This is combined with the fact that nothing has a fixed price. To get anyone to do anything - offer some advice, sell an item, fix a bridge - Tingle has to make an offer. Too low, and the person will pocket it without obliging. Too high and you'll have wasted valuable health.
It's a fantastically lean piece of game design, but it does carry a few problems. The first is a risk of monotony, and the second is that resource management - that tiny terror every time an RPG asks you to decide whether to buy this weapon here, or save your pennies - is something many players already find tedious even when it isn't the main focus of a game.
But Tingle has plenty of distractions. It's one of the best-looking DS games so far, with particularly good sound design. And, besides Zelda, the influence of other RPGs is clear in the ingredient-collecting, potion-cooking subquests and the NPCs who join your quest along the way. There is no confirmation yet of a western release, but every reason to hope for one.