The tale of Recettear is a very good one. It was first published in Japan in 2007, and three years later, a small team of people decided to translate and release it to the English-speaking world. Back in July, the demo was released. And people played it, and loved it. (I was one of them.) Word spread through the Internet via word-of-mouth. The creators didn’t spend anything on advertising, yet the game became famous.
Now we come to September. The full game was released on the 10th. Was it worth the hype? My answer is an emphatic YES. Recettear is some of the best 20 bucks I’ve ever spent. I say that with full honesty. And apparently, the rest of the Internet thought so as well. In its first week, it was one of the top 10 best-selling games on Steam.
Oh, I haven’t said why it’s so great? Well it’s like this. You know how in RPGs, you crawl through dungeons, get tons of loot, and then sell it at the nearest market? Well in Recettear, you play one of those item shopkeepers. But you can hire adventurers to go through dungeons and pick up stuff for you to sell in your shop. So there’s two parts to the game: sitting behind the counter in the shop and selling stuff to people, and crawling through dungeons hacking away at monsters while taking their stuff. And both sections of the game are very fun to play.
The game also has a great sense of humor. I’ve cracked up at the dialogue more than a few times. That only adds to the game’s already high charm. Having someone come into the shop and say “This has been in the family for years, but I need some money. Could you buy it from me?” while a picture of an apple appears, that will never, EVER, get old.
If I had to come up with a single word to describe Recettear, it would be “Unique”. I haven’t seen anything like this RPG/shopkeeping hybrid before. And believe me, the games industry really needs some more of that originality these days…
I’ve put over 40 hours into the game already, and I’m still not bored, nor have I seen all there is to see. So no sir, I’m not missing that $20 in the slightest.