#Overview: Potion Allow – Destructoid

Overview: Potion Allow – Destructoid

Welcome to Moonbury

I make it no secret that farming/group simulators are one in all my favourite genres, and this yr has been stuffed with candy little video games for me to cozy up on the sofa with. Potion Allow is without doubt one of the titles I used to be wanting ahead to ever since I noticed the primary trailer, which confirmed off the sport’s stunning pixel artwork and colourful forged of characters. When it got here to the gameplay itself, it seemed to be fairly normal fare for the style, apart from the farming aspect of issues. As an alternative, the foraging and fight take middle stage, in addition to character-driven questlines.

Fortuitously I used to be in a position to get a Swap copy of Potion Allow, as a result of it’s a kind of video games that feels prefer it was made for a handheld console. It’s an important recreation to play when you may have a couple of minutes of downtime, as a result of it’s straightforward to choose it up and proceed proper the place you left off. On the similar time, it’s additionally a kind of video games you can get sucked into for hours on finish. Mainly, when you love simulators, you’re gonna have a superb time.

Potion Allow (PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox, Nintendo Swap [reviewed])
Developer: MassHive Media
Writer: PQube
Launched: September 22, 2022
MSRP: $19.99

The premise of the sport is that the participant takes on the function of a chemist, a form of physician who makes potions to assist others with any form of ailment they may have. After they moved to Moonbury from the massive metropolis, the participant learns that the townspeople have a vendetta in opposition to chemists, because the city’s earlier chemist triggered an ecological catastrophe that destroyed a number of the native flora.

It’s as much as the participant not solely to remedy the townspeople after they get sick, but additionally to win them over. The principle gameplay consists of going out into the wilderness to collect elements, utilizing these elements to craft potions to heal anybody who’s sick, and upgrading your instruments so you may entry new areas, which have new elements. You may as well purchase some elements, however when you just like the grind, you’re gonna spend plenty of trip within the wilderness foraging.

Let’s speak NPCs

The backdrop for all of that is the quaint city of Moonsbury itself, which in fact is the place you’ll meet and befriend the entire townspeople. Gamers endear the townspeople to them by giving them presents that they earn by finishing varied duties. Reaching a excessive sufficient friendship stage opens up a singular friendship quest for that character. The quests even have a stunning quantity of depth to them, and for essentially the most half, it feels such as you’re attending to know the characters as they reveal particulars about their pasts, struggles, and goals. Normally finishing the search entails making the characters customized potions, or gathering a sure variety of elements for them.

The characters are an entire lot of enjoyable as nicely, however I’ve to tell you that one of many NPCs you may befriend is a cat. Like totally only a cat. It’s as lovable because it sounds. You even have a candy canine companion who follows you round all over the place, and whereas you need to feed the canine day by day, it may lead you to any NPC on demand, which is without doubt one of the most helpful options I’ve seen from a group sim I’ve seen as of late. Nicely performed there.

Clearly you may romance a number of the characters, though there are solely six to select from — three males and three ladies. Whereas having some weaker aspect characters in a recreation with over thirty NPCs is excusable in my e book, having romanceable characters who’re boring is just not. There have been solely a pair that I truly preferred, and one in all them is a horny pirate woman, in order that’s a given simply on premise alone.

One different notice I’ve concerning the character quests: a few of them are actually candy, a few of them I discovered form of boring to be trustworthy, however there are a couple of that made me downright uncomfortable. For instance, one of many characters has you make him an urge for food suppressor so he can drop pounds, and I’m actually shocked to see one thing like that in a recreation that got here out in 2022.

Mini-games galore

The potion-making mini-game was a spotlight for me. Every particular person potion has a singular sample that you need to fill in utterly as a way to make it. The entire elements are additionally uniquely formed, form of like Tetris items, so filling within the required form with as few items as attainable turns into a enjoyable problem. 

