I’m a fan of shop keeping simulation games. I enjoy the day-to-day activities such as crafting, watching my money pile up, and figuring out ways how to automate the process so that my selling machine runs smoothly–bonus points if there’s combat of some sort. World Tree Marchè seemed like it could offer a good crafting system at least, which is at the heart of any good shop keeping game, so I thought–why not?
World Tree Marchè tells the story of a royal advisor who goes to the titular World Tree Marchè, a haven for kitchen trucks, in hopes of making enough money in order to pay off the prince’s debt. With the help of the “neo recipes” you create, you can take the World Tree Marchè from a single truck ghost town to a thriving business again. Gather your ingredients, create new recipes, chat with your staff, and learn the secrets of the ancient World Tree and the fruits it bears.
Crafting in World Tree Marchè consists of picking the correct combination of a base and up to two ingredients from a list. You can spend CP, which is gained from selling dishes in your food truck(s) and also rewarded for completing expeditions, to buy hints. The main character says that, with practice, you could start creating recipes without hints. That is a lie. The food you serve in your kitchen trucks are made from neo recipes, which are called that because they’re crafted from unlikely combinations. While the game doesn’t have a huge list of ingredients or bases to choose from, the selections make very little sense. As such, it’s nearly impossible to guess what might work without a hint. After you’ve created a recipe, your kitchen trucks will crank them out automatically just as long as you have the necessary ingredients.
You’ll get access to six trucks total, each of which deal with a different type of cuisine and are run by a single character that you are able to befriend in order to gain access to a wider variety of base ingredients. For example, Marjoram is a witch who can turn into a dragon. Her kitchen truck deals with meat and so, when you go out into the wilds to gather ingredients, you’re able to gather just that. As you gain access to more complex recipes, the ingredients you use are used across different trucks, which means making more excursions.
Collecting ingredients is also an automated system. The location, and therefore the ingredients you can gather, varies based on which kitchen truck chef you choose to accompany you. Your one contribution to an outing is to press A to continue–and sometimes to press A with good timing when you find a rare Punyons. They take maybe 12 seconds at the most and aren’t particularly interesting, though they are cute. Before you can depart, however, you are required to select a dish to entice the cute, slime-like Punyons to aid you. The game gives you a hint as to what kind of dish they’re craving and selecting one that meets their tastes grants you a bonus in number of Punyons and/or an increased chance of finding a rare Punyon, which gives you a large number of a random ingredient.
Making sales is as easy as adding the desired dish to your menu and waiting for prospective customers. This continues while the game isn’t running, so coming back to your Marchè can be overwhelming because you’ll be slammed with story cutscene after story cutscene before you’re even able to try and get things running again.
Both selling dishes and going on expeditions deepens your friendships with your chefs, which in turn unlocks chats with them that further their own stories. The writing is hit or miss. The translation is messy in some places and in other cases, spelling and punctuation is wrong. It would do the developers well to go back over it with a fine toothed comb so as to make this a polished final product.
A lot of my issue with World Tree Marchè is the pacing. As I mentioned, leaving the game for a bit and coming back invites a slew of cut scenes that you have to wade through before you can get started opening up shop. I would have preferred to be able to activate them when I was ready, much like the chats with chefs. There’s also not enough engaging gameplay thanks to the way things run autonomously. This could have easily been rectified by starting you off handling things by hand and then working towards automating things–for a cost. Finally, there’s the recipe hints. Some are very obscure and, since these neo recipes are outlandish, guessing what the hint could have meant becomes an infuriating process of trying every possible ingredient.
World Tree Marchè has a good premise, but it fails to present the shopkeeping experience it strives to deliver.Pacing issues and a lack of engaging active gameplay makes the game difficult to recommend to gamers of different walks. Fans of simulation and idle games may find just enough here to keep them entertained, but for the price you can do better.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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World Tree Marché Review
Gameplay - 5/10
Graphics - 5/10
Sound - 5/10
Replay Value - 5/10
User Review( votes)
Pay back a massive debt while also getting to know your coworkers. A feel good tale that could use a coat of polish.
- An eclectic cast of characters that you’ll want to get to know.
- In game achievements to orient your goals.
- Amusing dialogue.
- Uneven pacing leaves you slammed with cut scenes every time you pick the game back up.
- Some recipe hints obscure to a fault, leading to frustration.
- Plenty of textual errors, including punctuation, spelling, and translation.
- Too idle play-centric for its own good.