Take a look at the attached picture. There you will find the ultimate minimalist RPG experience: Items that can be replaced with stronger items that are bought and sold.
Joyrider is getting its first update soon, and that screenshot is from it.
I am adding a 'docked at space station' screen between every 3 levels in the game. This will allow you to relax a moment, regain your shields, and spend the in-game credits you have earned. Exactly what you'll be spending your credits on is not set in stone yet, but I already have multiple ships and weapons in the shop and hope to add more.
These 'station' visits are actually a step towards making this game an RPG. Of course, after removing the linear progression 'levels' from the game, it will need to be renamed and published under a different name. For now though, we can incorporate some RPG elements into an otherwise arcade-y game.