Build your own item shop in the most adorable way possible
Brainiacs I have a confession to make. One of the biggest reasons this beautiful little game has made it here today is it’s pure, squee inducing adorableness. Not only do you build your own item shop in this absolutely charming twist on the RPG genre, but the entire art style, direction, soundtrack, character cast and list of minute details seems to have been created to wrap you in the softest of fluffs and make you smile.
There are many compelling mechanics we’ll get into momentarily, but it is truly hard to overstate just how good this game will make you feel playing it. The folks at EasyGameStation are used to making your traditional RPG games and have released several titles with the same sort of art style as Recettear (found on GOG and Steam). However they seem to have come over to the Brainiacs way of thinking, and produced this marvelous little gem focusing almost entirely on managing the item shops you would frequent as an adventurer yourself.
Cutest little base builder you’ll ever meet
Our adorkable little heroine is Recette. A young girl who lives in an item shop with her father, until one day he ups and vanishes, thinking himself an adventurer also. Taking out a huge loan and leaving our precious little protagonist in crippling debt. The first Recette knows about this is waking up one day having the debt collectors knocking on her door!
However, her fairy debt collector Tear takes pity on Recette, and agrees to help her out. Thus kicking off an adventure to open a successful item shop, pay back the debt, and discover just where her father went. This gives you control over the shop, purchasing items from the markets and merchants guild, putting them on display, trying to attract customers and rake in as much gold in as short a time as possible.
The customization of your shop is a little limited but does allow for some expression. As the shop progresses you are able to find, unlock, or purchase various wall papers, flooring materials, rugs, counters and a few other various embellishments. You aren’t given a lot of space to work with, but you’re given a decent variety of materials to make your shop as cozy or daring as you please.
Even though, if given enough time, the fastidious micro managers among us could work our way to a profit buying low off the markets and selling high to your customers, our dear Recette is on a tight deadline and has no time to waste. You’ll need to figure out fast how much each of your customers can afford and how far you can push them. That extra fraction of a margin adds up and will become important over time.
And oh, how you will need to push each customer to their limit. It is a sort of minigame memorizing your customers designs, trying to remember how much extra % they will (or won’t) pay, and gambling whether or not to sell one of your most expensive items for a small guaranteed profit. Or chancing it to see if one of your more profitable customers picks it up. The satisfaction you get out of spending all your hard earned resources to craft a super rare item, have it picked up by one of your valuable customers, and negotiate and extra +10k gold out of them is superb.
This get’s more in depth with certain item classes gaining and losing value as the market fluctuates, customers start placing orders in advanced, and crafting becomes more viable, but all of that is just icing on the cake.
Need profit – Will travel
Even wringing your loyal customers for all they’re worth will not be enough however, not when you need to spend some of your hard earned gold to obtain them in the first place. Luckily however, you have various adventures that come to frequent your shop, whom you can fund to adventure on your behalf, though you always tag along. There is no character customization here as they are all pre-designed. Having said that, all their designs are adorable and you wouldn’t want to change them anyway. Still, it just means there is almost no reason not to equip them with the best gear you have to increase their chances of survival when out adventuring. (Though sometimes it feels like you may as well be using one of these on the monsters for all the damage it does)
It’s a fun little mechanic and you will spend a lot of time controlling your chosen adventurer through the dungeons which are nicely varied. But you’ve probably played this already in other games and it can get rather repetitive after awhile. An interesting little side note to the main focus, but one which takes up quite a lot of game time.
In the end, you’re here for the smiles
Recettear has some nice mechanics and an addictive quality that will see you slotting hours into it. A rather unique concept that fits well with the Brainiac mindset and offers enough challenge, engagement and relaxation to keep you occupied.
But really, the true strength of this game is its’ pure charm and charisma. Every little detail in the characters design, the adorably sweet voice acting, the animation and just the overall tone, style and feel of the game is just one of pure joy. If you’ve come home from a long day of work, and you just want to drop all your gear, flop on the lounge and have the weight of the day lifted off you, this is the perfect game. Boot it up, let the music sooth you and hear Recette and Tear wish you a good morning and just try not to smile. You’re not so much turning off your brain as you are letting it float off into a warm cloud of comfort.
Besides, we’re always getting gouged by these item shop owners when we go questing. Time we got a little payback……or a lot, we have an item shop to pay off after all.