Potionomics First Impression – Strong potions for travelers

The strongest potions are an important part of any adventure. Of course, these potions had to be made and sold to the adventurers we always played with. Now, it’s time to play potion makers. This is our first impression of Potionomics, reviewing the gameplay and story so far from the demo.

Before we dive into our first impressions, let me first explain exactly what Potionomics is. Potionomics is a management game where you, the player, have to manage a potion store and his heirs. The management of this store includes not only selling potions, but making them as well. The potions have specific recipes, and your job as the potion maker is to make these potions for sale perfectly. Players must manage their time, allocating time properly to brewing, selling and exploring potions. Players can explore the city to buy components, upgrade and repair their homes, and meet new people. You can even make romantic some of the people you will meet. Now that you have a basic summary of Potionomics’ story and gameplay, let’s dive into our first impression of the game.

First impression Potionomics

When I first turned on Potionomics, I had just finished writing a work in progress review of the Potion Permit. Admittedly, I was kind of disappointed with the game I was so excited about. I like making potions in games, so I had high hopes for a Potion Permit, but unfortunately it wasn’t really achieved. When I saw Potionomics during Steam Next Fest, I thought I’d give it a try. Immediately immersed in the Potionomics story, I learned that my character, Sylvia, had inherited a potion shop from her uncle. Instead of a beautiful, noisy store, bequeathed by Sylvia, it was a store in horrific condition, threatening to collapse. I immediately knew it was going to be one of those games where I had to rebuild a shop from the ground up.

The gameplay episode in Potionomics was very simple and easy to understand. Instead of bombarding me with a text box on a text box for lessons, the game taught me the ropes as I go along with it. My first job was to display potions, and the storefront was very intuitive. You’ve dragged the potions you want to sell to the screens, and their prices are set automatically. I will know later that the condition and type of the screen will affect the pricing, which made sense to me. Even if my potions were the strongest in the city, no one would pay much for them if they were on a broken and exhausted screen.

What happened next was the selling part of the game, and that was where I was once again pleasantly surprised. As it turns out, negotiations in this game play like trading card games. Sylvia and the buyer of the potion take turns bargaining over the price of the potion. As you try to increase the buyer’s interest in the potion, they will try to find flaws in you and your potion. This builds up tension, which can lead to some bad cards being drawn out. The primary goal of every negotiation is to increase their interest in the potion as high as possible before sealing the deal. Of course, negotiations don’t last forever, because you have a set amount of time to negotiate. Finishing your turn consumes once by default, while playing cards consume time as well.

This work of balancing the time you have, and trying to get the price up as high as possible is one of the things I love about the game. The bargaining sessions are short enough that you don’t feel like you’re doing them all day but long enough that you don’t feel unimportant in the game. The developers managed to make the bargaining sessions fun and interesting. The six negotiations I had to do during the demo got me addicted to the Potionomics gameplay.

Of course, you won’t haggle all day. During the downtime, you will make potions using the store boiler. Potions do not have a specific recipe but instead consist of a certain number of magmen. Magazines come in five different types, from A to E, and have a specific color. The goal when brewing potions is for the player to get the correct proportion of magimin in the pot for the potion they are trying to make. As long as the ratio of magagin is correct, you will be able to craft the potion. Of course, the more ingredients a player puts into the cauldron, the more potions he will make, and the higher the chance of the quality going up. This system makes it very easy to formulate doses, as there is no set recipe for it.

The game also introduces the map and exploration system. During the downtime, Sylvia can walk out of the store for a while to explore the city. While you’re in town, you can buy components, upgrade your equipment, and even renovate your shop. On the go, you can meet the people to whom you sell potions. Talking to them tells you a lot about the story, and sometimes they give you new cards to use as well. There’s even a romance feature, where Sylvia can get into a relationship with some NPC. Romance is not gender locked, so you can fall in love with anyone you want.

After exploring, you can go back to your store and sell again. The store has a morning shift and an afternoon work shift, so you’ll have two opportunities each day to sell your potions. This is important because other than the store, your uncle also left a huge debt that you have to pay. Managing your money between renewal, components, and debt repayment is an important part of the experience, so players should make sure they do it right.

The end of the demo introduced me to something else that I have to face. This comes in the form of yet another potion shop, whose owner made it a point to resist Sylvia. Other than fighting debts, the player must also make sure that the townspeople are aware of the quality of their potions. After all, no matter how many potions you have for sale, you won’t earn if no one buys them. This competition pushes the player forward, making sure that they always strive to make the most powerful potions.

Let’s not forget, by the way, the graphics of this game. When you manage and create your store, the game takes on this cute presentation in cartoon style. When you haggle or explore the city, it takes a 3D view. Players can see Sylvia in a suitable animated character model. The same goes for the people you interact with. You can easily see the character’s feelings and reactions from this point of view, which made me love her so much. To be completely honest, I had my doubts when I first saw screenshots of this on the store page. However, after trying the game myself, I really warmed up.

To summarize, I feel this is a very powerful game. The gameplay loop in Potionomics is interesting, and the bargaining system itself was a lot of fun. Potion making was also very intuitive and easy to understand. This toy has the perfect amount of hand grip and you know when to let go. The tutorial wasn’t much of a tutorial, as it fit perfectly with the Potionomics story. I was so addicted to this game and am so excited to play it upon release.

If you’re interested in trying out the game for yourself, it currently has a downloadable demo as part of Steam Next Fest. You can download the demo here to experience the gameplay and story of Potionomics for yourself.

Potionomics will be available on PC October 17 2022. Make sure to include the game in your wishlist if you find it as interesting as I did.

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