Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator is a very chill management game disguised as a potion brewing simulator. The game has some surprising depth to it and provides more nuance than just simply brewing potions.
The game starts off like any farming simulator, such as Harvest Moon, where you take over a dilapidated home belonging to an alchemist and decide to set up a potion shop. From here, you can navigate to one of four currently available 2D panels. One is the shop, where you can interact with customers and sell them potions they require. The second is the workshop area where the actual brewing is done. The third is a garden where you harvest plants to be used as ingredients for your brews. The fourth is the bedroom, where you can go to sleep to end the day and start a new one. There is a basement with an alchemy device that provides more advanced mechanics but that was not available in the current demo.
The brewing mechanic is pretty simple but well constructed. You navigate a potion map of sorts, with certain marked destinations resulting in a finished potion. To navigate the map, certain ingredients will go in certain directions when added to the cauldron. There are also obstacles in place so in order to navigate the potion map successfully, you do have to use a rough outline of a recipe but it is flexible enough that you can substitute ingredients. This results in a crafting system with a certain degree of freedom to it. Rarer ingredients let you navigate to the destination faster or make it much easier to navigate around obstacles.
This leads me to the management sim aspect of the game. In order to fully navigate the potion map and discover all the potion recipes as well as provide enough potions to satisfy your customers, you need to spend a lot of ingredients, more ingredients than the garden can provide. Thankfully, you can purchase ingredients from traveling merchants, at a cost. In order to buy those ingredients, you have to sell enough potions to your customers, and the loop repeats. Balancing all those aspects are not difficult but it does provide more nuance to the game play than just simply brewing potions all day.
Overall, Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator’s demo provides a promising look at a very chill management sim about brewing potions. The art style is fantastic, the music fits the game, and the potion brewing mechanic is fun. The management aspect of the game adds on some nuance to the game play. The full release of the game looks promising with the announced mechanics and features being added to an already solid experience in the demo.