I used to be afraid that I used to be consistently going to be working out of items I wanted, however I discovered the sport was well-balanced within the sense that I virtually all the time had the elements I wanted to make it work, however it was by no means really easy that I misplaced curiosity in doing it. You may as well promote additional potions for some additional money, which got here in useful for me fairly a bit.

There’s a fishing mini-game, in fact, as a result of it wouldn’t be a group sim with out one. I’m personally an enormous fan of Stardew Valley’s fishing mini-game, as a result of it requires precision (and plenty of it, in some circumstances). In Potion Allow, you forged out, a fish hooks on, after which it’s a cycle of the fish getting “offended” and pulling on the road, after which briefly tiring itself out. If you happen to pull too laborious when it’s “offended,” the fish will get away, so you may solely pull in brief bursts when it’s drained.

I believe in concept, this concept works tremendous, it simply didn’t shake out within the execution for me. I’d be making good progress, however when the fish obtained offended, it pulled my line all the best way again out virtually to the place I began. This makes catching a single fish take ceaselessly, and when you get impatient and unintentionally pull whenever you’re not presupposed to, you lose the fish completely. I stayed away from the fishing until completely obligatory, which is a bummer as a result of in different sims I’ll spend all day fishing as a result of I discover it so enjoyable.

If all of that isn’t sufficient to maintain you busy, there are additionally loads of different, smaller duties you may tackle round city. The church, put up workplace, and police station have mini-games you may partake in, which award you with some cash however take two hours of your time. Then there are the requests, which, much like Stardew Valley, you choose up from a board and require you to deposit foragables in trade for money.

You may as well improve and beautify your own home, which I didn’t actually do in any respect as a result of I used to be having a lot enjoyable following the principle quest and progressing to the brand new areas of the wilderness. That’s additionally as a result of plenty of the character quests coincide with unlocking the brand new areas, as nicely.

I normally wish to take my time with video games like this, however I felt that Potion Allow actually incentivized me to go full steam forward on this one. Let me put it this manner – it’s enjoyable when you like feeling busy and productive (like I do), however when you’re on the lookout for a recreation that can allow you to decelerate to a snail’s tempo, it may not be your favourite.

Bugs… bugs all over the place

Okay, I’ve been dreading this half, however we have to speak concerning the bugs. Potion Allow is a really, very buggy recreation, and from what I can inform from wanting on-line, the Swap model is even worse. I’m positive a number of the points have been patched by now (a few of them have been even patched whereas I used to be in the midst of my playthrough), however it had some fairly large points.

Quests typically wouldn’t full, and even set off in any respect — I by no means ended up in a position to get the superior fishing rod as a result of the search by no means popped for me, for instance. Different occasions it will assign me quests I didn’t settle for. Typically the alarm would go off that there was somebody sick that wanted care in my clinic, solely to seek out it empty upon getting into. I needed to re-meet a number of the NPCs, and misplaced a couple of days’ progress in attending to know them. For some time there was a difficulty the place utilizing the quick journey factors completely broke the world, so that you’d be working round a glitched-out, semi-empty area. I might go on.

The worst offender of all of them, although, was that each jiffy or so I’d get some display screen hitching on the Swap model, to the purpose that it will intrude with what I used to be doing. Whereas most of the bugs I encountered got here and went, this one was persistent all through the whole playthrough. I believe it’s truthful to say that on the time I performed Potion Allow, it was probably not to launch, no less than on the Swap.

In conclusion

Even with all my complaints, I actually loved taking part in Potion Allow. Whereas there isn’t a lot of a post-game, I believe I’ll be replaying it someday sooner or later. I grew fairly connected to the characters (particularly the few that I needed to romance), and the setting scratches that cozy, small-town feeling you search for in video games like these.

It introduced a singular spin to the group sim style whereas nonetheless giving me what I like most in these sorts of video games, and I’d undoubtedly advocate it to anybody all in favour of taking part in. I’d simply wait till some extra bug fixes come by way of, first.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]


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