shop, it remains open until the customers all run away at the end of the day towards the exits like they’re about to die, then your doors automatically close. It would be nice to see an option to close your stores doors manually so you can explore without worrying about being shoplifted; or maybe even allowing you to close your doors to enable you to quickly redecorate. I know it seems a bit rude to just close up shop to move some stuff, but it would probably help when suddenly you’re making enough to fill your stands.
When you first start up your shop, you find yourself with a puny amount of gold, you’ll only be selling potions for a while, hoping that you can sell them for a stupidly high price to make some decent profit. Then you’ll find yourself coming face-to-face with customers who seem to be offended by your prices and throw your products up in the air, leaving you to pick it up and place it back on the shelf. They actually throw it. It’s really annoying, especially when it’s midday time and the customers are flocking in and you get four men throwing your items in the air and leaving, whilst another three potential customers come in to see nothing on the stands and leave. It’s a bit too frequent for me that it became annoying. Sure, have a select few characters with the trait of throwing your stock around, but not literally 90% of the characters.
At least you can kill them…then continuously sweep their corpse with a broom and get rid of the body. A drag body option would be cool, but I guess kicking them works just as well. Killing someone in the middle of the street doesn’t seem to create panic though, so I don’t believe that it affects your shops status. Oh, and your shop has your name on it!
There seems to be a lot of stuff that you can unlock, and the choice of the first person view works really well with making you feel like you’re up close and personal with your shop and customers; and you do need to get up close and personal with your customers to actually read their speech bubbles, which have also got an annoyingly quick duration of visibility.
Another thing about the customers, you have an option to give away an item to someone, but when I first experienced this, I expected some form of a trading system to gain a quest item that they had, but instead I just gave away a 45 gold shield for free. It was hella annoying. I think having a trading system where you can offer an item for an item would work well and help achieve the quests that aren’t related to your shops income. (Also, there’s a spelling error, “Aparently”)
But hey, if you want to run a shop in a fantasy world where the morning is a boring wait for customers, and then the day and evening features a lot of your stock going flying off the shelves…and onto the floor, then this game is great! It’s fun, and I really enjoyed it, I just hope to see the things I mentioned improved upon for a better experience of being a fantasy shop keeper.