Holy Potatoes! A Weapon shop?! would be a typical time management game if it weren't for the large amount of pop culture references and heavy focus on jokes centered around a certain starchy vegetable. Hardly anything in this game is taken seriously, and this sense of surreal humor gives the game's world a playful charm. Even when you screw up and botch a job, it's hard to feel frustrated or actually bothered by it.
As you'd expect from the genre, this game revolves around managing your weapon shop. You oversee just about everything, from which jobs to take, to which weaponsmiths run which pieces of equipment, to what gets researched and when your potatodog gets fed. Along the way, you'll need to hire and train various weaponsmiths, as every character in the game has different abilities and amounts of potential. Some care needs to be taken though; crafting masterpieces takes a lot out of a potato, so you'll need to ensure the shop is comfortable and that your smiths get enough vacation time to keep them motivated.
But, not quite everything that happens is a good thing. Every so often some event will occur, and these can range from a blessing from a smithing god to an earthquake or even a full on zombie potato apocalypse. When these events happen, the quality of the weapons you're making is dramatically altered. Bad events lower the weapon's quality, making it less valuable and perhaps even ruining a customer's order. Good events do the opposite, but tend to have less of a direct impact. And behind it all is a sinister plot concocted by an evil masterspud, who is quietly using you to gain influence and take over the world.
Overall, this is a fun little "feel good" timewaster, and casual gamers
will probably enjoy the time they spend watching their potatoes dance away the hours.
Lots of puns and silliness
Just about everything is some sort of potato related pun or reference. For example, the game's currency is $tarch, zombie hoards are on full-carbohydrate diets, and even the guest stars like Luke Spudwalker are up to their many eyes in jokes.
Many weapons to discover and create
In order to be a competitive business, you'll occasionally need to send some of your smiths into the wilderness to find relics and rare ingredients. By performing research on these various relics, you'll discover a huge number of possible weapon recipes. It's important to stay up to date on these, as your customers have preferences regarding what types of weapons they like, and they'll pay more for their favorites. Also, better recipes naturally result in stronger (and thus more profitable) weapons.
Steam community features
Quiet and relaxing
and Steam trading cards
are up for grabs in this title. Many of the achievements
are based around simple quantities (such as crafting 50 swords), but earning the trickier ones requires a bit of strategy. Each area of the game features a few guest stars and legendary smiths. Finding both can be tricky, but you'll get an achievement
for each special potato you meet.
With so much craziness going on in the world today, it's great to find a place where you can just chill for a while. There's even a control at the top of the screen that allows you to control just how quickly time passes (or if it passes at all).
Lots of in-jokes
While there are many customers to serve, weapons to craft, things to find, and smiths to hire, the gameplay itself is fairly repetitive. Once you've unlocked
enchanting, you'll have done everything at least once. The rest of the game consists of doing it over again until the story ends or you grow bored and move on to another game. This isn't going to sit well with a lot of players, as there's little for them to actually do.
Unfortunately, many (if not most) of the jokes in this game are references to other popular games or modern pop culture. If you don't spend much time playing AAA games
or aren't familiar with gaming culture, these references are just weird rather than funny.
Gods and goddesses
Some potatoes are suggestively dressed
As you run your shop, you will be encountering some "gods" sooner or later. For example, one of the random events has your shop blessed by a smithing god. The DLC
expansion, Journey to Olympus
, is more direct about this, as it's based around Greek and Roman mythology.
That was a line I never thought I'd read, let alone write. But it's actually true. While everybody is a potato person, the women have two bumps on their front. This is one way to tell which gender a potato is supposed to be, but mostly it allows the women to have cleavage when they wear long necked shirts. Some of the spudettes wear more "revealing" outfits, but some of the guys are also a little under dressed. Granted, forges are hot enough to bake a potato, but is a loincloth really enough?
You craft magical weapons
One of the four qualities each weapon possesses is "Magic". This trait is especially important for wands, staffs, and swords. Each weapon may also be enchanted using a magical ingredient, and it's often a good idea to do this. After all, enchanted weapons bring in better profits!
Potentially questionable characters
Some of your clients are a little on the questionable side. They include warlocks, witch doctors, assassins, thieves and other less than moral potatoes. This isn't terribly surprising, considering you'll find clients living in areas like the City of Everything Evil.
A few of the pop culture references are a bit concerning as well, such as smiths who are based on characters from Breaking Bad and South Park.
Evidently potatodogs are renowned for their utility as fertilizer dispensers, and there are a few scenes that include references to this. In fact, getting your potatodog housebroken is a feature that's unlocked
as you progress in the story.