Craft a variety of weapons, armor, and accessories and sell them to brave adventurers
Hire these very heroes to run dungeons and gather rare resources on your behalf
Work with the other players in your merchant's guild to develop your city
Shop Titans is a shop simulation game with some RPG elements that you can play on your android device. Similar to Shop Heroes in many ways, the game will have you craft a variety of weapons, armor, and accessories for the adventurers of the fictional world, including the heroes you’ll hire, to use as they head out into various locations to battle enemies for rarer crafting materials. The game is surprisingly social as well, as it features a guild system where players can work together to develop their own city.
There is truly an incredible variety of items you can craft in this game. As you craft, you’ll eventually unlock new blueprints that you’ll then need to spend some research scrolls to unlock. Research scrolls, on the other hand, are rewarded whenever you level up an existing blueprint. You will usually get 1 scroll per blueprint level though while to unlock new blueprints of increasingly higher-level items, you’ll usually need more scrolls. Due to this, the game places a certain emphasis on continuing to level up a blueprint even after you’ve unlocked the next blueprint.
Now, besides being able to level up blueprints, you can also increase its star level (up to 3) by using the super rare materials called Ascension Shards. Each star level you unlock will usually grant you a nice crafting bonus whether it’s a chance to gain “multi-craft” (you get two or more items from a single craft) or it’ll greatly reduce the resources you’ll need to craft an item.
You’ll start off with a few basic crafting materials and the 2 crafters, namely the tailor and the blacksmith, in this game. As you develop your city and earn more money, you’ll get to hire more crafters and unlock new resources that you can then use to craft higher-level items.
Note that although every player starts with their own city and you can play the game alone without any outside help, it’s best to join another city with more upgraded facilities just so you can really speed through the first 20 levels or so of the game. If not, the grind might be a bit too much for one to bear.
Besides housing the market where you can trade your goods with other players or buy the stuff you want from them, the city is also the place where you’ll send the adventurers you’ve hired on quests to gather rare crafting materials. You can also hire more heroes simply by purchasing an extra hero slot and then choosing which type of hero you’d like to hire. There are many types available, from the barbarian to the rogue, and different hero types require different types of gear.
Some hero types are costlier than others, so if you want, you can just stick with the 3 basic hero types that the game gives away for free. But personally, I’d recommend getting the some of the other cheaper hero types too to diversify your team’s equipment needs, just so you can make more use out of all the stuff you crafted at your shop. Note that you can fully customize your heroes, and even give them names that you like when you hire them.
In addition to heroes, the game also provides you with champions that you can send on quests too. Champions are heroes that more embedded in the game world. Although you can’t equip them with the gear you crafted, they usually come with a special ability that will help the other heroes in the team. They will even sometimes pop up at your store asking for stuff to buy. Instead of cash though, you’ll get tokens (tokens are specific to each champion) for helping them and naturally, you’ll use these tokens to upgrade them. If you have enough tokens, you can use them to unlock new champions.
Let’s not forget about the main gameplay in Shop Titans – actually selling the stuff you’ve crafted to your customers! Unlike in Shop Heroes, displays and the items you place on them in this game are very important. After all, the customers who visit your store will only be able to buy items that are shown on your displays. The game provides 3 different displays, with each only being able to display a certain number and types of items.
This is a pretty interesting game feature because this means that your regular customers (the other NPCs from your city excluded) will only ask for items that you already have and are on display. Plus, whenever you sold something, the game will automatically restock your display for you with whatever you have in your inventory. You can prevent the automatic restock system from accidentally putting an item you want to keep for your own heroes on display by heading to the inventory and tapping on the small “lock” icon.
These displays can be upgraded to increase the energy they can grant whenever a customer browse through them. The same goes for the counter - each upgrade will increase the energy you can per sale.
What do these energy points do? Well, you can actually interact with your customers by surcharging them, giving them a discount, complimenting them, or suggesting another item for them to buy instead of the one they want... after all, the part and parcel of being an excellent shopkeeper is the ability to out-haggle your customers and getting the most profit.
So, for instance, you might want to use your energy to earn more cash per sale by surcharging your customers, but in return, you can earn back the energy you lost by giving certain customers a discount. Compliments, on the other hand, can go both ways, depending on your luck. The compliments may work, granting you free energy, or they may backfire, costing you energy instead.
To make things more interesting, the game has quests that you yourself can complete. Every quest you’ve done will earn you a free spin at the Wheel of Fortune where you’ll have a chance to get a ton of tokens. You will also get 1 free spin per day, by the way. These tokens, in turn, can be exchanged at the Redeem shop for boosters (for your heroes) or even a wooden key which you’ll need to open the loot boxes your heroes may sometimes get from adventuring.
Shop Titans is also a very social game, encouraging players to work together to upgrade and develop the city since by doing so, everyone benefits. There are a global chat system and a city chat, allowing you to talk with other players while you play. The game also allows you to trade (buy and sell) with your fellow players via the market.
As a freemium game, Shop Titans has two main ways to try to get you to spend some of your hard-earned money. One is by purchasing diamonds which you can then use to skip all the level restrictions when it comes to recruiting new crafters, upgrade buildings and items more quickly, and even unlock the loot boxes. The other involves spending money subscribing to the game’s premium service where you’ll get a ton of perks, including extra loot from adventures and a daily diamond “allowance”.
So all in all, despite looking like a clone of the popular Facebook game, Shop Heroes, Shop Titans is actually quite different - partly in good ways and partly in bad. The great parts include the addition of research scrolls, which gets players to keep leveling up lower-level blueprints just so they can unlock higher-level ones; the lack of a PvP feature, and the importance of your shop’s item displays.
On the other hand, the bad parts include the subscription system, the obvious restriction on Ascension Shards, and the game’s very grindy gameplay right after you hit level 20 since most crafting will require a lot of materials you can only get from adventuring (no one is selling the stuff in the market) by then.