Build up Your Barbershop Very Slowly in This Simulation Title
The humble barbershop is a cultural staple that seems archaic in some ways. They’re from a time before therapists and the safety razor. The fact that many barbershops still offer shaving when one can do it at home is surreal. Those of us who are completely bald never even have to set foot in such places. Small barbershops at least offer a place to socialize. Still, it’s certainly a strange subject for a simulation game. The subject matter definitely makes the game unique and intriguing though.
There’s Something That’s a Bit off with This One
The developer Codigames is a Spanish outfit that specializes in simulation games. Their games feature a simplistic art style that gives their catalog a sense of consistency and continuity. While the English translation isn’t terrible, it still suffers from punctuation errors and awkward phrasing. They should have had someone proofread the script before finalizing the game. Even the game’s title is a bit off with Barbershop being formatted as Barber Shop. Even with all of the quibbles with the script, the writing is still passable at best.
The game’s mechanics have a particular sort of strangeness to them. There comes a point where customers are happily willing to pay thousands for a haircut. The game’s resultant ludicrousness ruins any sort of immersion, which doesn’t bode well for a simulation title. The obligatory gacha system is also a bit backwards from what one would expect. It actually encourages players to seek out duplicates, for they are necessary to advance the side characters’ stories. It’s also impossible to lose at this game, which takes away the satisfaction of overcoming challenges.
Having (a Lot of) Patience Is Key
The Idle part of the title is quite an apt descriptor of the game. Players will spend most of their time waiting for things to happen. Granted, waiting is a natural part of many simulator games—but it’s pretty bad here. There will be long periods of time where one can’t do anything but make small upgrades on things. Normally games of this type tie progression to in-game money, but Codigames that wasn’t enough. Thus, they decided to tie progression to a leveling system as well, which just makes progression even slower. Predictably, the game offers ways to bypass some of the annoyances with microtransactions. One of the purchasable features is extending the time the game runs passively from six hours to ten. It also offers small perks in exchange for watching advertisements and one’s dignity.
One of the biggest draws to the simulation genre is the level of customization offered. Unfortunately, the options that this game provides are extremely limited. The game only presents three options for each piece of equipment with no ability to choose where it goes. This game is like the ancient magazines one finds in the waiting area of a barbershop. There might be an interesting article or two, but their purpose is to distract from the tedium of waiting. This game works as a timewaster and not much else.
Is It Hardcore?
Eh, not really.
Idle Barber Shop Tycoon is simulation game with a unique premise. Upgrading stuff and earning money can be somewhat enjoyable, but that feeling doesn’t last long. The unnecessarily slow progression and lack of customization make it easy to lose interest quickly. People should only bother with this game if they’re in dire need of something to do.