All The Right Ingredients - Potion Craft (Steam) Review
A light drizzle falls as a north-wind breeze passes through an open window. It is the start of a new day and customers have been patiently waiting in line to sample some of your magical wares and concoctions. They come to you for hope, healing, and for words of wisdom. You are the alchemist. You are the potion master.
Developed by Niceplay Game Studios, Potion Craft approaches its gameplay in the realm of art, its spells are heightened by subtle graphics and greyish-tinted visuals, which evoke an environment of early 19th century murals.
In your imagined lab, the edges of the frame blur into shadows, surrounding your creations in a mystery. As you progress further into the game, the layers of depth start to show, and the developer's vision becomes clearer and brighter.
A Little Bit of This. A little Bit of That
Gameplay consists of, you guessed it, making potions. Part storekeeper, part deck builder, and part point-and-click, Potion Craft takes pieces of these respective genres and combines them to make a game worthy of your time, effort, and imagination.
Using traditional mixing tools like cauldron, scalpels, and essence bearers, you'll experiment to find the best ways to create specific potions. Because the game also focuses on storefront economics, you'll have to experiment to determine how to maximize your ingredients on hand.
Mixing a bunch of herbs in a cauldron of boiling water, for example, may yield you the same potion but you'll quickly realize that grinding them down to powder first yields you twice the amount with minimal wastage.
Experimenting with different ingredients opens up a makeshift skill tree, or what I like to refer to as a progress bar. Here, you can see the effects of what combinations work and don't work depending on what you're trying to create.
When you have successfully created a potion, you can save the recipe for future use. From there, you can sell them to your customers at set prices or you can haggle for better pricing using the 'haggle' icon. Personally, I rarely use this feature as it seems to upset the customers, so I simply sell them at the asking price which seems to work reasonably well.
The Right Stuff
Potion Craft doesn't have a plot in the traditional sense, and honestly, it doesn't really need one to attract an audience of gamers young and old. In place of story, there's premise; in place of snazzy 3D action, there are carefully designed visuals. Some may find this type of gameplay boring, but for me, the simplicity is wondrously appealing.
That's it really for the gist of the game. Of course Potion Craft being in Early Access, means that future updates and add-ons will be forthcoming. The rest of the gameplay is centered around experimentation, exploration, and the creative abilities of your own imagination. I'm going to file this game under 'H' for Highly Recommended.
Healthcare Professional, Gamer, and Writer all rolled up in one. He once opened up an old Atari 2600 to see if it had a heart ... and it did. Hence, the lifelong love affair with gaming.