Image via Spellgarden Games

Sticky Business Review | One of the Best Indie Games This Year

Who knew running a sticker shop could be so relaxing?

Created by Spellgarden Games and published by Assemble Entertainment, Sticky Business has you running your very own sticker shop. Not only do you list and sell your stickers, but you actually design them too! And let me tell you upfront: this might just be my Game of the Year. It is truly wonderful.

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Running a (Sticky) Business Without the Stress

One of the main reasons I instantly gravitated toward Sticky Business when I saw it at Steam Next Fest, aside from it having cute pixel art graphics (which I’m an absolute sucker for), was that I used to own and run my own sticker business in real life. I am very open about my struggles with anxiety, and it’s this that ultimately led me to close my online store after just six months. I loved doing it and honestly miss it, so finding out there’s a game that lets me simulate making and selling stickers without the stress and anxiety instantly made me say “I need this. Like, really need it.”

Upon starting a new save file, you’re tasked with naming your new sticker shop and creating your very first sticker to post online and sell. You don’t make stickers entirely from scratch, though. Rather, you spend currency on existing designs and can layer different ones together to create your own art. It works well, but do I wish there were more designs to choose from.

Making a sticker in Sticky Business.
Screenshot by Prima Games

The Create menu is easy to use and navigate, listing all of your available options in the sidebar. You can click on each element to resize or rotate it, adjust its border, change its layer, and more. While you are somewhat limited with pre-existing designs, the customization options offered to you do more than enough to make your creations feel unique.

…Earning spendable currency and using it to purchase upgrades that better your shop and business feels incredibly rewarding.

Once you’ve made your stickers, you print and cut them out. One of the biggest pains of running my sticker business in real life was this process, as my Cricut machine was the biggest pain in the butt, and I constantly dealt with miscuts and alignment issues. But here, it’s so easy; you just select your overlay, layer your stickers on the page, and click Print.

Screenshot by Prima Games

As you sell your stickers, you earn money and hearts, which are used in the Upgrades shop. Here, you can purchase more designs to make stickers with, new colors and overlays, packaging types, and more. This is one of my favorites parts of Sticky Business because earning spendable currency and using it to purchase upgrades that better your shop and business feels incredibly rewarding.

Your Customers Are Your Best Friends

Each day, you receive orders on your tablet from customers that have purchased your stickers. While this is a great feeling in itself (like, hell yeah, people actually like what I make!), what makes the experience charming is that sometimes, they leave you messages. While many of them are simply “OMG, I love your shop!” and the like, some lead to an overarching story.

For example, I grew really attached to a customer named Max, who was in the hospital and used my stickers to decorate his cast. And when he placed a new order telling me he was finally back home, it literally made my day. Even in a virtual business simulator, I cared.

Screenshot by Prima Games

In real life, I put equally as much effort into packaging new customers’ orders as I did repeated customers. And Sticky Business allows you to do this too. As you pack your orders, you can customize the packaging to add colored paper, shredded paper, and even freebies like extra stickers and some candy. Adding in extras reminded me of my own experience, as this was something I liked to do with every order I packed, and I lived for the messages of gratitude I often received in response. Knowing I’d put a smile on someone’s face because they’d received something unexpected was everything, and the fact you can do this here just makes my heart swell.

I knew I’d like Sticky Business, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. It is so relaxing and is the perfect way to spend your evenings as you watch a movie or ravenously consume a Netflix show in one sitting like me. If cozy games are your jam, this is a true winner.

9
Sticky Business
Sticky Business is a charming sticker business sim that sees you creating and selling your own sticker designs. If you're a fan of cozy games like Unpacking, you'll love this.
Pros
  • Hella relaxing. The perfect thing to lose yourself in after a stressful day.
  • The pixel art graphics work beautifully and add to the charm.
  • Customer interactions are so wholesome and some even have stories.
Cons
  • Needs more purchasable designs. DLC, maybe?
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review. Reviewed on PC/ASUS ROG Ally.

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Author
Meg Bethany Koepp
Meg was Managing Editor at Prima Games until April 2024. She began as a video games journalist in the UK in 2014, and went on to study Games Journalism & PR. In 2018, she moved to the USA, where she eventually joined Prima Games in May 2022. You'll now find her over at our sister site, The Escapist.