Recettear: Another point of view

You should read Tipa’s posts first!

I wasn’t going to do a blog post about Recettear since I figured other sites would cover this sweet little import better than I could. Sites like Siliconera and RPS (and Tipa, of course).

But then Victor Stillwater expressed some hesitation about the game because he’s not great with sims. I’m not either, and I’m loving Recettear so I wanted to re-assure him.

The basic setup of Recettear is that every day is broken into 4 segments. For each segment you can run around in town buying stuff to sell, or open your shop to sell stuff, or you can go dungeon-diving (which takes at least 2 segments and at times more). Every week or so, you have to make a payment to your friendly neighborhood loan shark, or it’s GAME OVER.

Tipa says she’s met great success doing smart deals via buying items in town and re-selling, and doing “Fusions” (crafting, basically).

As for me, I cannot resist the allure of a hack & slash dungeon crawl. I head to the dungeons whenever I can.

Which probably has something to do with why I’ve lost twice, once in week 1 and once in week 3.

But losing is not the end! When you lose the game, you get a Game Over screen and then you ‘wake up from a dream’ on Day 2 and can try again. When this happens, you’re back to having 1000 pix (gold), but you have the inventory you did when you lost. You also keep your Merchant Levels and your adventurer(s?) keep their adventure level.

That makes things easier the next time around (the game calls each try a ‘loop’ so I’m on my 3rd loop now). And in turn makes Recettear the kind of game anyone can play, as long as they don’t mind replaying some parts. I love games like this!

Each time through not only is your character ‘stronger’ but you’ll have learned something. Like when the News say there’s a cold snap, stock up on hats and scarves. That’s what killed me in my second game. Weapon prices dropped and I bought a TON of weapons with the intention of selling them when prices rebounded. But the cold snap came and no one wanted weapons; they all wanted hats and scarves. Next time, I’ll know what to do when the cold snap comes!

I also love the almost ‘rogue-like’ aspect of dungeon crawling. Once you head into a dungeon the only way out is through a door that appears once every 5 levels. If you die, you lose all but 1 of the items you’ve collected (though unlike a true Rogue-like you don’t lose the experience/levels that you’ve earned). Before that door there’s always a boss. So there’s always this balance between hanging around getting items & experience (monsters respawn but treasure chests don’t), and getting to that 5th level, the boss and the door quickly, before you run out of health and the food that restores it.

As I said, I find it really fun and sometimes I’ll spend the entire 4-segments of a day in a dungeon. That means I don’t sell anything and if I die, I don’t gain much to sell either. Which is why I get stuck when it’s time to pay off my debt.

But so far, I don’t mind. It’s a neat ‘secondary’ way to play the game.

For $20, I’ve already gotten my money’s worth out of this game.

So here’s my tip: If you know you aren’t going to be able to make your loan payment, stop selling stuff. You’ll just lose your pix during the game over, but you won’t lose items. By picking everything up you can start the next loop with a full item shop!