If you enjoy Roblox’s Retail Tycoon, you will likely enjoy Shopping Tycoon. The complexities of Shopping Tycoon make it an absorbing game of whack-a-mole.
The goal is to build your store through sales to happy customers. Like real life and Retail Tycoon, customers want an affordable product in a clean store. Unlike Retail Tycoon, in Shopping Tycoon the customers can get help from a shopping assistant if necessary. You also have to keep the store at a comfortable temperature.
The game has three modes: easy, medium, and hard. In easy, you start with $200,000. Medium starts with $100,000, and hard starts with $50,000. It takes longer to build up your store in hard mode, but it is essentially the same game in each mode and only differs with the amount of money at the start. If you go from medium mode back to easy mode, the game does not recognize that you have already done the tutorial, and it makes you do it again.
The tutorial gets you started, but I had to learn a lot as I went. The tutorial doesn’t show you where items can be placed in an easy, clear way. If they had the green outlines displaying on the wall at the start, it would help. You start out wondering exactly where the inside of the store is, because it is basically one long, giant and invisible window for a store front. The bricks are inset a little at the edges of the store, but it does not even look like an empty store when you get started. You do have a stock clerk and a maintenance employee automatically. The shelving for t-shirts can be placed in the pathway where employees are walking.
You navigate game play mostly through clicking. While Retail Tycoon gives the customers speech bubbles, Shopping Tycoon gives them small icons: question marks, thumbs up, thumbs down, toilet, chair, a thumbnail of an item the customer would like to buy, the price is too high, and “Grrrr.” Customers will say “Grrr” if the lighting is inadequate, if there is trash on the floor, and if it is too hot or too cold. Employees will say “Grrr” if they are tired, stuck and cannot get to their destination, or when customer’s children make a mess for the cleaner. You are furiously clicking question marks by the time you unlock all the subway routes, bus lines, and taxis—which makes it feel like a game of whack-a-mole. It can be difficult to click specifically on a question mark icon when you have built up your store a fair amount.
The graphics and sound are both good. The graphics are detailed and realistic. The sound consists of jazzy store music and sound effects such as vacuum cleaners, espresso machines, and honking. The honking and security camera warnings did become a bit grating after a bit, but you can specifically turn the noises down independently of the music volume. It can also be hard to see behind the bus station, but you can turn up the transparency in the settings menu.
Shopping Tycoon has you build walls, as does Retail Tycoon, but Shopping Tycoon has you working in a horizontal line with the ability to create new floors. Decoration helps with happy customers in both games: plants, seating, and choices of flooring material. Shopping Tycoon builds brick walls that you can paint in an assortment of colors, patterns, and prices.
I had to unlearn part of the way I would play Retail Tycoon to properly play Shopping Tycoon. After the initial product order to fill a shelf, you need to leave it alone and let your store clerk do the ordering. Otherwise, at higher levels you can end up with 85 needed deliveries that just are not coming. The timing just gets longer and longer, so you have to reduce some of the items and shelving in your store until the deliveries begin functioning smoothly again.
You can increase the effectiveness and agility of your delivery companies, which is pretty cool. I would recommend saving your money to only increase the effectiveness and agility of the fastest delivery company and switching to them over the standard company as soon as possible. Each delivery vehicle must be contracted, and the price goes up with each faster new company.
Shopping Tycoon does Retail Tycoon one better in many ways: control over employees and added variables for layered complexity. The store employees have zones, represented by a long line—red for security guard, blue for cleaner, yellow for stock clerk, green for shop assistant, and the maintenance employee has a bit more freedom. These lines and zones can be expanded by dragging the arrows at the ends further or contracted by dragging the arrows back toward the employee. Each floor has a generator that you must purchase more electricity for to run more lights, security cameras, vending machines, food shops, elevators, and escalators.
Each new level can unlock new brands and new products. Your basic t-shirt display can hold: Piggy Princess, Arnam, Bang!, Calsis, Cameleon, Hapel, Cuhi, Olliste, male Moviegoer, and female Moviegoer. There are t-shirts, boxers, trousers, dresses, purses, and ties in clothing. You can also have sneakers for both genders and dress shoes for women. Then there are the cosmetics: lipstick, perfume, anti-wrinkle creams, nail polish, eyeshadow brush, and eyeliner pencil. There are also jewellery, sports gear, and pets. There are infinite combinations of how to set up a store. Everything else is up to you, as long as you have enough toilets, cash registers, and storage on each level. The bigger your store is, the more staircases and elevators you will need on each floor. If you do not add them quickly enough, your deliveries and customers will get jammed up at closing and maybe even during the day.
Any item you can install on the ceiling of your store can malfunction: lights, security cameras, and sprinklers. When you have a malfunction of your security cameras or lights, you should use design mode to remove and trash/sell the item that is malfunctioning before it starts a fire. The maintenance employees take too long to react. Sprinklers may be purchased, and they will help contain a fire; however they are also prone to malfunctions. If you have a fire bad enough, you have to replace the shelving and items burnt up in that store section. The sprinklers may preserve the items when they malfunction, unlike in a fire.
Shopping Tycoon has several minor problems: lag, giving you warnings about items you have not yet unlocked, save integrity—including no manual save option, The game uses WASD and a mouse to zoom in and out, but it becomes problematic as the store gets busier. Each instance I played had lag after reaching a certain customer counts—unlocking all but four subway lines and four bus lines, for example. You may need to buy air conditioning units for the store’s ceiling on each floor before you have even unlocked air conditioning at level five, which I found frustrating. The game continues to give you warning icons until you address the issue. I lost everything I had placed on the second floor of my store and higher at day 75 and level 58 in the medium mode. It had not saved properly, and so the file just did not contain the information anymore.
There are several instances involving employees, one where the game exit arrow does not work, and one with the temperature warnings. If you have 22 of one kind of employee, scrolling can get bunched up in a section, and it can look like you are not seeing the whole list. Lately my security guards both catch a person for the same amount very near to each other. I have security cameras everywhere, but I am still losing money to shoplifters. When employees rest, sometimes one of them will have the door icon activated like they are going to rest, but then the rest button will not stay pressed and be lighter blue. I accidentally broke open a section of wall where I had store. I rebuilt it right away, but now I get temperature warnings every minute. The temperature hovers around 71.55 to 71.64; and it says it is too cold at the lower end, and too high at the higher end. I do not want to mess with the thermostat fifty times in one game day. Also, the game exit arrow no longer functions. I have to use the Windows key on my keyboard and then close out the game from the desktop.
I could play Shopping Tycoon over and over again. I am sitting at 28 out of 40 achievements at 92 hours played. Unlocking the rest of them would probably take twice as long as I have already played. The highest store floor I managed to build was to floor five, and one of the achievements is to unlock floor 18. There is a lot of content here to explore.
While Shopping Tycoon is a great retail-type tycoon, I would wait for another few updates to give the developers time to address the save issues before buying this game. The version I played was after update 1.083. If they can manage to work out a few more of the kinks, this game will become a must-have for every tycoon fan.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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