Games of the Year

Shoppe Keep

Shoppe Keep Screenshot 1
Shoppe Keep Screenshot 2
Shoppe Keep Screenshot 3
Shoppe Keep Screenshot 4
Shoppe Keep Screenshot 5
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Take a magical journey back in time to CREATE your own fantasy retail business. Starting from scratch with a few shelves and limited stock availability, plan your displays and price your wares competitively to attract the most customers. DEVELOP your business by working out the perfect product selection to keep your customers returning. Will you be the Selfridges or the Primark of this fantasy world? Setting prices too high will attract the most theft but too low and you will be out of business in a puff of smoke. Putting in products pitched at the perfect price is key to surviving in this rough, tough trade.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

NOTE: This has been provided to me for free for review purposes.
Overview
Shoppe Keep is a cute indie game where you roleplay as a well.. shopkeeper! You have complete freedom over what you will have in stock, where you will put them, and so on. You are the only employee, so you'll need to do everything from furniture placement, ordering products, restocking, cleaning and maintenance, and even guarding your shop from raiders and thieves!
The Pros:
Sandbox - While there are some quests to guide you, but you are free to do what you wish. You are in charge of all the aspects of your shop.
Play Style - You play from day to day (no weekends :D) and each day is divided into different stages, namely two five minute intervals, in which you will have to pay taxes. Visitors are realistically peaking during the middle of the day and low at the start and end of the day. Between any two days, you have an unlimited amount of time to clean and restock your shop!
Fun! - Even though the game play is repetitive from day to day, the profits that you make allow you to expand, and afford to import better loot. You will find yourself enjoying the seemingly monotonous activities because you will expand your shop, have more expensive items in stock, attract more clients, make more profits in a perpetual way.
Humorous - The voice acting for the villagers is quite cute. Especially when they scream What the F#&@ when they stumble upon a high price or the joy they experience after making a purchase. Shopping, shopping, shoppng, YAY!"
The Cons:
Performance Hit at later stages - When your shop will become bigger, if you choose to stock it with many small items (such as a dozen bookshelves with potions, like I did) you will see the that the game doesn't like this and drops frames very frequently, making camera movement a jaggy experience. Hopefully this is just an Early Access Problem. To work around it, focus your shop on expensive items scattered around with generous room between furniture.
Early Access - There are a few annoyances such as the mindless customers, eventual glitches (but very rare!), engine limitations, few item options, but really these are all related to the fact that the game is still in early access. The game as it is gets updates regularly, so I cannot comment as to what is bad, for it can get out of date really quick. What I can say however is that the negative ones aren't that bad.
Conclusion
This is a really nice game. If you like the idea, consider giving it a buy, but also consider waiting for the full release. The proof of concept is great, and I am pretty confident it will make a nice game once it is finished, but as with all Early Access titles, I tell people to only buy it if they really like what they see as of right now, and wish to support further development of the game. There is no guarantee the end product will be on your taste. That being said, I still consider it to be a nice game and am very interested to seeing where it will go!
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Review from Steam

If managing the shop that adventurers frequent so often in classic RPGs sounds like fun, this game is for you. You'll be in charge of building your shop from the ground up, managing inventory, sending your champion on quests to get rare materals, and defending against barbarians.
Pros
Developer is very active and listens to the community. Check out gameplay from a year ago to see just how far the game has come in a short time.
Very free form in how you manage your store. There's no 'right' or 'wrong' way to play.
Tons of items to stock, with more being added with each update.
Skill point system with lots of things to unlock.
After the first hour gameplay gets very hectic.
A few different mechanics for acquiring items to keep things interesting.
The graphics, while simple, are charming and the game has a good sense of humor.
Cons
The UI and some of the mechanics are still a bit rough. Thankfully there are tutorials and a wiki to help.
There's not an "end game" that I'm aware of.
Very resource intensive. Runs well enough on my GTX 760, but not as fast as you would think for a game that looks how it does.
Just to briefly comment on some of the negative reviews I've been seeing. If they have less than an hour of playtime, I would take them with a grain of salt. The first hour of game play is not at all representive of the game over all. Also, people seem very hung up on the "Early Access" label being removed. The thing is, the developer isn't saying that the game is 100% done, just that there's enough of a core game here to justify an actual release. Given that there's been 2 post launch updates in less then 24 hours there's no indication that they are planning on abandoning the game anytime soon.
In conclusion, if you can overlook some of the rough edges there's a ton of fun to be had!

Review from Steam

*UPDATE* The devs have been cracking out update after update getting Shoppe Keep in way better shape than the pre-release build. Some of this review may be outdated! :D This is a good thing.
I loved Recettear, so when Shoppe Keep got on my radar I was really excited. It's in Alpha still and is fully playable. This game does as much right as it does wrong. Is it fun? Yes it is, once you climb over a huge hump to get to a productive endless mode.
The good:
-Running a shop in first person is great, it really feels like you are juggling all the workings of a busy store by yourself
-Lots of useful skill upgrades that are earned by turning over product and earning XP
-Shoplifters are a big problem and you can whip out both sword and spell to make them regret stealing (...with this arsenal why are you running a shop, again? O_o)
-Place shelves and tables as you like (if you can afford them) to make a shop that is all your own
-Mark up and mark down product on the fly (Honestly I stayed at 150% the entire time with no problems)
-Rapid fire placing products out is satisfying
-Tons of Scenarios to play through where you have to meet objectives and earn rewards
-The peasants have a cool style to them and I love the skeletons when you zap a shoplifter
-The blocky potions are awesome looking!
The Bad:
-Sweeping. Unless you are the worlds biggest Viscera Cleanup fan this mechanic may drive you nuts as you have to clean up after all these filthy peasants tracking mud all over
-Scenarios are mandatory if you want to have a wide variety of items to sell in endless mode
-The gameplay drags on forever sometimes. Each game day is 20 minutes long in endless mode
-The hitbox when fighting is a joke, I rarely can kill JUST the shoplifter without ending 1-3 other innocents and taking a big gold penalty for my troubles (this is factoring in the skill that is supposed to help and the security grid!)
-When a shoplifter is killed by the door and that 350 gold armor falls outside your reach T_T
-Needs more stuff to sell!
-Various graphic glitches (floaty out of sync arms/legs, stretchy corpse meshes)
-Needs a more streamlined tutorial built into the first couple scenarios rather than having you read the help window
Final Verdict: Shoppe Keep is fun when you get past some pretty big obstacles. But it always felt like a game with a lot of promise but just wasn't there yet. Still, you could do a lot worse and under the assumption this game will still be updated and developed you may want to give it a spin.

