Coffee Shop Tycoon | PC Review
Coffee Shop Tycoon, developed and published by Riff Studios, is a simulation game where you are given the chance to run your own coffee shop and build it from the ground up. The game is still currently in early access, and it is the developer's first project. Whilst the game is in early access there are two coffee shops available to run, however, in the future there will be more content added. Coffee Shop Tycoon is currently only available on Windows PC.
Coffee Shop Tycoon doesn’t exactly have a story. You're simply a budding entrepreneur who fancies themselves as a bit of a coffee snob and decides to open a coffee shop. You start off with one shopfront available to you and a wallet full of money to begin kitting it out with everything it needs to be successful. $40,000 sounds like a lot of money, but in this economy you may find that your money doesn’t quite go as far - relatable, eh? To get ready for your first day opening you need to hire a member of staff, order some beans and buy your hot water urn and brew some coffee and that's you, ready to go!
The tutorial will take you through the very basics of what you need to run your coffee shop. This was fine, although on one attempt I got locked out of doing the next objective because I thought I’d buy a nice little table for the coffee shop, not realising that it wouldn’t let me complete the rest of the tutorial. I had to restart which was no loss really at that point, however, on subsequent attempts I ended up hard stuck on numerous occasions due to lack of money. Progression felt very slow to me, and this ability to get locked out of progressing from the tutorial is very frustrating because it just shouldn’t happen. A tutorial is to learn how to play the game and move on, not getting hard stuck and having to restart and go through the rigmarole again. Whilst the game isn’t “difficult” it feels very clunky and frustrating, and it feels like there’s too many menus, with very few of them feeling like they had much use.
Visually, Coffee Shop Tycoon looks incredibly dated, which was unfortunate. There are areas where you can see that some real time has gone into the visuals, and then there are other things that simply look like they’ve been drawn in Microsoft Paint. Upon further research, I discovered that the game was originally released in 2016 and has remained in early access since then, for almost six years now. Unfortunately, within the last 6 years it doesn’t appear that much has happened in terms of notable updates except for the recent economy changes within the game where you can now decide the prices of the coffee yourself. Whilst I know a massive amount of work goes into video games behind the scenes and what players actually get to see of that is very little, it feels like there’s very much a trend now where half-baked games are being released under the guise of it being “early access” and then remaining in such a state for months, or in this case, years. I’d quite frankly rather a game was delayed countless times, instead of being released simply as a cash cow in a broken state. Coffee Shop Tycoon isn’t broken, but it just feels like there's a distinct lack of content for over six years' work, and if I was a day one player the economy change would NOT bring me back to the game. I’d be waiting on more shops being available and heavy additions to the gameplay before I’d consider picking it up again.
I really do see potential here, but unfortunately I’m not sure that I have a huge amount of hope given how long it's remained in early access. In its current state you could easily complete the game in a few short hours with little replayability or incentive to go back and revisit the game. This is a shame because these sorts of simulation and management games really do thrive when they can be replayed for hundreds of hours, however, at present I feel little incentive to recommend it to my simulation loving friends.
Lj’s Rating: 2.5 lukewarm lattes out of 5.
For more information on Coffee Shop Tycoon please use the following links...
Riff Studios - Developer | Publisher | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
Many thanks to Jaleo PR for the Review Key.
Coffee Shop Tycoon | Windows PC
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