Shoppe Keep Review

  • Dev: Strange Fire
  • Pub: Excaliber Games
  • Released: 02/03/18
  • PEGI/ESRB: 12/T
  • Players: 1
  • Size: 1.5GB
  • Price: £10.39/$12.99/€12.99
  • Xbox One X Enhanced: No
  • Shoppe keep was originally released on PC back in 2015 obtaining over 100,000 players, the main aim of the game is to run your own fantasy retail business set in a medieval time, from health potions to swords you can sell it all in this money managing retail rpg.

    Starting out in Shoppe Keep was a struggle, I understood the concept of money management and also buying and selling of goods, but really struggled to keep myself engulfed in the game. Until I managed to bulk out my product list a fair bit, the grind is real when you first open a business and Shoppe Keep didn’t forget that at all. I started out with a few tables selling health potions and after a full day i realised i hadn’t put any mark up on said health potions, for anyone who is new to the game you can do this by holding the item in your hand and using the D-pads left and right buttons to mark it up or down, you can also hold in the left stick at the same time to make it scroll faster, this small tip lost me an in game day, after that I managed to work my way up to shields and swords, this is where the big money can be made in the early days, to go with this you can buy skill points by pressing the menu button on your controller and scrolling with your trigger sticks, I firstly purchased one named “Anti Haggle 1” this will allow you to acquire 10% more mark up on your prices or atleast keep customers interested, if you mark up too high people will leave without purchasing or will simply steal an item from you. The skills can come in extremely handy especially to prevent thieves with skills that make them think twice about stealing from you or generating a laser gate which turns them into dust if they do steal, you can also find skills that increase the profit margin when selling items direct to a customer rather than them coming in to the shop altogether.

    When I first loaded up Shoppe Keep I was welcomed with a rather basic tutorial, this game has so much going on I didn’t expect a tutorial to teach me everything possible within 5 minutes but after playing through that section i felt as though I didn’t know how to control anything, I assumed that this was just due to the fact I was green to the game and over time it would come as second nature which in fact was true but I had to figure out most things by myself, you will, however, find a list of tutorials within the pause menu to assist if you become a little lost.

    I’d love to go on and on about the massive amount of gameplay that can be done later on in the game but I need to point out a few issues, you can see straight away Shoppe Keep is a port and from the looks of things hasn’t been done very well, the pictures used on the purchasing menu are too difficult to see to a point that you can’t read the writing at all, even the pause menu is setup for a mouse, the 5 options would have been easy to scroll up and down with your thumbstick or D-pad but it has been left as a point and click cursor as a console player this didn’t cut the mustard for me. The artwork in the game wasn’t to my liking, to me it looked like something from a Nintendo 64, this doesn’t take away from the game being quite addictive and I’ve always said a game is as good as it’s gameplay, not its graphics but as we grade on graphics I found them quite poor by today’s standards.and didn’t think it was very suited. The music used in the game suits it well, I personally wasn’t a fan of the medieval medley constantly playing in the background as it would become stuck in my head but it was well suited to the theme of the game, characters talking in game came through rather subtle, you would hear the odd “I’ll just take this” for a thief stealing something or “you look like a good person” if someone liked you and your shop but that’s all I can recall hearing throughout my playthrough.

    Gameplay 7.5
    Graphics 4.5
    Audio 5.5
    Replay Value 7.5
    Value For Money 7.5
    Shoppe Keep Review

    The core game itself is great, although Shoppe Keep is let down by it’s badly ported qualities and rather bad image work when on menus etc. Overall i have enjoyed playing the game but there’s room for improvement in a few areas, if you’re a fan of money management and RPG’s then this is one for you, let’s hope Shoppe Keep 2 takes in to consideration points like this and rules them out.

    • Addictive gameplay
    • Helpful skill points
    • Poor artwork on menu screens
    • Poorly ported to console

    About The Author

    Gaming since the early 90's enjoys playing platformers, survival and online co-op games.

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