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Potion Permit, where NPCs are rude to you and they don't really want you around very much.
But don't worry, it gets better.
Tags: [singleplayer] [jrpg] [crafting] [pixel]
Without spoiling too much of this admittedly good story, you’re an aspiring chemist on your way to Moonbury, a town that is wary of the outside world. They are initially mistrusting and downright rude to you - which I loved, I always found it weird that you’d arrive in, say, Pelican Town, and everyone immediately loves and trusts you.
They traditionally rely on their local witch doctor to do their healing, but when the mayor’s daughter falls ill with a disease the quack (and as a meanwhile mandated potion master, I can comfortly say he’s a quack) can’t cure, they are forced to trust an outsider with their medical needs - you.
As you continue to care for the girl, you learn more potion recipes and learn more about the town and its secrets. I haven’t seen the entire story myself yet, so I can’t comment on whether or not it was a good ending, though I love what I’ve seen so far. You know what, go see for yourself!
First of all, some honesty: the controls take some getting used to - having K and J be the most commonly used buttons and not A and E is weird, to say the least - but once you get past that and get used to it, it’s smooth sailing.
I’m not used to playing games solely with a keyboard and not touch my mouse, but at the same time it takes me back to the very beginning of my career as a gamer, the super retro keyboard only DOS games, and honestly I’m here for it.
The potion crafting mini-game is innovative as well.
Instead of just “here are some ingredients, click the cooking pot, done”, you have to combine ingredients, which each have their distinctive Tetris-like shape, to fill out the required shape for the recipe.
Can’t fill it out? Can’t brew the potion, go find some more ingredients! A refreshing way of going about it, with a mini-game and an incentive to go look for more ingredients, while also not being too punishing and giving you the option to replace one ingredient with another (albeit it for a less potent potion, as each recipe has its preferred aspect of ingredients).
Here’s another something I love: my house!
You get a run-down, dusty house for your temporary stay in Moonbury, which you can decorate with… more run-down, dusty furniture.
Seeing the way your house improves as your reputation does, and unlocking more, prettier furniture as you go along is so satisfying. Decorating your house in sims like this is what I live for, honestly.
Visuals & music
Everything is visually very pleasing, pixel graphics done right. The little animations and the attention to detail give you a lot to look at and enjoy.
The background music is super relaxing and the little sound effects are on point.
Nothing much to say about the tutorial. It instructs as it should, and even more importantly, you can revisit all the information at will - which I always appreciate and wish more game devs would implement.
Alongside your quest log, ingredients information and relationship panel, there is a ‘tutorial’-tab that let’s just reread the tooltips you’ve previously received (and potentially just skipped through because you weren’t interested at the time. Guilty as charged.)
Oh, yes, absolutely!
Even though I’m not usually a JRPG type of gal, I thoroughly enjoyed playing this one for at least a couple of hours straight. It’s one of those games I will sporadically revisit and advance over probably half a decade before I finish it, but I could equally see myself hyperfixating and binging it for 35 hours in one sitting, too. Very versatile game that, thanks to its retro-esque design, is essentially timeless.
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