Shakes and Fidget was released on Steam about a month ago, almost coinciding with the release of their new international server 7. This title has been around as a browser game for many years and its coming on the gaming platform has been received with mixed opinions.
The game has its roots on a German webcomic parody of World of Warcraft starring the human warrior and the gnome mage, Shakes and Fidget. The comics are mostly in German, but you can find some fan translations in English on the internet. The game is based upon said comics and the art style is taken directly from them.
When you create a character, you can choose among eight different races divided between two factions. There’s no innate abilities or special skills that make a difference, and the stat differences can barely be appreciated. So just pick your favorite and customize them with some silly face. There are only three classes available: warrior, scout, and mage.
There are minor differences between one another, the main one being the armor cap. Regardless of your gear, each class can reach a certain percentage of damage reduction, with the warriors having the highest and the mages the lowest. Another difference is the attribute used to attack. Depending on your class you’ll use Strength, Dexterity or Intelligence for your attacks. Not only that, but you’ll also have specific mechanics unique to your class. Warriors can block incoming physical blows, scouts can evade attacks and mages make up for their lack of defensive capabilities with their higher damage that ignores armor.
When it comes to the game, there’s really not much to it. You could discuss Shakes and Fidget might be one of the first idle games, years before Cookie Clicker set the genre in stone. Your control as a player is very limited. When it comes to fights both against monsters or other players, combats are simply the two contestants taking turns beating each other until one wins. The only strategy and control you have of the fight is the preparation before it. Spending gold in increasing your attributes and improving your character’s gear.
Shakes and Fidget run the weapon and magic shop respectively where you can buy gear and potions. Whenever you buy something from their six slots, something new will spawn on its place, and they will replace everything at midnight. This is important to take into account because their gear will increase in power with your level. They will also buy everything you want to sell, so don’t hesitate in throwing the outdated gear for some pocket-money. Potions sold by Fidget will boost your stats temporarily, which will be useful in mid-to-late game.
There are two major ways to get gold to spend in gear and stat increases. Quests at the tavern is the best one depending on the mission you choose. You’ll always be offered three different missions to pick from. The important variables are time required to finish it, after which you’ll fight a monster and get the quest reward if you win, gold, and experience. These last two counter each other for the sake of balance. Missions that give much more gold will yield much less experience and vice versa. Sometimes quests will also grant you gear for your character, and keys for dungeons to explore. You can also purchase mounts to reduce the quest timer, allowing you to do more missions in one day. Another way to earn gold is by working at the city guard. Choose a time between one and ten hours and leave the game until then to be rewarded with an amount of gold depending on your level and time worked.
The Arena is the main Player Versus Player element, which will allow you to fight against players with characters of a similar rank to yours. You will increase your rank by raising your stats and honor and improving your gear. Be sure you spend as much as possible before fighting, for you’ll lose 10% of your gold if you lose. Regardless of the outcome, you can only fight in the arena once every 10 minutes. Another PvP element in the Shakes and Fidget is the guild wars, but your main interests to joining a guild are the exp and gold boosts you’ll get.
As you level up you’ll unlock more things to do. After reaching level 10, you can get keys as quest rewards and unlock dungeons. The encounters will be much more challenging than usual but the rewards will be much higher. You can only try dungeons once every hour, so make sure you can overcome it. From level 15 and beyond, you can purchase a tome that will keep record of all the monsters and gear in the game. It will write down the equipment of the players you fight in the arena, but only if you defeat them. Once you reach level 25 you can start building a fortress of your own, which isn’t unlike games like Ikariam. You can create buildings and soldiers and attack other players’ fortresses to steal their resources. There’s also a building that will increase the amount of slots you have in your inventory.
There’s barely any music aside from the victory/success quick tune and the sound of clashing weapons. The graphics are entertaining and there’s humor both in text and depicted in scenes. From 9PM, Shakes Fidget will sell you items at their stores on their pajamas, for example.
While there’s mushrooms as a currency you can purchase with real money, there’s really no need to buy any. Sometimes you’ll get them while questing, and in the main map there’s a caravan when you can spin a wheel for free once a day that might get you a few of them. If you’re feeling lucky, you can go to the tavern to find a shady gambler to get lots of gold or mushrooms. These will allow you to buy beers at the tavern so you can do more quests, buy better gear and more powerful mounts. They can also be used to change the store’s items and reset timers for both arenas and dungeons.
Shakes and Fidget is not a game for everyone. It can be played casually if you don’t have a lot of time at first, but once you get far enough and unlock everything, you’ll have to pay closer attention to it. There are lots of players, so PvP-oriented players that can overlook the lack of control in fights might enjoy it. Overall, it’s an old game that has received some updates and still holds itself pretty decently for what it has to offer. The title will mostly take a couple of hours of your time each day, after which you can just put him to work and get more gold.
Developer:Playa Games GmbH
Publisher: Playa Games GmbH
Original Release Date: February 24, 2016
Platforms: PC (Reviewed)
ESRB Rating: E — Everyone
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