Review from Steam

THIS REVIEW IS OUT OF DATE, PLEASE DISREGARD
I have been told that this game didn't reach it's potential
Recommended for potential
The game still needs some more polish to be pleasantly playable. At the moment you cannot close your shop so that you may change some things around, instead you have to save your game then reopen it. This is the only major complaint; a smaller one would be that there are things that indicate features that just haven’t been added yet (for example a quest board with nothing on it).
Now for the, as I mentioned earlier, potential. Some features that I feel would make the game much more interesting include:
- Employees (people to sweep the floors or security).
- Hero’s that enter your store and make custom requests for a quest they might have taken on.
- Some more random events ( e.g. people vandalizing your store)
- A store quality rating
- Decorations for your store (paintings, vases or chandeliers)
- Some more creative shop expansions (a second floor or balconies)
Apart from all this I really can’t wait to see the future of this game and all it has to offer.

Review from Steam

This game is legendary. It's basically just creating a shop to earn tons of money, then spend that money to upgrade your shop. Considering that the game came out a month ago, it does have enough content to keep you interested for at least 5 hours, and there is probably way more to come. For this pricetag, it's an absolute bargain!

Review from Steam

In depth.
The worst thing about this game is how horrendously poorly it starts off and presents itself. In that first hour of play, I was VERY tempted to claim a refund. I didn't feel any satisfaction in being a shop keeper, I had no idea what I was doing, there was very little in terms of tutorial (a note, text on pages will never be a good tutorial - give me prompts when starting out and you'll convey how to play the game more quickly and easily to the user), and I only had 3-4 customers coming by to buy health potions in the first few days.
Then the second hour hit. Then the window of a refund closed, and funnily enough, so did my desire to claim one. Then the third hour hit. Apparently the fourth has also hit but I have no awareness of that, I was too busy sweeping and restocking. Now it's far too late and I want to sleep, but not before praising the game.
If you ever wanted to be a retail worker who can brandish a sword and slaughter a thief or even just a rude customer, this is for you. The game is exceptionally good at simulating the busy shop nature. I have to stock so many of these items, but suddenly someone is stealing something, then some asshole customer throws a shield, dirt is accumulating, my chest pieces are now out, my delivery of swords is in but all of a sudden no one wants swords they want armor, oh someone else is stealing, oh I thought someone was stealing but they were just running after I murdered the first thief now I'm an actual murderer, oh but the gloves are out as well...
Things get hectic. And it's pretty fun gameplay.
As I implied above, the biggest things to improve are:
• Tutorials that aren't trash. It's so commonplace to put a tutorial at the beginning that having a separate section handle it seems alien. Also a dozen pages of texts does not make a great tutorial. It was enough to get my feet wet but I'd much prefer button prompts in the first day. "Push 1, now left click on the table to place your health potions" etc. It might not feel important, but with the 2 hour window for refunds, you should strive to set a better first impression. Throwing the user into the fray is a game mechanic for some games, but this isn't Dark Souls: Shop edition.
• Better UI. It's a bit of a mess when looking at all the skill pages. Part of the reason starting off needs a better tutorial is the skill pages overwhelms a new player a bit. There's a ton of crap all over the place. It should just be one page.
• Better overall interface. The game feels pretty amateurish. If you've played Town of Salem or some other browser game now on steam, that's the vibe I get. I don't expect triple A menus, design, etc. In fact, I don't expect the devs of this to do anything about it in this game. But it's something for the next game. And I can already tell they have talent mixed with creativity, so this is just a place to improve on.
As I keep playing, my list of cons grows shorter. But these three are pretty constant for me thus far.
All in all, this is a great game for a great price. $10 is ideal, but I could see $15-20 for this, granted at that much I'd likely shy away from the game just at a glance. Having played it now and knowing what I'm getting into, I can see a higher price point.
Give this game a try, you'll be glad you did. Really unique idea that's really well executed.

Review from Steam

Ok, among this review bombing by angry players, I'm going to try to spread some truth here. This was the developers' first game. Coming from a game developer, it is nearly impossible to maintain your first game. The code is horrible, nothing is optimized, and nothing was written with the intent of expanding. It's not feasible to continue working on your first game past a certain amount of time. At some point, you need to rewrite the entire code behind the game, at which point, you need the funding to do it. It's an inescapable fact of game development. They've given 8 major content updates in this game for free, and they're running out of money. They can't maintain this for free, and very likely can't release DLC because the game was probably not designed to handle DLC.
To the fans, you guys need to chill out. No one can put months of effort in without pay. The devs are trying their best to create a game that both gets them the money they need to keep a roof over their head and makes the players happy. Those two things are a direct correlation.
To the devs, you should have kept Shoppe Keep 2 under the radar for a while and tried to tie in the loose ends of this game before announcing it. It was probably getting nearly impossible to do anything, but you needed to at least have it semi-finished before announcing a new game.

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