Beans: The Coffee Shop Simulator

 

Name:

Beans: The Coffee Shop Simulator

Platforms:

PC, Mac

Developer:

Whitethorn Digital

Genre:

Casual, Indie, Simulation, Clicker, Management

Publisher:

Whitethorn Digital LLC

Modes:

Single-Player

Release Date:

30th June, 2017

Engine:

 

Reviewer:

Charede

Product Rating:

Not Product Rated

Review Score:

68/100 (68%)

Disclosure:

Copy: Press copy

Extra: Contacted the developer directly to get a code to bypass one level which broke rather than restart with an entirely new save. Saved me some time to so I could get the review out promptly.

 

If you are a connoisseur of coffee (its not my cup of tea) or perhaps watched the TV show Friends, then you may have at some point thought ‘I could probably run a coffee shop no problem; good old Gunther makes it look a breeze!’ Well, now you can with Beans: The Coffee Shop Simulator by Whitethorn Digital.

 

Beans: The Coffee Shop Simulator is a story driven experience that places you in the role of a coffee shop owner called Ruby. Without spoiling too much of the story Ruby finds out the owner of the Coffeebottom Estate has mysteriously died and she is their heiress. However, she must prove herself worthy with the help of a Butler who works for the estate. To do so, she must run various Coffee shops in the franchise called Beans and complete certain objectives along the way. However, a mysterious individual stalks her on her journey sets out to sabotage Ruby’s efforts.

 

The game is visually simplistic, opting for a pixelated look, which has some charm, although, personally, not my favourite art direction. Sprites have been carefully designed so that what you are looking at is clear and to the point, which is great; there is nothing worse than squinting to work out what it is you are viewing. I have to give credit for the range of sprites and, in particular, how well the appliances and recipes are done, of which there is a considerable range. The audio complements the visuals well with catchy tunes that are not intrusive or domineering on the experience. The soundtrack is diverse enough that I haven’t consciously noticed too many loops of the same song that often. All in all the visuals and audio marry together very well and add to how much I enjoyed the experience that the game offers. The combination of visuals and audio create a great relaxing game experience with the occasional frantic moment provided by the gameplay.

 

However, what was disappointing was the lack of options within the settings menu. The options menu is very limited to the point of what I would consider slightly frustrating, but not too inconvenient. The only options available are for audio and are limited to music and FX sliders. I understand that, visually, there isn’t the need, per se for advanced lighting options, etc, but my expectation is for it to have the bare minimum of select resolution, windowed and full-screen choices, screen select, gamma and brightness controls. One thing of note for streamers and YouTubers (in particular those who use XSplit), this game at presently does not get picked up by game capture auto detect or as a specified game source. Therefore, if you want to record it the best thing to do is screen capture instead. Another minor gripe I had in the game itself was the lack of an option for the key mapping/control display. There is no static image showing the controls or the ability to customise them.

 

The game does a good job in the first level to explain how to control objects and tools, but having the ability to remind you of the controls would be useful in some cases. In particular, this would be good for those who have not played the game in awhile acting as an easy reminder of controls rather than booting up the first level again. I cannot see the majority of players having an issue of this but it might help a few people out. The control scheme predominately relies on the player using the mouse cursor and keys like shift and r for specific tasks, which keeps things very simple. The controls did work well and were responsive; I had no control issues during approximately five hours of playing this game.

 

In the positive, I enjoyed the recipe system, but I found that after several attempts guessing combinations I would just purchase the recipe from the butler and then go back to the research menu to put them together in the research menu. If anything, I feel that the butler’s recipe information is rather cheap at $35 each, although this is raised in the final level, whereas you can be sat there guessing at three or four-component recipes and each guess will cost you $5 per attempt. The most basic recipes are common sense for the most part, and the more elaborate ones generally revolve around puns and coffee shop humour gave me a good chuckle. At the end of the day having the choice to use the butler to tell you the recipes is a play-style option and one that is welcomed. I did find a bug with the research menu which plagued me for the entirety of the mall level, which made doing recipe research a slog, but I was not able to recreate this issue on other levels.

