Beans: The Coffee Shop Simulator

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Beans: The Coffee Shop Simulator Game Poster Image
Caffeine-focused sim runs out of energy with slow pacing.

Parents say

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Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive messages

Success leads to appeal for your shop from customers, steady stream of business shows progress, provides feedback on how you're doing. 

Positive role models & representations

Characters everything from pleasant, polite to eccentric. All about building up a loyal customer base, bucking naysayers (relatives), becoming a tycoon in coffee shop industry. 

Ease of play

Researching new menu recipes takes time, not every research attempt is successful. Some intuitive elements, tutorial available, but learning game takes lots of time.

Violence & scariness

Some downloadable content (DLC) available, but not heavily promoted or pushed in play.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Beans: The Coffee Shop Simulator is a downloadable tycoon-management simulator. The idea is to build a successful business by catering to your customers. There's no inappropriate content to be found in the game, and while there's downloadable content (DLC), it's not required or heavily pushed by the game to play. It does take some time to fully master this game, and even with experiments in coffee recipes, not every plan will be successful, which could frustrate some young players.

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What's it about?

BEANS: THE COFFEE SHOP SIMULATOR is a tycoon simulator where a young woman inherits a business from a relative who was mysteriously poisoned. Interestingly, this fact really has nothing to do with the game itself. Like most sims, the player starts small, buys amenities, researches recipes to add to the menu, provides events to draw customers and boost appeal, and then expands to other locations and opens more stores. There's really no tangible story driving the game along, just the excitement of creating a successful business and watching it grow. 

Is it any good?

If caffeine is a stimulant, this tycoon simulation's drawn-out gameplay and action is clearly caffeine free. Beans: The Coffee Shop Simulator is, initially, a slow-paced game where the player builds a business and then tries to grow customer appeal, add to the menu, add amenities and events to drive traffic, and expand the staff. The goal is to open more shops in town and become a tycoon. To that end, Beans does an admirable job of easing players into the game flow. The graphics are old school and pixelated, and the music is repetitive and can get on the nerves in long play sessions, but the game is intuitive. Thanks to its graphics and central concept, it may not have great appeal for some players, but the flow of action does make it accessible for younger players who have a concept of money. Unfortunately, the pacing can feel way too slow as you start to build your shop empire one coffee at a time. Technically, that's intentional to ease players into the game, but this also drags out the action significantly, meaning that at times, players can walk away for a while to take a break without any consequences for being away from their keyboard. Overall, Beans has some charm, and while the humor (and puns) may be just a bit beyond younger players, it manages to be a good, if slow, introduction to the tycoon sim genre. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes a successful business. What are your favorite real-world stores and what makes them different or special?

  • Talk about the importance of limiting screen time. Could you use the hours spent on building your coffee empire in other ways? Would you have as much fun doing something away from a screen? Why or why not?

Game details

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