If you’ve ever worked in retail before, you would know personally how soul destroying it can be. Fickle customers and pushy management can wither even the most patient of staff members. In King of Retail, however, you are the boss – Pulling all the strings to build your dream franchise from the bottom up.
Beginning this business enterprise first involves setting up your store, ordering produce and getting it merchandised ready for your big opening day. This initial process is probably one of the most enjoyable parts of King of Retail.
Figuring how to set up my business for the first time was an intriguing puzzle, much like a Rubik’s Cube that might lead to devastating financial ruin.
One downside to how this system works in the beginning is that you only have a tiny amount of cash and it’s difficult to gauge how much you should spend on stock. Especially as you’re made to buy shelving, tills and an office computer after this. This results in you resorting to selling merchandising units or stock in order to fulfil the opening requirements. If this was a newly opened store in the real world you would walk in and walk straight out again, and perhaps file a complaint or two!
After the first day however, you unlock your very own business office. This opens up a variety of management options, such as applying for bank loans; extending your shop; and interviewing and employing staff.
The campaign mode is where King of Retail really comes into its own. Establish your future empire by fulfilling contracts for other businesses in order to raise enough capital to set up your own signature company. Each of theses contracts consist of certain goals that must be achieved before proceeding to the next one. These are surprisingly varied and I especially liked the scenario for the pop-up shop where you had to earn as much as possible over a ten day period.
Utilising your employees is paramount later on in the game. As in real life, it would be unthinkable to have one colleague left spinning all the plates. After you have interviewed and employed suitable staff members you can set each of their working patterns and roles. I didn’t expect much of the NPC AI, especially when it came to custom roles where you are able to set various roles for them to fulfill in order of importance. I was relieved when I swung round from diligently restocking my shelves to find that my colleague had taken it upon themselves to go to the till and serve – certainly exceeding my expectations.
King of Retail – What would Alan Sugar think?
Having been in early access for the last three years, and having recently celebrated their official 1.0 release – one would assume that the game was in an at least decently playable condition. But unfortunately, there were a few bugs that I kept experiencing time and time again – becoming purely irritating. Customers will holler for attention at any given time and sometimes you aren’t able to fulfil their needs due to them standing too close to the products. At other times, there are random fatal errors which forces the game to close.
Despite my qualms with King of Retail, it is undoubtedly enjoyable in small bursts – and most reviews on Steam seem to corroborate this – having received over 90% positive reviews in the last month. I do think that the price point is a little on the steep side, so if you’re keen to play it – it might be worth waiting to see if it goes on sale.