Dealer’s Life 2 Review: Where Charisma Is Priceless

Think you could spot a fake a mile off and get a good deal on the latest set of antique swords? Now's your chance in Dealer's Life 2 - currently in Early Access on Steam.

The dealer’s life is a reality now in this Dealer’s Life 2 review. Bear in mind that this is an Early Access title, so it doesn’t boast all the meaty goodness from the proposed features, but it’s fun nevertheless.

If you’re the intelligent type, you may have surmised that this is a sequel, and you’d be right. Without playing the first game, I couldn’t compare the two, but understand that they share the fundamental mechanics. But, we’re looking at this as a standalone. Forget all about that ‘2’ suffix.

Bear in mind that Dealer’s Life 2, from Abyte Entertainment, is best suited to players that don’t have much of a life themselves. You knows I loves ya. But seriously, this game is a real sponge for time as “Let me just play through this queue, and I’ll finish”. A week later, and you’re still servicing Johnny Public, and that beard you shaved off? It’s back. Male or female.

Dealer’s Life 2 Review

What’s this all about then, eh? For the uninitiated, such as myself, Dealer’s Life 2 is a tycoon type game, albeit a simplified one. You’ve set up shop in the slums and invited folk to bring in their wares for you to buy and sell at a profit. Yes, it’s Pawn Stars, but the only fakes in this show are the items, not the staff.

Dealer's Life 2 Review - Shifty
Shifty…Source: Screen capture

The fundamental gameplay is the same throughout at this stage; only things get pricier and pretty as you progress. The mechanics are this: punter comes in “Do you wanna buy this off me?” or “I want that. How much is it?”. For both options, it’s a case of haggling. For the first, you want to go as low as you can; the latter, milk them for every penny!

What can you do with all this dough other than buying a sports car to compensate for your special purpose? You can invest in yourself and the business. Let’s look at you first.

Every morning you can invest in yourself. There are four categories: charisma, competence, insight and Luck. For each stat, you improve in that area – be it your negotiating skills or ability in finding a fake. In addition to improving yourself, you can buy things for your home in a static image, though I’m not entirely sure of this feature as it seems cosmetic.

Fakes, Bouncers and Profit

When it comes to the business in Dealer’s Life 2, you can hire staff – from bouncers to handle trouble and get people in and out the door to experts that can spot a fake to foragers that can work on a fake. There are so many slots you have, so upgrading your premises will improve the opportunities as well as the inventory you can hold. Without goods, you can’t make money.

Dealer's Life 2 Review - Stats
Trust me, I’m a pawnbroker. Source: Screen capture

Each member of staff is rated out of three. The higher their skill, the better their performance, but also their weekly wage. Of course, if you want the best staff, you need to be making a killing. To do that, you need to expand your empire and invest in your skills. But more importantly, learn how to rip off the customers!

While that notion is pretty vile (it’s just a game), you can go one of two ways in terms of reputation. You may be reputable or seen as a rogue. If you actively sell fakes, you can make money, but your reputation will be at risk. 

A High Turnover?

So you can report fakes, or you can work on them and palm them off for a profit. Items are ranked on their rarity and condition. Getting something mythic is a godsend, but if it’s in poor condition, you won’t make as much money or should be buying for less. There are staff members that can improve on the condition, thus increase your sale.

Dealer's Life 2 - Pushing it
Pushing one’s luck… Source: Screen capture

For each day in Dealer’s Life 2, you have the opportunity to read some game tips, hire and fire new staff, and also partake in events – pending you have the level required and money. There’s the opportunity to buy and sell in an auction. The latter is risky as you have no control, but if your negotiating skills are low, you have the chance of a tidy profit. Additionally, you can buy blind in a storage auction and purchase several items at a cut price.

Dealer’s Life 2 is massively addictive, and there appears to be no end in sight. As mentioned, a quick game spirals as you want to keep pushing it. However, it’s not without the risks, as you can end up putting a lot of money into an item and run out of money to pay staff or buy in new stock. Even if you have some big items, they might not necessarily sell, so it’s worth stocking up.

Investing in yourself is easy enough, but the shop fronts are expensive and seem endless – costing millions. On top of that, you have to pay the overheads, including staff, and the occasional events where you receive property damage or organised crime muscles in on your territory.

Visually the game is lovely, the controls are straightforward to get used to, and the overall simplicity is a lot of fun and very addictive. Dealer’s Life 2 is currently in Early Access with a few more features in store. The game in its current state is enjoyable and worth taking a look at.

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