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Kardboard Kings: Card Shop Simulator is an adorable little sim

Kardboard Kings: Card Shop Simulator

Kardboard Kings: Card Shop Simulator is the kind of weird little indie title that has a surprising amount of charm. Though not a card game in the traditional sense, its love of the genre is pretty apparent.  The idea sounds pretty cool, and it takes on quite the bizarre tone throughout. Managing the reputation of the little shop you’re building up from the bottom is a very strong premise in the gameplay. But with the story at work here, there’s much more to handle.

Kardboard Kings: Card Shop Simulator Preview

In my time behind the digital counter, the quest for cash in the games industry was pretty addictive. Having to budget new card and booster purchases was just the beginning. You don’t have to know anything about the process of buying and selling cards either. as it’s a pretty simple premise. You load each day and try to prep your inventory for the day’s rush. Each day, you will also see what cards go up and down in value.

This is the crux of the economic side of things. You need to invest your money in new stock wisely. You don’t have too much cash to go around, so making sure you don’t lose it all if value swings the wrong way is key. You also want to make sure to prep for more visitors by buying new cards and boosters via the PC on your counter. But be careful, buying too many at once can hurt you if no one buys them. You only have so many customers each day, and so many slots to display cards in. As a customer comes in, you have to try and encourage them to buy cards.

But before all that happens, you also have to contend with the in-game story and events. Each day, your various friends will stop by and ask for different favors. Sometimes they have cards to sell you, and you can build your relationship with them by buying them at a loss. You also have to deal with the delivery of new cards and shop items each day. Managing all that during a rush of customers is important. Let people linger too long and your shop rep can take a hit.

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As you gain more power in the industry, new events will unlock. You can even run booster drafts and clearance sales to help bring in new customers. As you build your rep, you gain even more customers each day. But it’s the game’s story that’s a very interesting aspect. As you improve your relationship with your friends, they may show up to offer some intriguing side quests and updates about the world around you.

The tournaments that happen from time to time can help you as well. Picking the right deck when people ask can help boost your reputation. And yes, card game nuts, there are legendary and rare cards to chase as well. The game even includes shiny variants and a binder to show off your collection. Players looking for a more traditional card game experience will be out of luck, though.

It’s a fairly short game, but Kardboard Kings: Card Shop Simulator packs a pretty nice amount of depth and story into the short runs.

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