The Shopkeeper has you playing as a man trying to sell the items in his antique shop. Every item has a story, but will it be the right story?
The Shopkeeper is a point-and-click “choice” game. It’s really just a big illusion of choice though. There’s hardly any actual path to “beat” the game, and when you fail the game just goes into a loop. That is literally the basis of a game.
You are really a man trying to get money from their mother-in-law. The whole “Shopkeeper” front is just a way to “lead into” that. You’ll click on items of interest in the shop and be lead into a “story” about it. This “story”, at least for you, is just talking with your mother-in-law and typically being told no, you can’t have any money. A playthrough literally takes 5 minutes. And when you do finally beat it, you’re told all these things happened and then there’s some sort of ending that makes about as much sense as the game.
What really doesn’t help this already poor case is the font when you’re making your choices. It’s written in pretty hard to read cursive that even as a native English speaker and writer I had issues reading. There’s also voice acting in the game but no subtitles. This is why I brought up the native English speaker part – the voices are already not the best, but for those who don’t normally understand English they would have issues. Also, those who are hard of hearing would have even more issues and add to the reasons why subtitles should pretty much always be there for games with voice acting. The developer commented in the forum that they thought it was “better” without, that it added to the experience. Really? It takes away from it. I always prefer subtitles when available.
While the game does at least have a windowed mode, it seems it can’t decide if it wants to pause or not when you either pause the game or go out of the window. I would come back into the window at times to find the dialogue had progressed without me doing anything. This happened even when I was in the options menu, the only way I could find to try and “properly” pause it!
The Shopkeeper just feels like a pretty poor excuse for a game. No subtitles, hard to read font, a 5 minute “story” (which I’ve had before… in a free game), confusing ways to reach the actual endings (though there’s only 1 true ending)… Unless it receives some major updates, it’s pretty high on the “avoid this” list. The developer says some updates are coming, including subtitles, but we’ll see… It also feels like a game that should be in Early Access on Steam instead of being a full release. It feels incomplete. Like there should be more to it. As it stands now though, avoid The Shopkeeper and play some actual point-and-click or choice-based games.
The Shopkeeper Review Score