Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale is a role-playing game (RPG) that is very unique. Rather than using the heroes or heroines who fight in wars, save the world, or even protect the universe — Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale focuses on the “behind the scene” part of the game that is not usually depicted in other RPG games. As stated in the game’s name, it is indeed “an item shop’s tale” where you manage an item shop.
Interested? Read on. 🙂
YOU (the player) will be using a young girl named “Recette”, whom her father mysteriously disappeared after accumulating a huge amount of debt. A fairy named “Tear” came along as the debt collector. After she knows the situation Recette was in, she suggested that she turn her house into an item shop, where she was very kind enough to stay and advise Recette on how to run the shop. Upon naming the shop, Recette combined their names: “Recette” + “Tear” = “Recettear”!!!
So basically, your job is to ensure that you earn enough money for each “checkpoint” in which you need to pay for part of the debt! It is quite progressive so no worries about it — and the game also has enough tutorial to make it easy for you to pick up the gameplay.
Oh and yes, the town is small, but nice and peaceful 🙂
If you are interested in knowing more of what exactly will you be doing — bargaining and haggling with customers who visit your shop (it can be quite fun!) …
… and hiring an adventurer to explore a dungeon with you. YES, this is especially good for those who like to play dungeon crawling games.
Although the game focuses on management of an item shop, it does not neglect on the “action” part of the game! And the best thing is that the dungeons are randomly generated, so you won’t be bored for always going through the same maps when you go crawling (it may not look totally different though, different map layouts but same graphics for monsters and walls etc…).
The storyline is decent and simple, as you progress the game (each day is divided into 4 parts — morning, noon, evening, night) everyday in the game, you get to view events, dialogs, and interactions between characters in-game.
Of course, there are optional dialogs that are pretty interesting as well! You can unlock them when you visit certain places in town at certain hours 😉
As the story goes, your shops become bigger and things starts to get more interesting! After paying all the debts, you can play endless mode and the main game seems to start there (the front are kind of like a tutorial only!). There are other features which I did not really mention as well, such as the trend. Time to time, there will be hints being announced to you, such as old man liking holy stuff. If you sell the correct things at that point of time, chances are a horde of old man will flock into your shops and mass buy your stuff. And there are times when certain items become more popular as well.
There are several adventurers you can use, and over here I’m going to briefly introduce them, and share on how you can obtain their guild card, that is, to unlock them. 😉
Firstly, Louie, the swordsman: a very poor guy! You will know when you play the game enough. He is the first adventurer that you can hire – just follow the game and he will be unlocked. He is very easy to use, good for beginners (that’s why he was given first) to pick up controls in combat.
Next we have Charme, the thief: she loves to drink. She’s my favorite because she is fast and deadly, and you can let her run in dungeons by double tapping — even make turns without slowing down at all!
To unlock Charme, you need to finish Jade Way dungeon, and went through 2 cutscenes (conversation) in store before she gives you her guild card.
Next is Caillou, the magician: “guai lan” is the word. Okay, he is quite fun to use, but not so fun during low levels. He can die easily (sometimes one hit is all it takes) and has low HP. But when you can use him effectively, he is crazy strong. He basically spam skills using SP and is able to absorb SP from opponents :p
To unlock Caillou, you need to level up until you get the merchant skill of advance ordering (also a feature I never covered in this review). At then, he will visit your store and request for 3 items (slime liver, charred lizard and bat wings). There is no deadline to his advance orders, but time to time he will come back and check. If you take too long, he will make sarcastic remarks which you won’t like though. :p After completing his orders, very soon he will give you his guild card.
Coming up next is Tielle, the archer: an elf who loves sweet stuff. She is filled with Area of Effect (AOE) skills and it’s fun to fight at a distance.
To unlock Tielle, you need to visit the town square during the day to see the cutscene of her and her sister walking by. Then, when you unlock Amber Garden, you will fight her as the final boss. Win her and she will eventually give you her guild card.
Next, Elan, the black belt: he is always drunk at the pub. I don’t use him often so I wouldn’t comment too much on his skills. Basically what I felt is that he has a way too low SP. I like his Fist Flurry skill though, way too cool man 😉
To unlock Elan, you have to visit the pub at night and witness the scene where the pub owner quarrels with Elan about his tabs. Then, when you visit the Merchant’s Guild (see the town map), the guild master will ask you to help him make a delivery to the orphanage, where you will meet Elan again. Next is to simply wait for him to visit your shop and sell something to him to get his guild card.
Followed by Nagi, the lancer: a very cute lady who always lost her way and appear in dungeons without noticing. Oh well. She has a very narrow range in combat but hit a further distance, just like how lance or spear works in other dungeon games. She has decent skills that is like sort of built on top of Louie’s. You can explore more on that (and verify for) yourself 😉
To unlock Nagi, you simply have to meet her 4 times in random dungeons (it doesn’t matter which) where she will finally made her way back to town and eventually visit your shop. When you sell her some items, she will give you her guild card.
Next we have Griff, the assassin: this guy is awesome to use. His skills are deadly, his range is wide reached, and best of all, he can dash through enemies. It’s like damn fun to use can.
To unlock Griff, simply defeat him at Obsidian Tower, after which he will visit your shop and give you his guild card. 😉
Lastly, Arma, the golem: mysterious girl you have been seeing since early game yet unable to hire until the end. I haven’t explore much on her gameplay yet since I am quite lazy to play an endless mode after unlocking her. It all feels like the end of the game by then, seriously. Personally, my adventurers died many times before I can finally kill the final boss :s
Because, to unlock Arma, you have to get all characters and then finish Lapis Ruins. For your information, Lapis ruin is a 100 floors dungeon with a very strong final boss — it’s the final of the final. To even try using Arma is like restarting the game or something. From my first few experiences, Arma basically can fires cannon. However, her arms consume ammo and get used up quite fast, and it requires time to recharge. I still prefer fast paced games using Charme or Griff.
There are 4 types of store atmosphere, which will affect how much (be it frequency or simply the possibility) your adventurers will visit your store. The store atmosphere are Light (good for Elan), Dark (good for Griff and Caillou), Plain (good for Louie and Elan), and Gaudy (good for Charme).
Of course it matters! You will definitely need your adventurers to visit your store. The best way to better equip your adventurers is to SELL them better equipments, so that they will be stronger when you use them. I capitalised ‘SELL’ because sometimes, for characters like Louie, he won’t have the money to pay for your prices, thus you might want to consider giving him the weapon at a super low cost.
You can alter your store atmosphere when you start to gain enough levels to manipulate your store — be it your cashier, shelf, or carpet — all these can alter the store atmosphere.
Last but not least, let’s make your shop as big as possible!
Like this game? You might also want to check out Adventure Bar Story, a game with a similar concept, except that you manage a Bar or Tavern instead of an item shop! 😉