Shoppe Keep is a medieval fantasy store-owner simulator from developer Arvydas Žemaitis that has been published by Excalibur Games as a Steam Early Access title. As of the writing of this post (and the video footage above), the game is in Version 2 of its Early Access status.
I believe I indirectly heard of this game because it was on a friend’s Steam Wish List, but I never really played it or researched it all that much. Yet, thanks to a new relationship with Excalibur Games (thanks, Greg!), I’ve got some great games on the horizon that they’ve handled that I’ll be able to take a look at for you. This game is merely the first of those titles. On Steam, Shoppe Keep has a “Very Positive” feedback rating, so that seemed like it might be something worth checking out. Yet, how does it perform?
As you’ll see in the video, when you first start a “game,” you’re dropped right into it with 60 gold and nothing else really to your name. It’s up to you to figure out how to make that 60 gold go somewhere. Sure, you can immediately take that money and order a few items to stock the shelves with, but guess what? You can’t actually sell them in the store unless you have a table, shelf, stool, or some kind of object to put it on display at (though, as you’ll see, you can walk around town bartering with people to sell items too). Proper money management is very important, and like any detailed simulation game, things will get off to a slow start. Ultimately, you’ll want to haggle around town, put a few choice items up for sale, and slowly expand your store’s interior as you get the funds to do so.
The framework is all here for a really interesting, unique, and fun game, and right now you can see a lot of promise here. The game is a bit buggy in a couple areas (but that’s to be expected!), yet overall the charm is there. It just needs more fine-tuning and variety added to it.
Beyond being the shop owner, you can also help fend the town from invading barbarians, or, if you are having a really bad day (as I do apparently about 25 minutes into the video!) you can run around killing people! Be careful though – if you’re dangerous, people won’t want to visit your shop (imagine that!). Funny thing is, though, that the next day, even if the dead bodies are still outside, people will have forgotten and will happily come into the store again!
I don’t feel comfortable rating this game yet in its current state, but I had fun tinkering around with it and I do think it’s worth buying and watching it develop as it goes!