Posted: 23 months ago, last updated 5 weeks ago.
You interact and manipulate your potions physically using the different tools in the kitchen. You drag ingredients into the cauldron, cranking the bellows, stir the soup and even throw your potions around the shop. Each action results in a different movement of your bottle on the map.
It starts off seeming like an educational game about making potions but soon becomes much more. The brewing of potions acts as a means of exploring a map. Each ingredient has a predetermined path, a little like a chess piece. You can string them together in a potion to get to the location you require. In addition to the combinations you can also dilute and pause reactions to access hard to reach spots on the map.
As you craft useful potions you can name them for later use and sell them to the townsfolk you meet. Each day customers arrive in your store looking for solutions to their problems. How well you help or hinder them results in consequences for you and the story. Do well and you can attract guilds, befriend notable figures (or feud with them), gain riches and influence.
There is also a lite farming aspect to the game. Here, instead of buying the leaves, flowers, berries, roots, fruits, minerals, and mushrooms from traveling merchant you can grow your own. You can even brand your potions with custom bottle shapes, labels, icons, and colours.
You can play this game in the following styles:
9+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Younger players need to be able to cope with the indirect control of your bottle with the ingredients and other elements. Thinking ahead is crucial as is staying calm and keeping on working when things seem to be going wrong.
The only option to remap controls on the controller is from Standard to Swapped, which switches the "action" and "back/cancel" buttons (A & B on most controllers).
By default you need to hold down a button when moving items around or using the alchemy tools (mortar & pestle, stirring the cauldron, pumping the bellows), however there is an option to change that to "Press to hold/release object". IT will sometimes still require very precise small movements with the thumbstick or mouse to get the best results, especially as the game progresses and higher level effects require stirring the pot very slowly and precisely or pouring just the right amount of water, both inputs that are controlled by manual dexterity.
Colour is not needed to play the game as everything has symbols, and you are able to change the symbols and labelling with different shapes as well, however there are daily bonus exp symbols that appear on the map each day in different places and there is nothing other than color to distinguish them from the static exp symbols that have not yet been claimed, so it is possible that those may be hard to identify.
The text in the game is fairly small, and everything in the game is low contrast (as a style choice). The map is obscured and much of the game is centered around exploring and revealing pieces of it bit by bit, often with a restricted ability to go where you want to go (navigating the map, and finding ways to get to the same places and beyond, more efficiently, is a core challenge in the game).
The Haggle mini-game require quick button inputs and timing, and unlike many skills in games, putting skills points into it makes it harder and faster (with higher rewards), but it is not necessary to play the game.
Diversity and Inclusion
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