Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale
Before we talk about the game, the story of Recettear’s release is worth telling. Recettear was a small Japanese game released in 2007 by EasyGameStation—a hobbyist game developer. It was brought over to non-Japanese markets by a group of indie developers calling themselves Carpe Fulgur. Working with a skeletal crew and budget (and virtually no marketing), the game was released in September purely on word-of-mouth reputation. In a month, it sold 26,000 copies—a figure significant enough to lift Carpe Fulgur out of financial uncertainty and get the group started on future projects.
The game itself is an indie gem—protagonist Recette is a girl living in a town that sees a lot of adventurers passing through. Her dad, an adventurer himself, disappears one day—leaving her saddled with a huge debt he’s mysteriously accumulated. Enter Tear—a fairy with a finance company who suggests they open an “Item Shop” (a familiar sight to anyone who’s played a role-playing game, or RPG) to repay the debt. The title of this piece is an oft-repeated phrase in the game—you buy low, sell high, and source rare, shiny items. It has a gloriously silly script full of bad puns, and a setting that slowly but surely draws you in. Highly recommended.
Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale is available through the Steam online store at http://store.steampowered.com for $19.99 (around Rs950)
Deathspank is an adventure RPG from the mind of Ron Gilbert, the semi-legendary creator of the first two Monkey Island games. Initially released for the Xbox and PS3 consoles, it’s now made its way to the PC.
As can be expected from the person responsible for those, Deathspank is knee-deep in self-aware humour. It’s a comic romp through a cylindrical-shaped world starring the eponymous macho hero, who is a wonderful caricature of the typical video-game protagonist. The humour has a bizarre fixation with toilets (literally latrines, not “toilet humour”) but never descends into crass campiness. The game plays like a lite version of Diablo—you whack enemies, collect loot and travel around exotic locations completing quests. It’s a familiar formula, but Deathspank handles it well. It’s a short, fun game with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.
Deathspank is available through the Steam online store at http://store.steampowered.com for $14.99 (around Rs720).
Shank is what’s called a traditional “Beat-em-up”—a game that involves running on a flat 2D plane, beating up enemies who appear. It’s a throwback to the old Nintendo-era consoles, and titles such as Double Dragon or Contra. Shank updates the formula with some fantastic artwork and special effects, and a cooperative campaign played with multiple players.
Shank is available through the Steam online store at http://store.steampowered.com for $14.99 (around Rs720)