Games Gazette Logo

    

The SHOPKEEPER is a very, very short interactive point and click, question and answer game.

It is written by the imaginative, multi talented, James Wallis, developed by Verse and published
by Mastertronic. It is available for the PC via the Steam media and can be downloaded at a very
reasonable price.

The website, (http://store.steampowered.com/app/324610/) describes the story as :- A desperate
man  needs to find the right antique to impress a rich relative, but his choice will have dreadful 

consequences.  The  Shopkeeper is a point-and-click narrative game set in a space between the
Twilight Zone,
classic Lucasarts adventures, and Antiques Roadshow.

    

The best word I can use to describe The SHOPKEEPER is "Weird". The graphic novel style art
gives the game a flat but enchanting look, the animation is poor at its best, and the vocals, despite
being mainly by the highly respected (especially by Joss Whedon) Jeff Ricketts, is absolutely truly
awful. The only good thing I can say about the voices are that they are extremely clear. This is good
because there are no speech bubbles - tough on any deaf or partial hearing players.

There are a number of fairly long, and necessary to the plot, speeches that have to be heard, though
you have a choice of answers (three) to each question which are listed in text. Basically you have to
pick the right answer and question when you have the opportunity. In fact if you select the correct
(I think it is three) questions and answers the game ends and that's all there is.

Your character moves from one shop to the third in a row of three - you cannot enter the flower shop
in the centre but the proprietor does come out and chat to you once. You are looking for the correct
antique. You get clues from the Cigar shop then go to Antique store (or is it vice versa ?) anyway if
you have the correct antique the game ends.

You click on an item and get the history of it and then if you go to the next shop you have it with you.
If you haven't you have to go back and make another selection and try again. I didn't listen too clearly
the first time and so it took me two attempts (about eight minutes) to complete the game, but it is easily
doable within 5 minutes.

As I said, the game is "weird" but it is attractively and would be addictively (if it was longer) weird.

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015