Would you like them mashed or fried?
Your first question after reading the title here is likely “How do potatoes have anything to do with a weapon shop?”. My answer would be: well, they really don’t. Holy Potatoes! is a series of management sims from developer Rising Star Games that is now joining the Switch library. In these games, you play as cute and sentient potatoes as they venture onto all sorts of capitalistic ventures including weapon sales, space travel, and cooking in hell itself. The first game to make the transition from Steam to the console is Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?!. With simulation games being few and far between at the moment on Switch, I was happy to give this one a try.
After opening this weapon shop sim for the first time, you meet your playable character, P.K.P.A.P– a young potato who has recently inherited 0.01% of his grandfather’s weapon shop. Agent 46, the owner of the other 99.9% of the shop, shows him the strategies in order to grow the business. From there, the experience feels like every other simulation game of this kind – the objective being to grow your shop and be successful. This task is done in a few different ways. Your shop sells weapons to heroes who go out on adventures, but P.K.P.A.P doesn’t have that privilege. Different types of heroes offer the shop different amounts of cash for the same weapons and you have to decide who has the best offer. In order to build and sell your weapons, you must develop your Smiths – the crafters and salesmen of your weapons – to be as skilled they can possibly be. The more weapons they create and sell, the more experience they gain. They also can boost different skills by working in different areas of the shop as designers, craftsmen or metal workers. Additionally, the Smiths go out and gather materials to use in your shop. On top of all that, you must pay these fine people, er, potatoes, which is one more thing to consider on top of running everything in the store.
There is no shortage of stuff to build, develop, and collect. You can create new types of weapons and sell to many different heroes in many different places. Objectives keep you learning new things to do and methods of sale and creation. I just wish everything moved faster. Even at the fast-forward speed, building weapons and waiting on Smiths feels like a drag. If I was playing this on a PC, I would keep it open on another tab while working on something else and come back to it from time to time. This isn’t something I could see myself playing for hours on end. It is relaxing and relatively brainless though, so if you need something in that realm this may do the trick.
The interface was clearly built for desktop computers and not the Switch. Some menu elements are low resolution and all windows seem cluttered on the screen, especially in handheld mode. The controls in general are unintuitive, but since the game moves so slow it never bothered me. Touch screen controls are present but finicky. Besides that though, the art design is bright and colorful. I do love the the characters especially as they are super cute and full of expression. Pop culture references are aplenty and a nice way to complement the already decent humor. One prompt asked me if an elf potato wearing a green suit was Selda or Blink, which got a laugh out of me (I said Selda and got the answer wrong– no cash for me).
If you are looking for a simulation game to spend some time with on the Switch, Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?! may do the trick. Just be warned: it’s painfully average, not bringing anything new to this genre, and super slow. I feel like this genre is better suited for PCs or even tablets rather than portable gaming systems because it feels too cluttered for the Switch’s screen and not comfortable on any television. The core gameplay definitely works how you’d expect and you’ll find plenty of tasks to accomplish. Maybe this would be a good one to jump in and out of while making some potato salad. Yum.