Doujin games are quite popular in Japan. They’re typically made for PCs and, while some will have anime or manga characters, many are original concepts. Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale is one of those original games, and it’s also one of the very few Japanese doujin games to receive an official English translation and US release.
For $20, players can step into Recette’s shoes. She’s recently learned from a fairy named Tear that her disappeared father has racked up quite a debt. A debt which now falls to her to repay. So, she must manage her own item shop in the hopes of somehow redeeming her family’s name. She’ll have to buy and sell her way into the black. This is done by dungeon crawling to acquire goods to sell, buying items from other shops to stock and buying used items from customers. You then have to turn around and make a profit, by keeping track of what items are (or aren’t) in demand and knowing what people are willing to pay.
Right now, Recettear is only available via three sites – Steam, GamersGate and Impulse. So don’t bother checking any local stores. Since this simulation/RPG could be an acquired taste, anyone interested may want to check out the free demo from Steam or the Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale website before making any commitments. GamersGate is cheapest for Recettear, but only by a few pennies. It costs $19.95 there, while Steam and Impulse are both charging $19.99.