Thursday, March 18, 2021
I've been playing a Free2Play game called Shop Titans the last few days, and it has been pretty fun. The game is available on Steam and on mobile platforms, with cross-platform play possible. As the name suggests, you play a shop keeper in a fantasy village, supplying weapons, armor, and other gear to fantasy heroes. But you control basically the whole chain, from resource gathering, crafting, selling, equipping the heroes, to the heroes going to dungeons and coming back with loot and resources.
Making a profit in Shop Titans is very easy. You get the resources for free, over time, and there is a constant stream of not very price conscious AI customers coming to your shop. You can even use energy to charge them double, and they won't complain. So the challenge is more in the time-management aspects of the game. Resources take time to replenish, crafting takes time, upgrading the furniture in your shop takes time, sending heroes on dungeon crawls takes time, you get the idea. You have limited number of "slots" for various activities, so you can only craft X items at a time, with X going up with level.
Of course, Free2Play means that impatient people can speed up a lot of those processes with real money. However, there isn't really a "paywall", I haven't seen features in the game yet which I wouldn't be able to reach by playing for free. You can also speed up your progress by interacting with other players via a guild or the auction house. That works a bit like the auction house in World of Warcraft, where the fact that some players are further advanced makes them willing to pay good money for low level stuff they need.
What I like about this type of game is that it has a good mix of progress through playing, and progress through waiting. It is neither a complete idle game, nor a game that just freezes in time if you don't play. Of course, your tastes may be different than mine in this respect. But for the moment I am happily evolving my various gear tech trees (I can make level 4 items of most types right now) while playing rather casually. Not every game has to be very complex.