Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale

Thanks to some awesome posts by both Tipa (WestKarana) and Pete (Dragonchasers) I decided to pick up Recettear: An Item Shop’s tale yesterday from Impulse. The basics of the game are quite simple. You’re a young girl who is left with a hefty debt by her father. You’ve got to turn your home into an item store in order to earn money to pay back ‘Tear’ this little fairy companion who offers advice along the way. You can obtain items to sell by purchasing them from various markets around town, or you can hire an adventurer to head into a dungeon and defeat some encounters.

The game starts off by sounding pretty simple, but if you don’t meet your designated amount each week (which rises) you end up having your store repossessed and you’re off to live in a little cardboard box. In other words, game over. Not to fret though, you ‘wake up’ from a dream, and start over with the merchant level and items that remained from your previous attempt.

I always love playing marketing games, and at $20 this little indie game was well worth it. It’s actually been around since 2007, but was recently translated into english. Dungeons are never the same, and just when you think you’ve made the requested amount you may find yourself coming up short. When your adventurer dies in a dungeon you’re also only allowed to bring back one item, and you have to select very carefully. I selected the most expensive item my first time around, a pot stand. No one wants it! It’s sat in my store front for days now, people passing it by. Let that be a lesson to me, the most expensive items are not always the best.

I’m starting to get to know my customers. The old man pictured above is stingy with what he’ll pay, and he has no issues walking out. The little girl who is always on a mission from her mother doesn’t like to spend much, but you can get great deals when she has something to sell. There’s an adventure looking gentleman who pays pretty much anything I ask for an item, so when he comes to the store I know I’ll at least get one great sale.

I’ve had ‘game over’ twice now, and still enjoy making my way through the game. It’s certainly not for everyone, but setting up a market and buying / selling is how I spend a lot of my time in my ‘regular’ games already, so this just takes it to a whole new level.

I’m looking forward to progressing further, and seeing what else happens. Unless I’m off to live in my cardboard box again of course.

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

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