On first glance you’d be mistaken for thinking that Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop is aimed broadly at younger gamers and potentially the free to play market too, but underneath the bright, colourful cartoony visual style there lies an incredibly deep and rewarding management game that has kept me chasing that next big pay day for far longer than I would have expected.
As the games title suggests, you find yourself running a weapon shop and your goal is to craft the finest, weirdest and, at times, some very familiar looking weapons in a bid to make as much money as possible.
The depth and underpinning structure is really quite a feat when you look at sheer number of weapon building options and then one level more in the micro-management of production of your item. Each potential recipe has different stats such as Magic, Speed, Strength and Accuracy; all of which you can adjust on the fly during the production cycle. You also have the option of buying boosts during this phase to massively increase the returns on your stat of choice; think of how you hire freelancers in Kairosofts Game Dev Story. Using a combination of all the tools available you can, should you want to; build the ideal weapon for each of the Heroes waiting in town for your sales team to roll in. You can get by equally well by taking the more lazy, time efficient route and making each weapon type as you would expect it to be, a slow hard hitting mace for a warrior or a nimble but comparatively weak dagger for a rogue. But, if you really want to get the best returns for your time and consumables, you will need to make more bespoke weapons depending on the classes and needs of your customers.
From time to time familiar faces from games, movies and TV will randomly show up knocking at your workshop door requesting a specific weapon type along with harder to achieve stat requirements. You have to be careful should you take on these jobs as failing the build will cost you time and any consumables used in building along with missed sales opportunities from regular production, it is worth however as the payday for these weapons is huge. These events are usually when you can expect to see some of the genuinely funny character and weapon lookalikes to appear. At the time of playing, these encounters were occasionally a little frustrating as you had to answer a multiple choice question to take on the quest. The answers were sometimes seemingly random meaning you could quite easily miss out on a great quest by poor luck alone. Happily the developers are very active on the steam forums and are taking on board and fixing users niggles pretty promptly.
There is quite a lot more depth hidden away after the initial tutorial levels and it comes at a steady and not overwhelming pace but I won’t go into detail as I think that may ruin some of the discovery that’s not immediately apparent. It’s worth pointing out that you don’t need to take advantage of all of the random events and time sensitive offers you’ll encounter to be successful. You don’t feel like you have to jump to attention every time an alert marks something new. This gives the whole game a feeling of always having options; you can play this game how it suits you rather than how the developers want you to play.
On face value alone this looks like the kind of game most people would expect to see being played on a tablet or smartphone, but it’s actually quite a deep, and satisfying romp that can equally well be played out on the comfort of your computer. The developers have done a brilliant job of injecting their humour into the game and it doesn’t once come across as trite or off target.
According to the developers Facebook page, IOS and Android versions are in the long term plan and I really hope this comes to fruition as I can see this game taking up even more of my time. For me Holy Potatoes is a great game with simply tons of things to learn, discover, build and sell and one that personally would fit on handheld devices so well