Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale

So, when I’m not busy being all serious business about video games, I like to check out indie games. Someone suggested that I try Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale, which is an indie game from Japan that’s being translated into English and released at the end of this week on Steam (for $20).

The gist of the game is that you’re a kawaii girl who inherits must convert her house into an item shop in order to pay back your loan shark. To fill the item shop, you hire adventurers to explore (randomly generated) dungeons for items, or you purchase items for wholesale from the Merchant’s Guild, or you can purchase items from customers like that store on Pawn Stars. You can equip your adventurer with items from your store or wait for him or her to come into the store to buy them. It’s a well done twist on the traditional dungeon crawler thing.

You don’t have to take my word about how great this is, since you can get the demo on Steam, or read this article about it, or watch this Let’s Play!. I hate Japanese RPGs, but I love this one. Try it, so you’ll buy it once you love it too and then more great indie games will be released.

Random: If you google “kawaii girl,” you get a bunch of images of Kayo Satoh, who recently announced that she’s actually a man. Japan!

I’m really excited for this; I caught wind of it when news was first going around on the indie sites. Played the demo through twice. It may not be for everyone, but it’s a well put together game with a careful and loving localization. I’m deliberately not preordering so I can pay full price in the hopes that the extra $2 makes its way along to someone involved in the production/localization rather than to a distributor.

Tons of fun.

Been playing the demo , too. Actualy, it’s very good. I was getting my butt kicked across the town and back in dungeons, but I was getting the hang of buying and selling. I think the prices people are willing to pay are closely related to the character (or generic image) doing the bying. I’ve found I can almost always sell at 125% to anyone, except little girls. On the younger adventurers (not Louie), I like to open my prices at 140%

I think the whole haggling thing is really counterintuitive in this game. Haggling is worst thing you can do in terms of making money. You want to find the “sweet spot” for people so you improve your relationship with them. You’ll know if you’re close because it’ll say “Near Pin +15” or “Just +30.” At the base relationships, no one is willing to buy anything above about 2,000p. After you build the relationship a little, they’ll buy stuff for many times that. These sweet spots seem to be between 100 - 110% when selling and 60 - 70% when buying. Making an extra 10% on a 2,000p isn’t worth it if it prevents you from selling your 20,000p item.