So I found a fun little F2P mobile game that’s kinda like Recettear, called Shop Titans. Like most mobile games, it’s fun for like 2 hours and then it aggressively starts trying to take your money. Premium currency is “crystals” here.
It’s the same “run a shop” concept, but instead of shopping for items to stock, you craft them using limited materials that refresh over time and of course you can pay crystals to refresh your materials instantly. Items take time to craft, and of course you can skip that time with crystals.
Every so often when you craft something, it will be higher quality (sells for more gold), and the game offers to let you pay crystals to boost it even further.
You recruit heroes and send them on quests, but instead of playing through the dungeon controlling them, it’s an idle game thing where a timer counts down. Of course you can pay crystals to “boost” the quest and get it done right away. Quests have a cooldown afterward, which you can pay crystals to skip. You of course have limited slots for heroes, and you can pay crystals to get more slots. Same goes for quests, only one quest can be going at once unless you pay crystals. Oh, and sometimes on quests, your heroes’ items will break and can only be repaired with crystals, also. It likes to break your rarest items, so as to encourage you to pay.
You can complete daily tasks that refresh very slowly to earn prize tickets that let you spin a literal slot machine, which gives you an alt currency that can be turned in for prizes you earn by doing quests normally. You can refresh your quests faster and get more spins by spending crystals.
While the tutorial is still going on, the king of town comes to visit and offers you a royal premium subscription something that has a time limit on it to accept. If you don’t accept this and pay 5 bucks, the game locks you out of repairing your items with anything but crystals when they break on quests, and drops quest rewards for you that you can’t pick up unless you paid for this. You also get discounts on rewards from the prize spin shop thing with this, which the game reminds you of on that screen.
Also various characters will randomly come in and offer you real money purchases instead of trying to buy something from you, like it disguises ads as customers.
You can expand your shop as you level up, for an insane amount of gold or some crystals. same thing goes for recruiting new workers that unlock more recipes to make. You can either pay 50,000 gold (average starting items sell for about 60-110) for a wizard, or you can pay a couple hundred crystals.
You can buy some piddly furniture to decorate with, or you can pay crystals to get nicer decorations that actually help you.
You can haggle with customers over prices, but it costs “energy” to do so and of course you can pay crystals to get more energy if you want.
And instead of a day/night cycle where you have to carefully manage your time and decide on whether you’re going to go shopping, do dungeons, hang out in town etc, instead you’re just 24⁄7 always going, so you never have a point at which you can say “i’m done for now”.
Basically it’s like if Recettear was made by Satan. 10/10, uninstalled immediately.
Why did mobile games end up like this? Why did we go down this road? Who is actually playing and spending money on this garbage? It’s just yet more evidence that we live in the worst possible timeline. Cheers.