Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator
Developer: niceplay games
Genre(s): Puzzle, Simulation, Crafting
Platform: PC (version reviewed) – also available on Xbox
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 13/12/2022
A code was provided for review purposes
Fairy Tales and Witchcraft
If you ever looked at a witch in a storybook or film and wondered if you could make spells to help people (or hinder them, depending on your personal vendettas, I guess), then Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator might just be the game for you.
To start off, the art style for the game is neat. It looks like an old fairy tale book in motion, and it helps that the character designs also reflect this well as well. There’s a big vibe for me of “what a story book comes to life would be” and I think the game reflects that very well, as everything is given this storybook/old scroll kinda look.
Morality of Ye Old Shopkeeper
The gameplay works like so, you run a shop, and using the materials from the shop, you create potions. The process of creating potions goes like so, you pick the materials that you want to create your potions out of, you put it in a pot, and then you mix it up and see what you get. However, potions can be created using a path-like feature where you go along a path and hope that you land on the potion that you want. The strength of the potion can also be changed depending on how close to the centre of the element.
This does add a puzzle-like element to the game, and does encourage experimentation, as long as you have the ingredients to do so. I do think that this is cool as it does force you to think about the potion you can make and what elements of a potion you can combine to make a potion of multiple effects, like combining healing and slowness, and this is needed to deal with different customers.
Customers will have different requests of potions for you, sometimes something to help them with a day-to-day problem, sometimes something to help a villain with a request, and you can refuse people service if people seem suspicious to you. This will help your shop’s reputation and will in turn attract fewer villains to your shop. There’s something nice about being able to help people, but also, it’s just good to do a little evil sometimes. You can also haggle with customers, if you want them to pay more for a potion, so that’s an option too, if you want to do some evil for a higher price.
You get ingredients from your garden and from merchants who come around every few days to sell things to you. You can get to know them through a few dialog options, which I found to be a very nice addition to their character. Having conversations with people that you see daily, it’s part of being a shopkeeper, although this game makes it seem a lot more pleasant than it usually can be in real life sometimes.
Too Much Given Up
You can also make potions to use for the alchemy machine, and while this is cool for sure, I didn’t get much use out of it personally, as the potions need to be of triple strength, the maximum strength potions can be, and those can be kinda fiddly to make. Due the puzzle element of the game, you have to line up the potion to be exactly where the outline is, and it seems better to just buy them off the merchant that comes around every few days. There’re also upgrades that help all the processes there, but I feel like they don’t do too much in my experience.
Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator is something I think that is one of those games that you play just to pass the time, or you keep coming back to every few months because the game is fundamentally interesting. The creation of potions feels fun with the addition of puzzle elements, customer service feels fun, and the general vibe of the game is very relaxing. However, the game is defined by how much time you’re going to put into this gameplay loop – which understandably can turn some people off – but in terms of this game, I think it’s charming enough to be worth your time.
Rapid Reviews Rating
3.5 out of 5
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.