 

For the most part, I found myself sat there accruing money and doing little else. If you want a more challenging finance-orientated game, this is not going to be your game. If you want something more relaxed, this really could be the game for you! It would be nice if the game could add a finance panel so you could see your daily progress and expenses. The game would also lend itself towards a more tycoon-orientated mode where you could set up multiple coffee shops on a map and go in and out of them to manage them directly and expand your empire. I know this wasn’t the original intent of the game, but it would certainly add replay ability to the game, and if I am honest, was what I was originally expecting the game to be in the first place. I did read the game’s description, which mentioned a story, but I did not expect it to be the focal point that it is. The story is great with well thought-out characters and situation, and I do love it; it is very well done. However, it leaves you rather limited once you have completed as there is little content outside of the scripted levels. The entire story is roughly 5 hours of gameplay. You could replay the levels, which is, from what I understand, what the developer expects players to do. I feel the game would lend itself well to a growing the inherited business empire situation that is perhaps as a follow up to the story. Players could start by owning multiple shops to start that have issues you need to resolve to make them profitable as a bit of challenge. Alternatively players could start a new empire from fresh with some money in pocket and battle it out against rival brands. If not included in this game, maybe it would be an option for a sequel or spinoff.

 

The levels are well thought-out and lend themselves strongly to the story through the use of antagonists, a variety of settings, and the several mechanics/situations the player must compete against to win the level. However, overall, I felt the game lacked challenge and I was often left with the feeling on most levels that after researching a few recipes and putting up some basic decoration and seating. I could essentially AFK and let the game run. There are two examples that stick in my mind where this definitely would not work; the level with all the rubbish being dumped by customers and the mall with the surveillance robots. These were mechanics that I enjoyed and would love to see more of to get the player to work a bit more rather than faffing around in the recipe menu between picking up the cash off the tables.

 

I was expecting that each level would add a new mechanic that increased the challenge slightly each time and build up to the finale, but this is not the case. That specific challenge element is restricted to that level. For example, you have the level with all the trash; my expectation was that I would have to deal with the trash issue in the next level as well as the introduction of the next scenario’s specific challenge. This simply was not the case; the trash problem was not brought forward into the next level or even brought up in the final level. It felt like a certain challenge element was introduced and then thrown away immediately. This keeps the game varied but did not help me feel like I am developing as a coffee shop owner. As a result, mechanically, the game had little to no difficulty curve for me, and the ramp up came exclusively in the form of the story telling. The lack of mechanical difficulty in the final level made the ending not feel like the struggle the story’s protagonist portrayed and I was hoping for. I know the game is labelled as casual, but just the tiniest of difficulty increase towards the end would have been nice to help me feel like I had achieved something rather than witnessed an end that plays out in a very scripted format, regardless of your performance, with no risk of losing.

 

In summary, Beans: The Coffee Shop Simulator is a good casual simulation game that particularly excels in the charm that it delivers through story telling and characters. The game features solid core systems and mechanics but is let down by some unpredictable bugs, which are game-breaking in some cases. I strongly feel this game would benefit from the addition of an extra game mode that is more tycoon-orientated to extend the experience and replayability, but I understand this wasn’t the original intent of the game developer. Adding this would, however, also potentially expand the audience it could appeal to without being too heavy-handed with challenge that might drive away more casual players. Right now, the biggest detractors from the game are the lack of additional save slots and bugs currently present in the game (invisible drones, object layering, some AI pathing). The most frustrating of these being one that prevents progress to the next level even when the victory conditions have been met and one that messes with the research menu. I did speak to the developer briefly, and he has assured me that these are currently being worked on, but it still does not excuse releasing the game with such critically game-breaking bugs. However, it would appear I got rather unlucky in my gameplay to get hit by so many bugs in a single play through, as it appears others have had a better experience in this regard, but my situation was not an isolated example. As it stands, I have to judge the game based on what I saw and its current state at the time of writing this. For this reason, I am giving Beans: The Coffee Shop Simulator 68% (68/100). If the core bugs (drone bug & recipe menu bug) are fixed and possibly a more tycoon-esque mode was added to extend the game, this would easily score much, much higher. This is definitely one of the better casual games I have played recently. All in all a good game worth it for the story telling alone; I highly recommend buying it if you love story telling or want a more casual business sim experience.

