I rise very early in the morning in my wee little alchemy shop to experiment. Healing potions are my bread and butter for the shop, but mornings are for my passion–brewing various poisons. Someday I will be the one that witches and would-be assassins travel to see from all corners of the continent.
In a world where games continue to get bigger and more complicated, Potion Craft is proof that sometimes the simple is best. While there are various stats and systems in place, it’s a very small-scale game with one goal–making potions.
Years ago, I discovered the Atelier games. While it was mostly RPG, my favorite part was by far the alchemy. Find items. Throw in a pot. Make them as awesome as possible. Sell them for profit. Rinse and repeat.
Potion Craft plays like the alchemy portion of those games…if it the games were far more experimental and had much more of a mess around and find out approach.
Okay, this next bit might be a little hard to explain. Please bear with me. See, every time I throw ingredients into the cauldron, they travel along with a map with various effects. Different ingredients have different paths, and the length of the paths can be adjusted by how much grinding is done in the mortar. My mission is to create a path and land on the effects as perfectly as possible to make the best potion.
Easier said than done. Preparing the potion is done by manually crushing the ingredients with a mouse, and it’s a little fiddly. Many a time I have thought I am at the perfect place with my ingredients only to get excited and nudge it just a tad more…and then oops a level one potion instead of level two!
It’s hard to get discouraged though. Experimenting with ingredients is extremely exciting, and the game appears to be set up to just let me do that for hours. Outside of crafting potions, there are a few other screens in the house. The garden where ingredients are picked for daily crafting. There’s a shop where customers will buy potions–profit that can be used to buy ingredients from merchants for even more potions. There’s also a haggle button that features a mini-game I don’t understand or terribly care for. I have never been successful with it and it always causes me to sell my potions for less. So I usually just sell them for the offered amount. On the plus side, I have no expenses or time limits to worry about, making the whole affair stress-free.
While that makes up 90% of the game, there are two other screens. A bedroom to sleep in when I have done all that can. And then there’s a mysterious machine in the basement…
The game is executed with a medieval art style that adds a ton of flavor, and I am ALL here for it.
Most importantly the game feels super good to play. It’s easy to control when needed, and a little finicky when required to add skill and difficulty. There is lovely music and the perfect clicky sound effects. The music admittedly does get a little samey so I also tried turning on a podcast and found it perfect to play to. All in all, it’s a treat to unwind from a rough day.
I love this game and can’t say I’ve played anything like this. Just like Death Trash, I predict this being a stand-out indie game when it is finished.
Potion Craft is made by niceplay games, and this is their sole project. Here’s their twitter! They are published by TinyBuild Studios–best known by me for Graveyard Keeper and Hello Neighbor.
Potion Craft is $14.99, though as it came out today, it’s on sale until September 28th, 2021 for 10% off. This one gets a gold star, and I recommend this to anyone who wants a game focused on sandboxish crafting.
Janette does far too much in her spare time. Not only does she write Princess of Previews(formerly Purveyor of Previews), she appears on The Geekly Grind Podcast Talking Mons, which she encourages you to check out. IF that wasn’t enough, she very rarely appears as a guest on The Ink N’ Paint Club. Outside of that, she spends her time somewhere between a basic white girl and anime trash, though always passionate about indie games.