- System: PC
- Publisher: Excalibur Games
- Developer: Strange Fire
- Release Date: May 4, 2018
- Pricing: $12.99
- Genre: Indie, RPG, Simulation, Adventure
- Rating: N/A
- Players: 1-4
- Official Website: http://www.indiedb.com/games/shoppe-keep-2
Who it Caters to
Shoppe Keep 2 caters to people who enjoy playing simulator games. In particular, it's good for people who like to micromanage efficiently and work your way out towards a macro-managing system. You begin with a single-roomed shop where you can display items such as shoes, masks apples, water, and a couple of other things on pedestals. You'll open your doors for business and potential customers will peruse your stock and look for good products with competitive prices. There is strategy involved in using your time efficiently and avoiding a lot of backtracking. So, this game is recommended for people who enjoy investing their team in endeavors that start out small but have rewarding payoffs.
What to Expect
At first, you can only order a few different items. Every item has a set cost for ordering or creating it. However, you have the ability to set whatever price you want to sell it to your customers for. You can greatly overcharge and earn more per sale, or charge less and create a steady stream of customers who come for your low prices. Soon, you'll be able to purchase material that you can sell on its own or use to construct even better items. From there, you'll open up access to other artisans in your town, such as a chef, blacksmith, alchemist, etc. They'll each give you quests that reward you with better products that you can then stock in your ever-expanding shop. The whole game has a ripple effect that keeps you busy and never becomes boring.
Shoppe Keep 2 - Release Date Trailer Reveal
Shoppe Keeper 2 places you within a land where anything is possible. But, you aren't necessarily the hero of the story. You're shown this world from the point of view of a would-be merchant. It's a clever concept and one that could have a great pay off if executed well.
There are other characters in the game that you can speak to and interact with. They serve to fill you in on the current affairs of the world and give you some insight into the history of Customerania. More than that, they will offer their services to you and give you quests that reward you money or the ability to order new items for your shop. Village guards, blacksmiths, carpenters, alchemists, fishermen, and priests are just a few of the people you'll meet and rely on to keep your business thriving and the village safe from attack.
The tutorial to the game is short and gives you all of the necessary information to get your shop up and running in no time. In the tutorial, we are greeted by Billy. He's an experienced shop owner that explains the basic controls and features of the game. He shows you how to clean your shop, adorn it with furniture, order items, put them on display for the customers, and how to open up your doors for business. The length and conciseness of the tutorial made it stand out to us. It wasn't overbearing or useless. Short, informative, and action-based are how we like our tutorials, and that's exactly what you get in Shoppe Keep 2.
The controls for this game are responsive and simple to master. Besides the standard WASD for movement, you'll use the mouse to direct where you're facing, select items and navigate menus, as well as use equable items and weapons. The numbered keys are used to select items for use or to display within your store. Once selected, you'll decide the price you want to put on the item and then label it with your price gun. There's not much to the controls. The only time things become slightly cumbersome is when you start selling high priced items. You'll have to start changing your price gun settings so that it scrolls by 10's, 50's, 100's, etc. Otherwise, your price gun will wind up or down (by using the mouse wheel) by single digits. That's a nuisance if you're selling an item that costs hundreds of gold.
Even though you're in charge of your own personal business, you actually have much more reach than a regular business owner. You're basically in charge of an entire town. Your goods are taxed by the local government. But, that money goes into opening up a new business in town that will further suit the needs of your enterprise. The carpenters, blacksmiths, and other NPCs we mentioned earlier are not initially available. You have to earn them through completing quests and raising enough tax money through your sales. That kind of control is much more rewarding than if we were only in charge of a small shop.
You can encounter some wild beasts that are just too much for you to handle and they'll maul you to pieces. Your character will revive back in town but at the cost of losing some of your hard-earned currency. That's much better than losing all of the items that you had in your inventory and all of your money as well. The game promotes exploration and reaching past your comfort zone to see what you find out there in the world of Customerania.
Efficiency is so important in simulation games. This one is no different. If we could offer you some advice, that would be to not waste a single second. You can order items through the order tab in the game menus. You can do that from anywhere. So, while it does take about twenty seconds for those items to be delivered to the spot right be your shop, you can use that time to sell water to villagers around time. Or you can set up your furniture in the shop while you're waiting for items to come in. This idea works with longer waiting periods. For instance, ordering the chef to cook you up some soup or bake some bread takes time (especially when you order large quantities). You don't have to stay by their side while they work on these orders for you. Go out and explore. Clean your shop. Kill some spiders. Do anything, but make sure you're being productive. You'll gain money much faster, gain skill points in movement and combat while increasing your inventory at the same time. Is it a win-win-win? I dunno, it's a lot of wins. Bottom line: keep moving and don't waste time.
The few gripes we have with this game are just quality of life adjustments that could be made within the HUD or in-game menus. First off, you have to remember what items or food you've ordered for yourself. It's easy to forget what things are being worked on for you when you have multiple orders at different locations and you're taking care of guests at the same time. It would be nice if the game had small icons to let you know your items were ready at a particular place.
For now, you have to keep it all in your head. Second, it would be nice to change the size of individual menus within the game. Some menus have tiny text that is difficult to read. But, if you increase the size through the settings, it'll blow up the size of icons and other things within your regular HUD. There isn't really a good balance at the moment. Lastly, combat is over-simplified. We know that Shoppe Keep 2 is primarily a shop simulator and all other features are secondary. But, it would be nice if they could revamp the combat system a little bit. Right now it's repetitive and not challenging at all.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
We could definitely see this game become a big hit with the right marketing strategy, addition of extra equipable items, tougher quests, and challenges, new additions to town.. there's so much that can be added to the game's final version. The possibilities are honestly exciting and we can't wait to see more people pick this game up and share their experience with friends. We know we'll be doing our best to spread the word as much as possible.
- Addictive gameplay
- Intuitive management systems
- Large exploration area
- Cumbersome UI
- Lack of order tracking
Honey's Final Verdict:
Thanks for taking the time to read our review of Shoppe Keep 2. We hope you try this game out and give us your impressions in the comments below, through tweets, or chatting with us on our discord. Have a great day and we'll see you in the next one.