Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale Review

Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale is exactly what it says on the tin – a game about running an item shop.

My first reaction to this was “what? an item shop owner? I always wanted to be a merchant in an RPG when I was a child.”

I’m kidding, I wanted to be a super-powered chef. So yeah, the premise of the game is a bit “meh” but moving on, here’s what I think about Recettear.

Recettear review

Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale Review

The main character is Recette whose father racked up a huge debt. Her father is missing so our heroine has to pay it off. Tear is a fairy from the debt collection agency who suggests that Recette convert the first floor of her house into an item shop.

The mechanics of the game are pretty simple – Recette goes to the guild shop and buys items that she can resell at her shop. The basics: buy low, sell high.

There are factors to consider when buying and selling such as supply and demand but it’s not really that hard to master. All the player has to do is sell items at a markup.

Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale Review – Characters

If I had to pick the best thing I liked about the game I would definitely choose the characters. They are so lovable, funny, and fun to play. Recette is your basic friendly ditz/airhead type while Tear is the older, much more worldy-wise, and witty character.

During the course of the story, various characters will pop up at various locations and also visit the shop. These characters are either there for color or they can be fighters that can team up with Recette to go dungeoneering. Each character has his or her own backstory and I liked almost all of them. The exception is that scammer! Argh, she makes me so mad when she sells highly inflated items to me (well, she sells them to Recette but I am the one playing as her so it’s me).

Recettear – Dungeons

Speaking of dungeoneering, this was one of my favorite parts of the game. It’s really not that good, it’s just your basic old school dungeon fighting minigame but I liked it. It’s a fun way to break up the monotony of buying and selling day after day after day.

In the dungeons, Recette and Tear (from now on I will call them R+T) come along but they are protected by a force field so they aren’t attacked. To even start going to dungeons R+T must befriend an adventurer from the adventurer’s guild. this is because they are not fighters. So the duo go along with a fighter who does all of the work for them. Pretty sweet gig for those two, huh? Let someone else do the fighting and reap then benefits!

Despite the fact that clearing dungeons is fun, it is not really that profitable. Most of the money is in buying and selling items.

Recettear Review – Difficulty

In the beginning tutorial, which was mercifully brief, Tear told Recette that she can markup items at 30% higher. This makes me feel a bit mad because this information is false. Argh! You can get the best results by only putting in a small markup and giving your customers a good bargain without haggling too much.


Once I realized my mistake, I did the game over and finished it easily on the second loop. I would say that the difficulty of the game is nil. It’s pretty easy.

Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale Review – Conclusion

Overall, Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale is a decent game. I think it’s fun and colorful. However, regarding value for money, it currently cosst $20 at which I feel is a bit much for something I only played for a few hours. If you are okay with paying that much then I can recommend this game as good, clean fun.