Or rather how you price gauge your customers with the items you find in the dungeons FOR FREE! This game pretty much makes the executives at AIG look like greedy wusses… Or maybe not since they are not nearly as adorable like the girls in Recettear.
If you have been living under the rock lately, you might have read various posts in the anime blogosphere on the doujin game called Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale, which shockingly sounds so familiar to the word racketeer, which is a person who “engages in dishonest and fraudulent business dealings”. This game involves Racette, a very young girl who needs to run a shop with the help of Tear, a
loan-sharking fairy. In order to build an inventory for the store, she has to buy or get items form dungeons so you can sell in your shop so you can pay off the big debt that her father left behind.
The game seems simple enough, but it does show the greedy aspect in capitalism?
When someone runs a business, the main objective is to maximize profits and minimize costs. In addition, supply and demand pretty much applies when you are running a shop or any type of business. Suppose there is a shortage of an ingredient like wheat, which shifts the supply function to the left. This gives us a higher equilibrium that causes the prices of food that uses wheat to skyrocket. The incentive for the seller is to jack up the price to generate more profit. In turn, the customers have to buy it no matter what! Because of price gouging caused by supply and demand, it pretty much shows the evil side of capitalism even though we will feel good about raking in the profits from low supply and high demand.
In the beginning of opening your shop, it is pretty hard to sell your item at a 30% profit margin and your customers would demand a lower price. As you gain experience, you gain the ability to sell at a higher price since people perceive your store a greater value and be willing to buy regardless of price. It’s just like Apple selling millions of their Macbook Pros since people buy them for the style, reliability and functionality.
Recettear kind of reminds me of The Sims 2 Open for Business Expansion Pack that allows your Sims to open a shop and buy items at a wholesale price and then sell them with a higher profit margin. Unlike other business game simulators, Recettear has an RPG element that allows the adventurer to explore dungeons in the similar fashion like Pokemon Mystery Dungeon with its randomized floors, enemies and items. The small difference is that you can move freely.
The dungeons are very time consuming that you might find yourself spending most of your time beating green slime, snow bunnies and goblins. Also, f**k those damn killer bees, they are f**king difficult to beat.
Even though some people think that a slice of “pizza is much more delicious than life,” its cuteness factor is on par with the cuteness in K-ON. The way Recette behaves is so cute that it gives us moe nosebleeds. This could be contributed by her catchphrases: “Capitalism, Ho!”, “Yayifications!”, “Yayness!”, etc. Seeing that her cuteness and the overall art style appeals to people, there is no wonder we become addicted to this game or rather Capitalism. Since the game release, there is no doubt that it would distract some of the blogging of the 2010 Fall Anime Season. I guess its better than being bored, I guess.
Furthermore, there is no doubt the addition of some rather good JRPG elements made the game so successful. Japanese RPGs these days seem to use the same old and tried model of shoving too much story, having a complicated battle system and overly pretty graphics. The truth is, simplicity is what Recettear so easy to pick up and enjoy that it became so hyped in the blogosphere. In my opinion, there should be more Japanese RPGs like this so it could appeal to the casual gamer while appealing to the hardcore gamer. Even though the cuteness factor might turn off some people, there is no doubt that that the game will do rather well.
So yeah, if you haven’t tried Recettear yet, head over to the site and try the demo. If you are convinced, support the indie/doujin industry and buy a copy from Impulse or GamerGate (also Steam, but it has DRM). You won’t regret it because Capitalism can never be this easy…
Unless Socalism/Communism is your thing…
(If you want to keep track of my progress, there will be a gamer log on my side blog focusing on Recettear. Check it out!)