Game: Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator (Early Access)
Genre: Simulation, Indie, Early Access
Developers | Publishers: Nice Play Games | TINYBUILD
Controller Support: No
Price: US $13.49 | UK £14.39 | EU 11.24
Release Date: September 21st, 2021
Review code used, with many thanks to TINYBUILD
Have you ever wanted to brew your own potions? I have and now I’ve had the chance to brew some! Developers Nice Play Games have got together with publishers TinyBuild and released Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator on Early Access on Steam. Let us see what concoction we can make!
Short story and Tutorial
The game begins with a short storyboard, you’re a novice alchemist who happens to come across an old abandoned house on the edge of town. You decide to take up residence in the house that just so happens to have old alchemy equipment in it. The story isn’t much but it does lay the groundwork for why you are brewing potions. So begins your adventure in this click and point game.
There is a tutorial to teach you the basics of being a master Alchemist and it explains it all pretty well. Discovering recipes to brew for your potion is really down to you to do some experiments and throwing ingredients together to see what brews from it.
I’m sure we have all played games that have involved potion making at some point. It has never felt that tactile to me as you’re just clicking a button on a controller and the potion is brewed. The difference with Potion Craft is you have to take part in each step of the brewing process it has a physical quality to it. First off you collect your herbs and ingredients from the enchanted garden each morning. You can also buy mushrooms and other ingredients from passing tradespeople that stop by your potion shop.
People appear in your shop with different requirements for potions, and you have to brew said potion and then sell them the result, hopefully making them happy and giving you a nice few coins of gold in return.
Cauldron, Mortar and Pestle
It is really simple to brew potions. You take your ingredients from your inventory on the right of the screen. Pick, drag and drop the ingredients you need into the mortar and pestle. Then using the mouse and grabbing the pestle you grind the ingredients down. Pick the ingredient up and drop them in the cauldron.
After adding ingredients into the cauldron you can stir the potion using the spoon by clicking and holding the spoon with the mouse. You also need to pay attention to the map on the wall as it shows the path the ingredients will take once they are added to the cauldron. Stirring the potion advances the potion icon along the map which has icons of experience and effects on it for you to earn.
Walk the map
It is a little like taking your potion on an adventure, with a map full of magical effects and dangers, some you want to land on and others you’ll want to avoid. Each ingredient takes the potion in a specific direction. The ingredients all follow their own unique path on the map. The more ingredients you add, the further afield your potion goes, passing through experience pathways and effects until you decide you’re done. You can save the recipe to the recipe book to use again.
In between brewing potions you have customers who pay a visit to your shop. You don’t have to go far to see your customer, it’s a click of the screen to the left and there they all are waiting in an orderly line. If you don’t have the particular potion the customer wants they will wait until you brew the potion. You can barter with the customer to get a good price for your potion or take the price they offer.
A lot of Little Touches
It’s very satisfying to throw ingredients into the mortar and pestle and give it a good bashing. I love the way the game has a lot of little touches. Such as the mortar being stained from the ingredients being ground down in it. Or the cranking of the bellows to increase the fire under the cauldron. Even stirring the cauldron with the wee puff of smoke when the potion is ready and experimenting with ingredients it’s just as satisfying.
Increase your Talents
As you brew potions and adventure around the map you earn Talent points. These are then used to increase your talents as an Alchemist on the Talent screen. You can increase your visibility on the foggy map so you can see more of it. Increase your haggling skill, trading and potion brewing skills as well.
Potion Craft is released on Early Access, and so far I haven’t encountered any problems with the performance of the game. It has run smoothly and everything works as it should. The controls feel intuitive and it really does feel like you are brewing the potions yourself by hand. The hand-drawn graphics are very suited to the subject with their medieval look, and the sound effects fit with the environment of the game too.
Developers Nice Play Games have lots of future plans for Potion Craft with further updates planned. With new features, items and upgrades in the full game.
Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator may be in early access, but don’t let that put you off if you’re a budding alchemist. Even at this early stage in the development of the game it plays well and offers a good few hours of enjoyment and fun. I can’t wait to see the finished game when all the updates and new features are added. I’ll be getting my brewing potion hat on once again and giving the cauldron a good stir.
Final Verdict: I Like It A Lot