Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale

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Good
  • Variety of game mechanics makes for a unique experience unlike other game titles
  • Offers fantastic run your own shop game design that still stands a top the genre despite its age
Bad
  • Individual game elements can quickly get repetitive if you limit yourself to certain elements which is unfortunately the most optimal strategy
  • Combat within dungeon crawling is very basic in terms of graphics and mechanics
8

Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale explores an interesting blend of mechanics as you operate your own item shop and attempt to earn the maximum profit while haggling with your customers. On top of this core mechanic though Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale also encourages players to engage in dungeon crawling to obtain a steady flow of items to sell.  Originally released in Japan Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale was translated and brought to Steam in 2010.

recettear-an-item-shops-tale-gameplay-shop-management

In Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale you will play as Recette Lemongrass who has just recently taken over her father’s shop after he mysteriously disappeared. Unfortunately this also means taking over his debt requiring the player to revive the shop front to pay for it and make regular debt payments through the story to eventually overcome the entire debt.

With the multiple game mechanics on offer Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale does require players to engage in each of them to some degree. However, there is flexibility to finish the story by focusing on a particular preferred element. For example fans of dungeon crawling can use their reflexes and skill to acquire significantly more items or ones of higher rarity and spend last time haggling every last dollar out of customers. On the flip side someone who prefers the shop ownership mechanic can extract maximum value from their lower pool of items while also expanding their shop to attract more high profile customers.

recettear-an-item-shops-tale-gameplay-haggling

Gameplay in Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale is based on a daily cycle which passes based on the activities that the player undertakes during the specific day giving you the opportunity to explore dungeons, sell to customers, purchase items from other stores and upgrade your own shop components to stock more items. After every week within the game you’ll have to pay back an amount of Pix (the game currency) to meet your debt repayments which is a loop that repeats several times through the story element of Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale.

With your primary source of Pix generation being the selling of items players will have to carefully select which items to place within window locations to attract customers inside. While the majority of these visitors will opt to purchase something from your collection the occasional visitor will also offer to sell you an item which is where an understanding of prices can play an important role to ensure you aren’t overpaying and it some instances its worth not purchasing the item from the customer at all.

recettear-an-item-shops-tale-gameplay-dungeon-crawling

To assist with making an appropriate bid Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale utilises a budget system for shoppers which are important to learn to maximise your profits. For example you’ll find young girls often accept offers differently to the older customers who have more available budget for an item. Similar analysis and careful planning can also benefit the dungeon crawling player where taking the correct guild NPC with the right skills for the castle, forest or cave themed dungeon will assist in completion.

Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale blend of shop management and dungeon crawling places the game in its own unique genre and despite not having any reference points manages to deliver a polished and varied adventure.

Summary:

  • Adventure through a wide variety of dungeons for loot to sell in your shop.
  • Haggle with buyers and sellers to get the most profit from trading items.
  • A light hearted adventure with a fantasy setting.
  • Decorate your store to entice more visitors inside and improve your store profile.
  • Multiple game modes which add some replay value and additional content.

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Review Platform: PC

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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