Our King of Retail Preview looks at a game that’s been in Early Access since 26 March 2019, but was recently taken over for publishing by Iceberg Interactive on 20 October 2020. The developer for this shop management simulation game is Freaking Games. You’ll learn the basics of running a store while managing stock and staff.
We would never have known about this game if it wasn’t for our good friends, Iceberg Interactive. Thanks to their publisher acquisition of this title, we had a chance to play it while it’s still in Early Access. What we found is a game so addictive, that we played well into the early morning hours.
So, what type of modes can you enjoy, and how many items can you sell? Are the graphics good, and do you need to know anything about retail to play it? Find out below in our detailed King of Retail Preview.
|Early Access Release date:||26 March 2019|
|Genre:||Store management simulation|
|File size||10 GB|
Welcome to the commercial world for our King of Retail Preview! We decided not to do a full review as yet, as the game is in Early Access. We’ve seen new tablets hit the inventory, so we’re expecting many more stock items to appear before the official release.
You game’s name should give you a fair idea of what it’s about. You’ll be managing retail stores to build a massive commercial empire. Win or fail, it’s up to you.
We found two modes for our King of Retail Preview. The first is Corporate, while the second is Entrepreneur. Both versions play the same way, which we’ll cover in the gameplay section.
The chief difference is that you’ll be managing stores for a corporate business in the former, while the latter lets you run your own store. You can see Corporate mode as the campaign, and Entrepreneur as Sandbox mode.
For our King of Retail Preview, we found that the Corporate mode is mission-intensive. You start by selecting a manager contract for a business, and sell only those items that the company wants to sell. Your mission is to reach a specific turnover while focussing on a specific market.
When you reach your objective, the company pays you the contract fee, and then you’re onto the next mission. It continues in this fashion until you’ve amassed a large sum. While we enjoyed this mode, we found more pleasure in the Entrepreneur version.
You can name and manage your own store. You’ll start small, but you have the option to buy more spaces in the massive building. The larger you grow, the more items you can sell.
When we first started playing the Early Access store management simulation game for our King of Retail Preview, it didn’t seem like much. However, spend more time on it, and you suddenly realise how big it really is. While most of our gameplay section will focus on the Entrepreneur mode, most of the same rules apply for Corporate.
So you’ll begin by naming your company and creating your manager avatar. My daughter Avril and I started playing together, hence the name ‘Avril’s Boutique’, but she quickly wanted to take over and create her own female manager. Pretty soon, she was running her own shop without my help. Pffft, kids these days. ?
Back to my game for this King of Retail Preview. Once you have your store setup, you’ll have minimal funds to buy some stock and get started. You’ll need the basics first, such as a delivery unit for your stock, a storage unit, a cash register, a display stand, and a computer desk with PC for marketing.
Of course, you’ll need some products, too. These are called ‘Articles’ in the game. When you order them, they will only arrive the next day, unless you pay for instant delivery. In the beginning, you may end up doing that often.
When you open for business, people will start approaching your store. We don’t want to go into a detailed guide of our King of Retail Preview, and will create a different post for growing managing your business. What’s important to note for now is relationship management.
You’ll need to manage both staff and client relations. When you earn enough funds, you can interview and hire staff. They can take most of the menial tasks off your hands.
There are also different market sectors to pay attention to, we noticed for our King of Retail Preview. While we’ll cover this in an extensive guide, it’s vital that you note which industry is the largest in the town, so that you can target that market.
At the end of the day, gameplay becomes easy when you get used to it, and you fall into a sort of daily routine. Wait for delivery, unpack stock, watch the clients arrive and buy, answer questions and convince them to buy, monitor your staff’s happiness, take over tasks, make sure you have enough stock, market your business, close the store, head back to your office, buy new stock for the next day and expand, and then chill to a nice glass of Jack Daniels.
The one feature we’re happy for in our King of Retail Preview is the fast forward button. When you have your staff handling things, you can just stand there and watch the day pass as you rake in the funds. Pay attention to which products sell the best and focus on those.
There are many more features we enjoyed, like assigning articles permanently to a display, but we’ll get to that in our detailed upcoming guide.
Let’s begin with the positive aspects of the graphics for our King of Retail Preview. We love the themes, wallpaper, floor tiles and the variety of colourful options. Some of the 3D aspects are spectacular, and we adore how the lighting and shading looks.
The developer also went into a lot of effort into designing plenty of articles for you to sell, so you’ll be spoilt for choice in the Early Access version of the store management simulation game. We’ve also noticed more items being added lately, so there’s more work to be done on the visuals.
We also enjoyed some of the character designs, but the movement is a bit stiff at this point. Sometimes they walk in a fluid motion, but for the most part, they look like robots with their mechanical movement. What’s worse, is when they get stuck trying to pass each other, and then just decide to walk through each other.
We’ve mentioned the spectacular lighting, but there’s something off with how the game portrays it at times. For instance, during our King of Retail Preview, the register’s light signal seemed to shine on a floor surface far away from our avatar when turning the camera at a specific angle.
These small bugs are minor, though, and we’re sure it will be sorted during the King of Retail Early Access period. For now, we like how good the game looks. There’s even a scale model of your shop on a coffee table, and a white board to manage your staff.
For the sound portion of our King of Retail Preview, we were glad to find voice acting, even though the developer could have chosen not to have it in the store management simulation game. When clients ask for help, you’ll hear an “Excuse me” or “I need some help over here.”
However, once the negotiations and talking gets underway, that’s where the voice acting ends. You’ll also hear your staff complain when they get tired or moody, at which time we just end up sending them home. There’s no time for whining in this fast-paced business. Oh, and YOU’RE FIRED!
There’s also music playing in the background for your clients to enjoy, although we would have probably played more rock themes for our King of Retail Preview if this was a real store. Sure, the clients would probably have run away, but we would have been happy.
We’re tremendously glad that the developer included a sound for when the door opens and a potential buyer enters the store. Also, it’s helpful that they whistle when no one is attending to the register and you’re typing away promotional content on the computer in the staff office.
King of Retail Preview: Final Verdict
Let’s end our King of Retail Preview on a good note. The Early Access version is superb, and we can’t wait to see what more will appear before the game officially goes live. You’ve seen our gameplay video at the start of this article (or, did you? ? ) and we intend on doing more to show you how much our business has expanded.
This King of Retail Preview ended up being longer than anticipated, but there’s just so much to cover. In the end, the store management simulation game is a steal at $13.49 and you’ll spend endless hours getting your business where you want it.
Watch for our upcoming King of Retail guide on how you can also make a thriving business.
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