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Potionomics, a different yet interesting take on potion brewing.
Alternative title: woman who is really bad at time management plays time management game.
Tags: [singleplayer] [deckbuilding] [dating sim] [time management]
Your uncle (of course) settled on a remote island to start a potion shop.
He writes to you, hoping you’ll step into his footsteps. At one point, he died. Luckily, he has arranged for you to take over his shop! You inherit the shop, and your adventure as a potion brewer commence.
As you brew and sell more potions, upgrade your shop and unlock better skills, you’ll meet new people, build relationships with them and potentially even get to know them intimately - or as intimately as a time management deckbuilding game would allow, of course.
As with all inheritances, there’s a catch - which I won’t spoil, but it gives you an incentive to need a lot of money, really fast. Luckily you have a sidekick who will help you organise your time, resources and skills to earn you that money. Sort of.
This is not an open-world, run-around-and-collect-things game, which makes it a game completely outside of my regular wheelhouse.
Brewing potions is a matter of balancing out ingredients. Each ingredient is made up of “magimins”, which have a specific colour. Potions are made up from a particular combination of those magimins. Put in the ingredients, make sure your brew is stable, brew and wait for it to finish.
Potionomics is also a deck building game, which means you sell your potions through playing cards from your deck. Unlocking better cards ups your chances at selling potions and earning more money.
It’s an interesting mechanic, reminding me of Fate and Marvel Snap.
Besides brewing and selling potions, there’s a third aspect to the game: exploration. Umm, how does that work, in a static, time management and deckbuilding game that isn’t an RPG where you run around and collect things?
Glad you asked, let me explain.
You only have so much time in a day - opening your store to sell potions will use up two time slots, for example. Travelling to buy ingredients, viit your friends or going on dates will take up time, too. That’s the time management aspect of the game: balancing out your tasks so that you can also build relationships with people and advance the ingredients, cards and other rewards they have to offer.
That sounds like a lot of work.
The only downside to this game - and I can’t stress how much this irks me - is that the dialogue is so slow. There’s a space at the end of each sentence, a period of time in which you’re done reading but you can’t skip the dialogue so you just have to wait for it to pass. If there was one thing I could change to this game, it’d be that: give us a “press space to skip dialogue” button!
Visuals & music
It’s a cute game, lots of adorable details and a clear, visual difference when upgrading your shop and progressing in the game.
The tutorial has the balance right between railroading you through the different steps and then immediately letting you do your think to see how well it goes without guidance. They pace the instructions well, which is often a concern for me in games like this - just dropping a ton of mechanics on you, resulting in it being too much. Well done, Potionomics!
Yeah, if the genre interests you, this is definitely a recommendation!
Deckbuilding games aren’t for everyone, and while I generally feel the genre is difficult to get into and overwhelming with mechanics, Potionomics is very well-paced and rewarding, making it an ideal deckbuilding game to get into the genre.
There’s enough variation between brewing, selling and exploring to keep you invested and feeling like you always have three more things to do, and only two time slots to do them in. It’s very satisfying if a day works out exactly how you had planned it. Exactly like real life, but with cuter graphics.
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