Anyone who has played RPG’s usually understands the general premise behind them; you go around a fantasy world, kill monsters, collect loot, and (usually) save the world. However, how many people stop to think “so how does the economy actually function? In fact, what do these shop owners do in their spare time?” One independent Japanese company decided to design a game around that very concept.
Hence, Recettear was created. You play as the young Recette; an up-beat, overly enthusiastic girl who was left alone by her father, who went to become a great adventurer. However, he also left a pile of debt behind. Enter Tear; a fairy “loan-shark” who has come to collect on the debt. In an attempt to save her house, Recette opens an item shop to serve the local adventurers.
Feel: A major mash-up of games.
Recettear has a feel like it is a mix of a number of popular games; many of which came out within the last 30 years. It has aspects of the “Lemonade Stand” games; you – at least initially – need to buy items and equipment from the local guild to sell in your store, and certain events may make certain items more or less valuable. A bad harvest could make food prices increase, while selling too many of an item in a short time may temporarily deflate the prices of that item.
You also are required to haggle with the customers, in order to make the most profit on your sales, or to buy items at the lowest possible price. Tear recommends setting your initial sales price at 130%; however, many customers will not pay that much of a mark-up (one particularly stingy customer will not pay much more than 105% of the items value). You can eventually adapt to the customers needs. Adventurers also have a budget; they may not be able to pay what you are asking for.
Also present are “rushes”. These events cause certain types of items to become extremely popular. If you have enough of the item stocked on your Showcase tables (the tables located next to windows), your store will be flooded by a certain type of customer, all looking for the item in question. Of course, if you “run out” of an item, they will look for the next best thing; allowing you to sell similar, higher priced items instead (admittedly, laundry poles are a common rush item, yet are among the cheapest items to sell).
Finally, you are able to level up your merchant ability through selling items. As you level up, customers will come with different requests, such as wanting to sell items to your shop, or placing advance orders for you to fill.
Of course, with all these adventurers in the town, wouldn’t it be great if you could jump into a dungeon and obtain some of these items yourself; thereby taking all of the profits?
Early on, you will learn about the “Adventurer’s Guild”; a place where you can go to hire an adventurer to go fight in a dungeon for you. However, before you can hire a specific adventurer, you need to obtain their business card. To obtain the card, there are usually a number of steps which need to be taken, one of which is usually defeating the character in a dungeon.
The adventurers are very diverse in their abilities. For example, Louie, the first adventurer you meet, is very reminiscent of Link from The Legend of Zelda in his abilities; including blocking any projectile attacks from the front with his shield. At the other end is Arma, who can level everything in her path when she has sufficient power to do so.
Also in the dungeons are a number of ingredient items; these allow you to create weapons, armor, or other items which can not be found in the dungeons nor in the guild shops. You can usually keep these powerful items in your inventory, and sell them to your adventurer friends when they ask for them; you definitely want them to have these weapons.
As a note; the Adventurer’s guild is closed on Saturdays, and during the night quarter of the day.
Of course, there is the issue of your father’s loan. Every week on Thursday, part of your loan comes due. At first, the amount is small and manageable; but it rapidly increases over a 5 week period. You won’t normally win on your first time through, and lose the house. But that’s not a major concern; you get the house back, and get to keep your inventory; but you also have to start over with your loan. Once you pay off the loan after the 5th week, you win, and will have a number of options open up.
First, you will receive the “True Card” of the adventurer you entered dungeons with the most. This will allow you to hire that adventurer from the start in New Game+ and Survival modes.
New Game+ lets you start the game over, with your inventory, Adventurer’s Levels, Merchant Level, and True Cards intact; however, your money and shop revert to their starting amounts and size respectively. This allows you to obtain other True Cards.
Survival Mode allows you to see how long you are able to continually pay off the debt. The game plays as normal; however, the loan doesn’t go away, and continually increases each week; the object is to see how long you can last before you can no longer make it.
Survival Hell is similar; however, there are no events, and you can no longer recruit adventurers. Any adventurers who gave you their true cards you are able to use. Also, the debt starts at double the normal amounts.
Overall, this game is far more fun than one would think; probably because you aren’t completely confined to the item shop. It does give a feel of the old Lemonade Stand games, with elements of other RPG’s added in through the Adventurer’s Guild. This is a great game, and can be purchased for $19.99 from the following sites: