Developer: Daylight Studios
Publisher: Daylight Studios
Genre: Indie, Managment Simulation
Release Date: 13.07.2015
Platforms: PC, MAC
Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop is a managment simulation ih which you obtain the role of a young blacksmith who’s grandfather left him his very own weapons shop. It’s up to you to live up to old man’s expectations and prove yourself a worthy descendant of a world famous blacksmith. But be wary, as there are many challenges to cross along the way, including a greedy lessor who possesses 99,9% of your shop’s ownership right from the start!
You start the game with a modest shop at your hands, having only few workers (potatoes) at your disposal. First thing you notice is that the shop is divided in four different workstations. Blue – representing „accuracy“ workplace, red – workbench where you boost „attack“ capabilities of your weapons as they are being forged, green – for boosting “speed“ characteristics of weapons, and finally yellow – for enhancement of magic properties. Each of those stations will require at least one worker to run, and to add quality characterstics to your weapons.
Later on you will unlock all sorts of things to improve the working conditions in the shop. Some include air-conditioning unit, a coffee-maker, maybe a fireplace to keep your potatoes warm during a chilly winter days, or maybe a little comfy bed for your dog. Yes, you have a dog. His only purpose is to roam around the shop and look cute. You will have to feed him once in a while though. As it is of outmost importance to keep your workers happy, because happy worker is a very productive worker, these diverse accessories can help you with that aspect. Although you can do without them as most are really just for show.
I think it’s fair to say that this game blows the creativity through the roof. Whole atmosphere is warm and it is a joy to watch those little potatoes run around the extremely colorful shop doing whatever you order them to do. Characters and how they are designed are a story of their own, because all of them are represented as some celebrity figure in a form of a potato. The character design is amusing, and accentuates the games’s easy-going atmosphere.
Main goal of the game is to forge as best weapons as you can and to sell if for as much $tarch (in-game currency) as possible. First of all, you will have to research the weapon that you want to create. In order to forge the weapon, you must have all the required material. Materials can be acquired through exploration of different regions the game has to offer, or you can just buy them from a shop in some locations. Needless to say, your potatoes will do all the work.
After a desired weapon has been researched you can start forging it, adding a boost to one of four stats (att, spd, acc and mag) in the process, depending which hero you want to do business with. You see, heroes are the ones who will buy your weapons. Important to mention is the in-game time factor. The gameplay is heavily affected by the progression of time which provides incentive for the players to consider future planning.
Each region you discover will have new and different set of heroes with different weapon requirements. For example, if you want to forge a wand and there is a wizard hero in the region who likes his weapon to have high magic and accuracy stats, you will want to make your wand as accurate and as magicaly powerfull as you can. If your weapon pleases the customer, you will be able to sell it for more $starch and you’ll receive more fame as heroes level up. Also, every time you sell a weapon you will recive customers review of it, on scale F-S. There are literally hundreds of different weapons to craft and materials to experiment with, ranging from simple daggers and bows to highly complicated cannons, guns and katanas.
As time goes by you will craft more and more powerful and diverse weapons, earn more fame and $tarch and discover more and more materials and locations for you business to expand. At the end of each month you will have to pay wages to you workers, amount dependent on level of expertise that worker has. Bigger level – means better forging quality. You can choose in which smithing aspect your workers will grow. It’s represented in a fairly basic skill tree. When you worker achieves highest level of expertise in all of tehniques/fields he will be granted a title of Legendary smith.
There are also numerous random events that can take place in the game. They can vary from quick dialogue choices that have a good and a bad outcome, which choice you choose will determine the result and the following consequences. Then, there are also random events that you have no control over, for example and earthquake, that slightly damages to the forged weapon, or a possible UFO visit wich boosts weapons stats. All events are depicted in a creative and fun tone.
From time to time a Legendary Hero will appear at your door demanding you to craft him his/hers trademark weapon. The hero will always demand a certain stat characteristics of a desired weapon to be achieved, and it’s up to you to please him. Those weapons will often prove much harder to forge than regular ones, but when you finally manage to forge it, rewards will be much higher that usual.
There are many more in-game features worth mentioning. Some include fulfilling various unique contracts, accomplishing area-based events, or even attending the annual „Golden Hammer Awards“. The cute graphics, appropriate music background, and humour with the potato theme is really what gives this game a unique twist in managing business.
While it does provide a fun experience, the slow and linear pace proves this game would be much better on mobile devices. Other thing I just can’t get over is limited slots for saving the game. There are only five of them and that’s just way to little for a game in which you want to save as often as you can, due to numerous random consequences, failed attempts and mistakes that can be made. Overall, this game is unique and fun, but if you are not blown away with it you could find linear progression and crafting hundreds of different weapons at a similar pace too much to bare with.
– graphics, sound and overall humorous theme gives a unique twist and a fun tone which many games lack to offer
– variety of items to collect and weapons to forge always make you want to see what next can you create
– linear progression and lack of serious deadlines
– limited number of save slots