Shopping Tycoon is a recently released indie title from DreamSoftGames, a small studio out of Barcelona, Spain.
Shopping Tycoon is developed on the Unity engine originally as another project for mobile in 2016 but ended up being produced and released on Steam for PC instead. The game was quite clearly intended for mobile or tablets, with large buttons, simplistic menu layouts and a pinch-to-zoom mechanic seen in every smartphone from the last decade.
It is hard to move around the game environment as a result, and there is so much clutter and indistinguishable sprites on screen at any given time that the whole experience playing is unpleasant.
The graphics and assets used are very poor. Textures for walls aren’t all symmetrical and end up being quite the eyesore. Some of the assets look weirdly almost photo-realistic, such as the road travelling through the middle of the play area, and at the same time, some assets look as if they were thrown together in MS Paint in sixty seconds.
Now I don’t know whether all, some or none of the assets came from the Unity Asset Store or if they were created by DreamSoftGames but the mix’n’matching of the art styles makes the game even more displeasing to play.
The in-game menus are clunky, clearly designed for the drag and drop controls so commonly used on smartphones and tablets. And these controls are tried, tested and great on those devices but not so fun or natural feeling when translated over to PC.
Pushing past the flaws of the design and controls of the game, the mechanics are as you’d expect from a Tycoon style game. You are given a set amount of money at the start of the game, with a basic four wall establishment and tasked to build an empire.
Everything from buying shelves, bathroom amenities, stock, car-parks and employees are yours to buy, place, stock, set prices to and manage. The old spend money to make money motto certainly ascertains in Shopping Tycoon‘s mechanics, but it isn’t anything new or genre-bending.
There is a Cookie Clicker system involved with clicking on question marks above customers heads to increase the chance that they purchase something, I, however, found that the game wasn’t even registering my clicking of these question marks.
At $9.99US for a game that is clearly much more suited to mobile, DreamSoftGames are quite frankly dreaming. Even as a mobile release, I’d expect to not spend a dime for the game, but to simply have to deal with advertisements.
Game Title: Shopping Tycoon
iPad game on PC - 2/10
Sloppy, poor quality - 4/10
Ugly - 3/10