 

I hope you have found the article and video above informative and interesting. Make sure to sign up for a free account if you haven’t already to support the team and me and also get access to the comment section. I would love to hear your thoughts on the game and my review. Do you already have the game? What was your experience? If so let us know.

 

 

 

Comments (0)

Rated 0 out of 5 based on 0 votes
There are no comments posted here yet

Gaming Articles

I have been anticipating this game for months now, re-watched the films and had the theme tune running through my head in the moments before the game would finally open. But thankfully the wait is over, and I could enthusiastically dig into all that nostalgia and Jurassic goodness.
September 22, 2018

Jurassic World Evolution Review

in Gaming

by Charede

Another day and another review and this time I dug through my long list of reviews in progress to dig up a fun little city-builder called Kingdoms and Castles by Lion Shield that I have been meaning to finish covering for a while now. Just a quick word ahead of diving into this review I played this a while back before its release and I intended to release this review back then. However, due to…
June 04, 2018

Kingdoms And Castles Review

in Gaming

by Charede

I want to begin by saying that the following are just my thoughts based on playing multiple early access games ranging from open-world sandbox to first-person shooter zombie games to battle simulator games to underwater survival games to dungeon crawls and everything in between. The premise of this piece will hopefully be to be the grounds to spark a constructive conversation about early access games on any platform, may it be on pc or console,…
I have had the opportunity for the past few months to spend some of my time on an interesting game called Blue Collar Astronaut by Mutated Software which was released in March 2017 for PC, Mac, Xbox One, Wii U, PS4, PS3 and PSVita. Blue-Collar Astronaut is a challenging physics game set in space that harks back to the days of arcade-style games. The game revolves around a comical adventure exploring the difficulties of achieving…
May 30, 2018

Blue-Collar Astronaut Review

in Gaming

by Charede

Not all games are evil and time-wasters. While some games can be harmful, the right games will actually help and educate your child. If played for a healthy amount of time, chances are your children will take more positive than the negatives. ‘Dimble games’ has a collection of fun online games that anyone can play. Now there are hundreds of games of every type and genre. There are learning games to help your kids learn,…
May 28, 2018

6 Simple Ways Games Can Improve Your Child

in Gaming

by Catalina Smith

Recently I have been playing an interesting game called Party Hard Tycoon; a spinoff of Party Hard and Party Hard 2. The tycoon variant takes the player on the journey of making a profit from running parties rather than being the one crashing them. I still have yet to fully explore all the game has to offer since my party business seems to be crashing and burning at a specific point in the game I…
If you’ve been following the website, you would know that we here at Charedegaming.com have been following the enticing game of Aftercharge for several months now, so it was only natural that we sat down with Laurent from Chainsawesome Games to talk about their game. Laurent is the communications manager for Chainsawesome Games. For those that don’t know what this game is about, it’s an asymmetrical first-person shooter game that pits six invisible robots against…
On Friday, January 26, 2018, the Aftercharge developers, Chainsawesome Games, had their third alpha test. Aftercharge is a 3v3 game that pits 3 invisible robots called Workonics against 3 invincible guards named Enforcers. The goal of the Workonics is to destroy all 6 of the extractors while the Enforcers are trying to track them down and destroy them. The end goal for Chainsawesome Games for Aftercharge is to make it so that each side has…
February 14, 2018

Aftercharge Third Alpha Test Event

in Gaming

by Big K Show

In this video I was lucky enough to interview music producer Orician. He makes a lot of music that are used by streamers and youtubers alike and is a passionate gamer. We talk to him about his experience as a music artist and where his passion for gaming derives.
October 18, 2017

