Shop Titans is a shop simulator where you run an equipment store for adventurers. It brings to mind games like Recettear, which are more fun to play because they are not riddled with artificial progress blocks to nickel and dime you every step of the way. That aspect of mobile gaming monetization aside, the core game still has a lot of promise and a lot to offer.
The main mechanic of the game centers around your shop where you craft gear to sell to NPCs that wander into your store. The base crafting materials are obtained automatically over time but the crafting itself is done manually. As you craft items, you unlock new blueprints for higher tiers of weapons, which must be unlocked with research scrolls. You also unlock passive upgrades such as increasing the value of the item and increasing the chance for rare item drops.
As you craft items, you also level up the NPC craftsman for that item which simply reduces the time it takes to craft by a small percentage.
The other mechanic of the game is centered around the city. Here you can spend coin to invest in NPCs, which increase their maximum possible level and further unlock passive upgrades, such as increasing the rate at which you acquire crafting materials and allowing more types of items to be built.
You can also hire heroes and send them out to quests. Upon waiting the required amount of time, you are then rewarded with rare crafting materials to make higher tier equipment.
The promising part of the game however, comes solely from the player driven market. Here you can buy and request items and set your own prices. By mastering market manipulation tactics, you can make a huge earning, thousands of times higher than just simply selling to NPCs.
The game offers a lower barrier of entry and lower risk in learning how to navigate a player driven market than say, Eve Online. This part of the game got me excited and hooked enough to keep playing.
It’s a shame that the game is riddled with artificial progress blockers because that results in a watered down game where mastery of the mechanics don’t really mater, it’s just simply a matter of waiting enough time to accomplish anything.
Gripes aside, Shop Titans still has enough to offer to entice players who want to engage in player driven markets.