Shoppe Keep has been out for a while, I first heard about it in 2015 when Sips made a video series about it, I found it intriguing and I like peaceful style games, so I decided to give it a look.
Shoppe Keep has been out since 2015 when it appeared in early access, and it released in “full” in may of 2016. You will see why I put “full” in quotation marks later. The basic gameplay is this: you are a merchant in a world of heroes, peddling your goods to every knight, mage, and townsperson that finds its way to your store. You sell anything for as much of a profit as possible to expand your store, and fight of hordes of barbarians, and thieves that seek to steal some of your precious wares. The gameplay really doesn’t get much deeper than that, and that is my biggest complaint, there is no depth to this game. You can expand and grow to a point, but there really is no end game. The pacing is all off as well, the game is so slow at the start and this isn’t assisted by the long days.
The overall buying and selling mechanics are fine, I feel satisfaction from each sale, and designing the layout of my shoppe is incredibly fun. This fun is bottlenecked by the slow pace though. You cannot buy everything automatically and this causes you to have to use the basic pedestals for too long, and I would like to get to the shelves and counters as quickly as possible. Once you get them though, the customization really opens up and it becomes a lot of fun. Building your shoppe becomes enjoyable, and once customer traffic starts to pick up, it gets way more exciting.
The art style is charming, using sunken cartoon-style graphics, with a robust, but dim color palette. I enjoy this art style, and it gives this game a unique character. This art style is completely new to anything I have seen and it does a good job of giving the game a medieval feel. This is helped by a fantastic catchy soundtrack. The soundtrack consists of jaunty, upbeat instrumental tunes, that blend into each other well, and never go on for too long, or repeat too much. Both of these work together brilliantly to give the game an aura of medieval exploration and wonder, even when you are just making a shop.
Overall, this game needs a lot of work. Things need to be tweaked to make the game more enjoyable and I don’t think they will be. That is why my rating for Shoppe Keep is
6.5/10 “slightly above average but definetly needs some work!!”
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check it out if you like that sort of thing, you can find the game here: