Recettear is, as you can imagine, mostly about shop management. Why? Because your dad decided it would be top to become an adventurer and make it big. To help him get started, he took out a huge loan and ended up biting the dust (at least it was implied) so it befalls to you, Recette Lemongrass, to pony up or forfeit your house and live on the streets. Unfortunately, living on the streets and probably becoming a rogue is not an option so Tear (the fairy who came to help/collect the money) turns your house into a shop! Capitalism, ho!
Now, you don’t just sit on your butt all day twiddling your thumbs and hoping some poor sod comes in to buy some crap. No, you need to go out there and hire yourself a reliable adventurer to clear dungeons and get some phat loot to sell (or just buy stuff around the marketplace and merchant’s guild. Keep an eye out on the news for potential discounts. Remember kids: buy low and sell high. Really high.) at your store. This game actually does teach a bit about economics and marketing as well as basic haggling. Although, more so about economics and less of the latter since marketing is just item placement and haggling is, well, messing with the numbers without the interaction – which is great!
Pro tip: Each adventurer you unlock will visit your store to buy stuff. Just save the game prior to opening up shop and pray to RNGesus that they come in buy what they actually freaking need (Charme, why are you buying a shield? You’re a freaking thief. Buy the dagger I crafted for you right next to the shield!) or request an item. If the odds are not in your favor, just exit the game and load up and try again. The adventurer’s will automatically equip the best equipment they have in their separate inventory, meaning you get more space for loot when you run with them!
There are four unlockable adventurers you can use, each with their own play-style. They unlock as you naturally progress through the game via dungeons so just keep in mind that to level them, you may have to clear lower level dungeons which results in less profit. Ideally, when you level a new adventurer, figure out what crafting materials you need so you can stock up on those. Much better than just grabbing whatever drops from the chests cause sometimes it’s seriously just trash. You can craft pretty good items to sell so be sure to go to the fusion tab in the Merchant’s Guild.
Tear explains in the first dungeon that she and Recette are protected from harm while in a dungeon but will follow the adventurer to collect items. Your bag only has 20 inventory space, including whatever equipment and food you bring along so plan accordingly. Each adventurer has different number of skills and attack style so play around and see which one fits you best. Quite frankly, I’m a fan of Charme hands down – good crowd control with web, creates a clone for bonus damage and range, and also has an escape skill if you get surrounded. She also doesn’t stop running even if you change directions unless you run into something…like a wall.
The game is adorable looking with very nice attack animations and the music is quite soothing. Even though this is basically all about the daily grind for loot to sell, it doesn’t feel like it. Just something to relax with; the dungeon music is soothing so you never feel like you need to rush or on edge and it’s just really easy on the eyes with lots of soft colors (except the cave segments. Poop brown is poop). The treasure chests can also give detrimental effects such as ice (which lasts for-freaking-ever), paralyze/slow, random teleport, and a bomb. The best part though, is that you can literally just drop an item and pick it up again later. They never disappear and you don’t have to worry about the exchange since you can just drop-exchange items indefinitely until you leave the map.
For the shop, you can change the view in the shop from a top-down perspective to a 3/4 angle which reminded me a lot of Animal Crossing. All in all, the most infuriating part of the game is when an adventurer comes in and doesn’t buy the item that would actually help them, forcing you to reload and try again.
A final note: You have a calendar that shows you when a payment is due (once a week) and the amount which increases each week. Don’t freak out if you can’t meet the amount by the end of the day because you basically just get a soft reset where you start with 1000 pix again but you still retain all your items, including the ones that were on display. You’ll notice on saves that it says “Loop.” That just indicates how many times you’ve restarted. I haven’t fully paid of everything yet but am approaching the end on loop 2 (just made my third payment of 200,000 pix) so looking forward to what is in store at the end!
- Difficulty: Easy
- Gameplay: 5/5 for store segments, 4/5 for dungeon segments. (Aside from the horrendous RNG, I really enjoy the store portions since you can decorate your store once you get high enough level and money as well as just ripping people off…er, haggling. The dungeon segment is pretty straightforward and while it is relaxing and enjoyable, it can be a chore especially if you’re just looking for that one item so you can craft something else to sell T___T )
- Graphics: 4.5/5 (Very cute even though it looks a bit dated. Obviously the main focus is about the shop so that looks a lot better than the dungeons.)
- Music: 5/5 (Nice change of pace where everything is a relaxed atmosphere.)
This is a great game to get, especially if you’re just stepping into the world of RPGs. As far as I can tell, there’s no punishment outside of the soft reset and having to go through the starting dungeons again which could actually be helpful to a newcomer. This also teaches some basic fundamentals of shop management and economics, so if you know anyone who is into that, this serves as a great educational game as well! The characters are all fantastic to interact with, most of whom are pretty aloof. Honestly, I’m not sure how Tear managed to hold it together for this long as she seems to be the only one (aside from Charme, but they butt heads) that has any indication of intelligence. Thank you for reading and be sure to pick up this game! Enjoy some more photos below~
See you next game! -DecoyEC has logged out.