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Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?!

Posted by GG Goblin On July - 18 - 2018

Potato puns a-plenty!

Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?! is a game that is a strange as the title sounds. Originally launched on PC a couple of years ago, Daylight Studios’ potato based business sim has now found itself on Nintendo’s latest console, giving Switch players a chance to flex their muscles in the cut-throat weapons manufacture and selling business, all set within a world of potatoes. Yeah, potatoes.

hpaws1 (Copy)

Let’s talk about potatoes then. If the idea of running a weapon shop seems a little bit dull, then maybe running the shop in a universe filled with potato versions of pop culture heroes will add more interest, and why wouldn’t it? Holy Potatoes! is pure comedy entertainment to anyone who enjoys a good potato pun. Packed with humour and great references to pop culture, barely a minute will pass without something chuckle-worthy popping up. This world is inhabited by potato people taking on the roles of heroes, workers and even slightly shadowy business partners. The all look cute and the developers have done a great job of shoe-horning in all manner of characters that players will recognise, and it is quite impressive how a potato person can be instantly recognisable. I love the style and fun in Holy Potatoes!

But this is a serious business sim, probably. The player takes the role of a young potato who has inherited a weapon shop and must now try to rebuild the business to its former glory. However, it is not that straight forward as it turns out that the player only owns the smallest percentage of the business, and so must keep the somewhat dodgy majority business partner happy while also paying for the running of the business and making a profit. Seems it’s a hard life, being a potato.

The day to day running of the business is fairly straight forward. The player will employ some potato blacksmiths that are responsible for, among other things, forging weapons to be sold. There are loads of different types of weapons that can be made, and they all have different stats applied to various attributes by the blacksmiths. Blacksmiths will also have to be sent away to different places to get whatever materials are needed for the weapons, adding to their job list and giving players something else to have control over.

hpaws2 (Copy)

But making weapons and gathering the materials is not where the blacksmiths job ends. Once a weapon has been made, the player will likely have to send a blacksmith to a nearby town to try and sell it. Each weapon will garner interest from a variety of wannabe heroes, each of which will be willing to spend a different amount for their new toy. However, the player would do well to ensure that the weapon is suitable for its prospective new owner, with some heroes favouring an axe for example over a wand. Then, the stats attributed to the weapon will allow the hero to level up, and the more they level up, the more fame that the weapon shop gains, which is the other goal aside from earning money. The more famous the shop becomes, the better materials the player can gather and thus better weapons, and more money. It’s a compelling loop that has the player improving the store in order to make more money and improve the store.

That kind of open-ended loop is not for everyone though, and thankfully Holy Potatoes! also drops in plenty of direction for the player to keep them motivated. Missions that have the player crafting certain weapons or selling to a particular hero will keep the player going, while timed side missions can add a little urgency when the player needs a burst of action. Then there are random events that generally involve very special customers coming into the shop and offering substantial rewards if the player can fulfil their order.

Holy Potatoes! is a fun management game that has the potential to entertain fans of the genre for hours on end. However, there are a new little niggles that comes with playing the game on the Switch. Firstly, the controls are far more finicky than they needed to be. However, the biggest issue I had was with the size of the text on the screen. A game such as this just begs to be played in handheld mode, but when the Switch is not docked, the on-screen text, of which there can be an awful lot, is just too small and difficult to see. I am sure that players with better eyesight will be able to see the text just fine, but I know that I am not the only player who will struggle with this in Holy Potatoes!.

hpaws3 (Copy)

Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?! is a reasonably deep management sim with a comical overlay. The presentation is lively and fun, and the gameplay loop works really well. However, weapon shop management, with or without potatoes, is still a very specialised genre. If forging weapons and selling them to potatoes is the sort of thing you want to do on your Nintendo Switch, then Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?! will be well worth trying out.




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