In-game shops are more than handy outlets to transform random metal scraps and tired old gear into new and useful items. Shops offer a reprieve from the action of whichever digital world you’ve entered, allowing you to take a moment, breathe and consider the situation from afar. Do you want to play as a gun-toting tank or a sneaky spy? Is your bow powerful enough for the battles ahead? Do you have enough health potions? Does your character look better in green or purple? Only the shop can provide the answers.
Overseeing all of these calculations — and guarding stores’ impossibly large piles of loot — are the shopkeepers. The past year has been incredible for video games, as we’ve discussed at length, and this infusion of creativity extends to the stingy store servants selling wares and wiles along our adventures.
From Cuphead to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 2017 has offered up a buffet of adorable, wacky and nostalgia-ridden shopkeepers for us to enjoy — so we might as well get to it.