Oct 18, 2010
PC Gamer

Don’t you just hate trying to vanquish evil on a budget? Dragon bearing down on the town? Entire world facing apocalypse? Don’t expect so much as a discount. Shopkeepers? Bastards.

Well, perhaps not. Recettear puts you on the other side of the counter, where saving the world doesn’t mean much if you don’t have a roof over your head afterwards. You play Recette, a young girl whose adventurer father has saddled her with a debt so large, his loan shark won’t even tell her how much she owes. To save her house, she converts it into an item shop, where you have to buy low, sell high, and occasionally head into dungeons with a mercenary hero to stock up on supplies, all while struggling to make the impossible weekly payments.

That’s the theory. Really, that’s not quite what Recettear is about. Your main resource isn’t money, it’s experience, to the point that if you follow the tutorial’s advice to haggle a few extra coins per purchase, you’ll fail almost immediately.

Instead, you’re better off making only slight profits but plentiful sales, This earns you a combo-bonus to your merchant XP that unlocks far more valuable abilities and store upgrades, as well as making your customers like you enough to spend big when you get your hands on the good stuff. In short, you quickly learn to sell everything at 104/5% and buy at around 70%, with only occasional exceptions.
Small change
Much of the game also relies heavily on luck – or at least unexplained triggers. You can’t rely on getting the right item-crafting ingredients in the dungeons, or on certain important characters turning up during the story. If the lady thief Charme never comes a-shopping, for instance, you won’t get access to the crucial third dungeon. Equally, nothing good comes if con artist Euria pays a visit.

In traditional Japanese RPG style, there’ll be FAQs available online that explain the ins-and-outs, but avoid these: they’re killers of fun. Recettear is adorable, which makes just piecing together the rules a fun experience. If you do fail, (and you will, at least once), you’re booted back to the start of the game, but retain your character’s level and stocks, along with a fully kitted-out hero. After the (short) campaign come extended play modes with more content, but the story mode is the real hook.

The odd thing is that while every element of Recettear is dirt-simple and easy to pick holes in, the game as a whole is incredibly likeable. It’s funny, well translated, and while you do spend most of it doing the exact same simple things, doing so quickly becomes a frothy, capitalistic bubblewrap. It won’t make you long for Hawke, Shepard and your other favourite RPG heroes to put down their swords and laser rifles in favour of BOGOF deals and pricing guns, but it’s a fun weekend job.
Product Update - Valve
Updates to Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:
  • Fixed typographical errors
  • Fixed error regarding the naming of the "brick floor" and "ruins floor" options for the shop
  • The reputation level of the shop with 'normal' customers (such as old men) now increases properly in both Survival modes
  • Adventurers should now properly equip any upgrades sold to them.
  • Adventurers will no longer attempt to wear two hats at once.
  • The crashes some people have been getting when the game attempts to play sound are fixed
    • if you are not getting sound, please ensure your sound drivers are properly installed and ensure your user permissions allow all programs to access sound hardware properly
  • Fusion requirements have been extensively reworked
    • lower-level fusions in general should be easier now, and some of the highest requirements (such as 50 Fur Balls for the Panda Suit) have been drastically lowered. Note that level 4 and 5 fusions are still somewhat difficult, however, as these are premium and powerful items


Have you ever wondered what it's like to run an item shop in a Japanese role-playing game? EasyGameStation's Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the fast-paced world of RPG commerce. Capitalism, ho!

Ever since Recettear appeared on Steam last week, fans of the game have been bugging us to give the game a go. As Kotaku's resident Japanese role-playing game enthusiast, I figured it was my duty or something.

I'm rather impressed.

Released in Japan in 2007 and recently localized for the English-speaking audience, Recettear tells the tale of a young woman named Recette Lemongrass who finds herself up to her elbows in debt following the disappearance of her adventuring father. Aided by a collections fairy named Tear, Recette turns her home into an item shop, selling a wide variety of role-playing wares in order to pay off her debt in installments.

One portion of the game is all about buying low and selling high. You go to the market or the merchant's guild, stocking up on supplies to fill your displays. Customers come into the store to buy and sell weapons, food, books, armor, and such. Haggling while keeping up with market fluctuations on a daily basis is a simple yet entertaining way to spend time.

Those of you craving a little more action in their RPG will find some fun at the Adventurer's Guild. Recette and Tear adopt an adventurer, providing him with healing items and cash in order to finance his dungeon exploring. In simple action-RPG format you'll explore various dungeons, bringing home special items at 100% profit.

Your adventurer friend also becomes one of your customers, so keeping the latest powerful weapons and armor in stock for him to purchase and equip makes for an easier time delving into the dungeon depths.

Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is a rather entertaining little game that can easily begin to eat up the hours once you get into the whole buying and selling thing. It's available now on Steam for $19.99.

Product Release - Valve
Never before have you had a better opportunity to understand the perils of a poor Item Shop owner. Now you can manage displays and inventory, haggle with customers and supplier, and exploit unsuspecting adventurers all in the name of profit.

Capitalism Ho!

Recettear is now available on Steam.

Product Release - Valve
Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Valve and Carpe Fulgur LLC today announced an agreement to distribute the PC game Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale by independent gaming group EasyGameStation on Valve's Steam service.

Recettear was first released in Japan in December 2007 by EasyGameStation at the 73th Comiket convention. Carpe Fulgur has provided a top-class localization of this shop-simulator-slash-RPG title, and has distribution rights for the game outside Japan.

Recettear is the story of an item shop, the girl who lives in it, and the fairy who turned her life upside down. Recette Lemongrass finds herself in charge of an item shop built into her house, in order to pay back a loan her father took and then skipped out on - and Tear, her newfound fairy "companion", won't take no for an answer! As Recette, you have to decide how you'll get your stock - either through playing the markets in town or going out into the wild with an adventuring friend and thrashing beasts until they give up the goodies - how much to sell things for, what the shop should look like, and how to best go about getting the money Tear needs to pay off the loan. If you can't come up with the money... well, hope you like living in a cardboard box.

"We are happy - almost to the point of delirium, really - to be on Steam," said Andrew Dice, Project Director for Recettear at Carpe Fulgur. "This is the first time an independently-made game from Japan has appeared on the Steam service. This will allow the game to reach an audience of millions that otherwise would've been closed to it, and we have high hopes that Steam users will enjoy the game for the unique gem that it is."

Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is currently available for pre-purchase on Steam with a 10% discount and will be available to play on September 10th, 2010.

ABOUT CARPE FULGUR LLC: Carpe Fulgur LLC was founded by Andrew Dice and Robin Light-Williams. They envisioned a localization group that could bring deserving works of interactive entertainment - independently-made or otherwise - from Japan to America while using the fruits of modern technology to collaborate as closely as possible with the original content creators, in order to create English-language versions of works that read naturally in English but were still as close as possible to the visions of the original creators. The two need not be mutually exclusive - that rests at the heart of Carpe Fulgur's philosophy.

ABOUT EASYGAMESTATION: EasyGameStation is an unincorporated independent game creation group founded in 2002. Beginning as a simple hobbyist group which created works derived from existing IP, "EGS" released their first completely original title, Chantelise, on the world in 2006. Ever since then, EGS has been known for the high quality of their releases in independent gaming circles in Japan.

ABOUT STEAM: The leading online platform for PC games and digital entertainment, Steam delivers new releases and online services to over 25 million users around the world. For more information, please visit www.steamgames.com.