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Video Game / Shop Heroes

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Just building and selling!
Shop Heroes is a game in which players run a shop catering to Dungeon Crawling heroes.

The main component of gameplay is making and selling items, which include weapons, armour, potions, and other traditional adventuring equipment. This requires resources, facilities, and employees. As you craft things, you discover new blueprints for more advanced items. At the same time, you can task the heroes who frequent your establishment with missions to fetch rarer resources — this, of course, requires that you outfit them with sufficiently good gear to accomplish the task. To attract and train both staff and heroes, you also have to invest in the town around you (and it's possible for one town to have multiple players running shops, enabling cooperative investment). There's also a mode where you can pit a team of heroes against those of another player.

The game is free to play, with optional Microtransactions to acquire one of the in-game currencies or special features (the former can be obtained through normal gameplay; the latter not necessarily). The game is available on phones (Android and iPhone) and PC (Steam, Kongregate, and Facebook). The developer is Cloudcade, based in San Francisco and Quebec.

The game contains examples of:

  • The Blacksmith: Some of the employees you can hire for your shop fall under this — most obviously the Blacksmith, of course, but also the Armorer and the Master.
  • Breakable Weapons: All equipments have a random chance to break on a mission, forcing you to pay gems or discard the item. This chance increases as the difference between the character's and equipment's level increases. It also can be decreased if it's an equipment that the character prefers, or if it's particularly well made.
  • Character Level: Several. The player character has a level as a shopkeeper; you increase this by selling things, and it unlocks things such as hiring more employees (who make the stuff you sell). Each hero who frequents your shop also has a level; this is increased by successful questing, and determines what sort of equipment the hero needs.
  • Dungeon Crawling: Players don't actually see any dungeon-crawling, instead dispatching parties of heroes to do it. There are a number of different quests, of varying difficulties. Each quest has a particular rare resource associated with it, and heroes who complete it will bring back some. They also gain experience.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: The object of the game is to run a shop catering to Dungeon Crawling heroes.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: This applies to the heroes who the player supplies with gear (although increasing hero power is just one part of overall progression in the game). Heroes do have a level, but this just determines what equipment is suitable for them, not how powerful they are.
  • Fantasy: The game is set in a fantasy world, although since players never leave their shops, what you know about the wider setting is mostly just what can be inferred from your customers and the quests they go on.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: The heroes are divided into three classes: fighter, rogue, and spellcaster. It's not a prominent feature, however — each hero has their own gear restrictions/preferences anyway, so the main thing that class does is allow team bonuses (such as when you have heroes who lift the strength of other heroes of the same class).
  • Freemium Timer: Crafting things to sell can take time, and sending heroes on quests can take a few hours. Moreover, resources take time to replenish. These things can all be sped up by upgrades (or by spending real money).
  • Full-Potential Upgrade: A weapon's chance of breaking increases if the Hero's level becomes too high for it, requiring you to provide them with weapons more suited for their level.
  • Informed Equipment: Heroes have fixed appearances which don't vary based on what you equip them with.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Players can arrange furniture in their shop. Some of the furniture is practical — you need work-tables for your craftspeople, for example. Other stuff is decorative.
  • Level-Locked Loot: You can technically defy this, but it's impractical. Heroes can be equipped with items above or below their level, but doing do substantially increases the chance of the item breaking, since the heroes are either putting too much pressure on cheap gear (if they're over level) or don't know what to do with it (if they're under level). This means that if you mismatch gear and hero, you'll just end up having to replace it (and although you're a shopkeeper, you aren't allowed to tell the heroes to pay for those replacements, since you're the one wanting the quest done).
  • Luck-Based Mission: Success or failure on a mission is based on both your selected character's power and a random chance of them getting injured. Even if a character is way over the recommended power for a mission, there's still a very small chance of them getting injured- and if all characters get injured on a mission, it's considered a failure. Likewise, it's still possible to succeed even if the characters are way weaker than the recommended power level.
  • Magic Cauldron: The potion-making station you can install in your shop has a big cauldron full of green liquid.
  • Nemean Skinning: The Druid you can hire to work in your shop (making potions and working with wood) wears the hide of a white-furred, horned creature of some sort.
  • Player-Generated Economy: In addition to selling stuff to heroes, players can also sell things to each other through a marketplace.
  • Rat Stomp: The very first and easiest quest to send your heroes on is to fight the Rat King... who's a huge rat.
  • With This Herring: It's your job to avert this. Heroes can only be sent on missions if they've got sufficiently good equipment, and they won't use stuff they've had to buy themselves — you have to provide it.
  • Wrench Wench: The Artificer character who you can hire fits this archetype (as does Louca, one of the heroes on the Characters page).