Orician Interview

in Gaming

by Charede

We are joined in episode 3 of the Charede Gaming Podcast by music producer and avid gamer Orician. In this episode we discuss microtransactions in AAA games and take a closer look at the Shadow of War situation.
In this episode I interview Matthew White who is a Senior Data Analyst for Playstation and who also developed Beans: The Coffee Shop Simulator.
On episode 2 of the Charede Gaming Podcast we follow up on E3 2017 with our take on it, interview Matthew W a Sr Data Analyst from Playstation and developer of Beans: The Coffee Shop Simulator. #Beans
RSQViper joined us on the Charede Gaming Podcast to explore his experiences as a YouTube content creator and Twitch streamer.
September 03, 2017

RSQViper Interview

in Gaming

by Charede

The first episode of a brand new gaming podcast for the Charede Gaming community. In this episode we discuss E3 2017 speculations, what we have been playing recently and interview RSQViper on his experience as a YouTuber and Twitch streamer.

Popular

Interview With Pinokl Games, The Developers of Titles Such As Party Hard Tycoon
in  Gaming  by  Charede 
Tuesday May 01
6 Simple Ways Games Can Improve Your Child
in  Gaming  by  Catalina Smith 
Monday May 28
PAX East Games: Aftercharge, and Reasons to Keep it on Your Radar
in  Gaming  by  Big K Show 
Wednesday February 14
Early Access Games, From One Gamer to Another
in  Gaming  by  Big K Show 
Thursday May 31
Kingdoms And Castles Review
in  Gaming  by  Charede 
Monday June 04
Blue-Collar Astronaut Review
in  Gaming  by  Charede 
Wednesday May 30

Check These Out!

Top Games Reviewed

 Prison Architect

by Introversion Software

 Rocket League

by Psyonix

Maize

by Finish Line Games

Euro Truck Simulator 2

by SCS Software

Age of Mythology Extended Ed

by Ensemble Studio

Cabela's Big Game Hunter: Pro Hunts

by Cauldron Ltd

Beans: The Coffee Shop Simulator

by Whitethorn Digital

The Sims 4

 by Maxis

Blue-Collar Astronaut

 by Mutated Software

Payday 2

 by Overkill Software

Top Movies Reviewed

Dunkirk

by Warner Bros. Pictures, Syncopy Inc

Ghost in the Shell

by Paramount Pictures, Dreamworks & Reliance Entertainment

Going In Style

by Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema & Village Roadshow Pictures

Kong: Skull Island

by Warner Bros, Legendary Pictures & Tencent Pictures

The Emoji Movie

by Sony Pictures Animation

Coming Soon

by

Coming Soon

 by

Coming Soon

 by

Coming Soon

 by

Coming Soon

 by

Popular Articles

Sunday April 02
From time to time I experience a drought of simulation management games. This often leads me to go…
in  Gaming  by  Charede 

13281 hits

Tuesday April 04
If you had asked me a year ago would you consider driving a truck for hours on end…
in  Gaming  by  Charede 

12505 hits

Wednesday April 05
Part reboot, part Apocalypse Now homage, part Land That Time Forgot and what do you get? Well, you…
in  Movies  by  Sarcastic Bulldog 

12255 hits

Sunday April 02
Today it is time to take a look at a remake and specifically the Age of Mythology HD…
in  Gaming  by  Charede 

11875 hits

Thursday April 06
Maize is a first-person adventure puzzle game that takes place in the middle of an abandoned corn maze…
in  Gaming  by  Big K Show 

11862 hits

Monday April 03
I made such a massive sigh when I heard the next game on my review list was Rocket…
in  Gaming  by  Charede 

11714 hits

Sunday April 02
I consider myself an animal lover given that I have been horse riding since I was four and …
in  Gaming  by  Charede 

11253 hits

Tuesday April 11
Hi everyone, The team at Charede Gaming just wanted to take the time to talk to you all…
in  Updates  by  Charede 

9813 hits