Before we begin our Potion Permit review, let’s discuss a bit about the premise of the title. This is a whimsical little hybrid RPG with sim life elements, where you have to heal the sick people of Moonbury and solve a variety of different puzzles. The title was developed by Mass Hive Media which has previous work on the Azure Saga series.
So does Potion Permit stand out in what’s quickly becoming a crowded field? Well, you’ll find the answer to that in this review, as we cover all the exciting features and flaws that come along with the game. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
Story And Setting
The story in the Potion Permit centers around a character who is a chemist and works for the Medical Association. They have been sent to the town of Moonbury at the mayor’s request to treat his sick daughter, Rue. And the traditional witch doctor Mateo who has neem unable to treat Rue so far becomes the reason for your arrival in the town.
The locals there have had some bad experiences with the chemist that visited Moonbury the last time around. There is a rumor floating around that the individual caused some harm to the ecosystem of the settlement, and so the townsfolk aren’t so pleased to see you there.
And since that point in time, they haven’t had any people of your profession in their town and there are some hostile elements that want to keep it that way, specifically the witch doctor Mateo, who has his own reasons for keeping you away.
So you have to gain the trust back of the citizens of the town that was once diminished by their previous experience with the chemist. You have to open a clinic in the town and treat the citizens and eventually, you will get the trust back when you help them.
You’ll surely make friends along the way in the Moonbury, you share and receive gifts from the inhabitants.
In Potion Permit, you’re in the driving seat as the new Chemist and the game gives you full control over your character. There’s a full town and its surroundings for you to explore, and you can walk around these locations freely, harvesting resources for brewing potions, fighting hostile monsters, and interacting with the local populace
You can also hang around with your trusted dog companion, who can perform a number of different tasks for you. It can find people, dig up treasures, and even receive head pats from you. Don’t scoff, It’s hard work for the little fella. I really like the idea of the dog, it’s cute and you can give it a name you like. I also enjoyed seeing an animal companion in one of these sim games that actually has a real tangible use apart from being a cute little critter that hangs around doing nothing,
And at the end of the day, you also have a job to do. There is a small alarm in the corner of your screen that indicates when your services are required at the clinic, which is right next to your potion shop. When you get there, you’ll see the locals will have dragged some sick individuals to one of the beds there. This person will tell you about their illness, and you will have to diagnose them.
Upon interacting with them a screen will appear and you just have to navigate through the area of the body that that patient is having a problem with.
To diagnose the patient you have to play some mini-games that are mostly based on your memory and rhythm, after which, it’s time to brew up the correct potions to make the cure. There’ll be a big pot or boiler right in the middle of the potion shop where you have to combine different ingredients to find and make a cure.
It takes the form of another mini-game where you’ll have to find different ingredients and match the shape on your screen and once you do, it’ll start making the cure. Do it five times and you’ll then be able to save a recipe to use in the future.
Treating a patient successfully will reward you by improving your reputation in the town depending on the satisfaction level of the patient. If you fail to cure them or do not get there on time you will suffer a penalty, and once the reputation dips below a certain point people will stop talking to you.
I really like the feature of part-time jobs that pay you and take a set period of your time. Things get pretty easier in terms of earning money over time as you involve yourself with the townfolk. These jobs will allow you to work for the police, post office, and even the church. You can use the money for different purposes, like upgrading the clinic, the Potion shop, and even your outfits as well.
But there is a stamina system you have to manage, so what you can accomplish in a day is dependent on your management of this stat. So ration your chores out appropriately, and you won’t find yourself stuck in unfortunate situations.
Visuals And Performance
The town of Moonbury looks well organized and has a nice and homely feel to it. The feature that I really liked about it is that you don’t have to run around every time when you need to find a character interaction, and just hope to get there. There are proper bulletin boards that guide you in a proper direction and time window so you don’t have to rely on luck or a wiki.
The overall visuals of the game are also pretty simple and cartoonish but in an incredibly charming way. The game has a much more muted color palette than a title like Stardew Valley, but that’s not a bad thing. That is primarily a game about farming and the passage of different seasons, and the focus here is clearly different.
Certain things could have been visualized better like the reactions of the character to different conversations, or certain areas that seem a bit too stiff and lifeless at times. None of these however are problems unique to Potion Permit.
The UI could also use a bit of work, and the inventory management system is a bit of a hassle as well. Selecting a new tool is a complicated procedure that never really becomes comfortable no matter how long you play the game.
In terms of the actual performance, the game runs really well. I encountered no major performance issues on my end, and there were no game breaking bugs either. The only issue worth pointing out is that there was an issue at the start of the game where it would freeze for a while when loading in, but never got so bad that the saves would not boot up.
Wrapping up our Potion Permit Review, I have to say that it’s quite a really charming game with some limitations here and there. But despite some of the game’s flaws that have already been discussed, the experience is definitely going to make you come back and give it one more day, every other day. Because curing the sick members of Moonbury, solving puzzles, and forging friendships along the way is so much and soothing.
It’s quite difficult to deny that some good ideas are used in the game, but you’ll always feel like there’s something missing. The game never really surprises you, and there’s nothing really challenging to test your skills. I would have loved to have some sense of urgency or mystery, but it’s simply not here.
But despite all the flaws, Potion Permits still has me on its side. It might not be the game for everyone, but fans of titles like Stardew Valley, Harvest Moon, and Graveyard Keeper have a lot to look forward to.
We hoped you find this Potion Permit Review informative. And while you’re here, check out some of our other articles.
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Potion Permit Review
- Story And Setting
- Visuals And Performance
Potion Permit is quite a charming game with some limitations here and there.
- Town Is Well Designed.
- Charming Visuals.
- Part-Time Jobs Help You Become Involved.
- Bulletin Boards Guide You In The Proper Direction.
- Tool Selection Is Annoying.
- Game Freezes A Bit At The Beginning.
- Gifting Mechanic Is Watered Down.