We all know that story. Your grandfather died accidentally and bestowed upon you his farm, a treasured relic from your childhood. There is a town full of interesting (and qualified) villagers who are eager for the success of
We’ve seen several iterations of this story played out in countless life-sim games. teeth satisfaction. But what if instead of inheriting his relative’s legacy, he inherited years of resentment and mistrust? What if you weren’t a newfound farmer, but a state-certified chemist sent by the government to help an ailing town previously burned by your kind? It’s just one of the game’s many great qualities.
Potion Permit, the latest game from Indonesian studio MassHive Media, is a life sim with RPG elements tasked with healing a community from both illness and past trauma. You play a chemist who is sent from the capital to the village of Moonberry at the mayor’s request. It turns out that the reason the mayor called you is because his daughter has an incredible illness. However, upon arrival in the sleepy seaside town, the mayor and his wife are relieved, although they are the only villagers who feel that way.
It turns out you weren’t the first state chemist sent to Moonbury. These former chemists destroyed parts of the surrounding wilderness and exterminated certain plant species.The town swore chemists and their modern medicine collectively. is a fascinating and original story that sends you on quite a quest to atone for the mistakes of a former chemist and gain the trust of the town.
There are several ways to do this, all of which combine to create a satisfying game loop for Potion Permit. At the beginning of each day, you will be notified of all patients who have visited your clinic. If there is a patient, he must first diagnose the disease using one of several button-pressing mini-games. Then rush back home to concoct a potion suitable for healing. To make a potion, you need to arrange Tetris-like block-shaped materials like a puzzle, but the types of materials that can be used are limited. Both the diagnosis game and the potion brewing game are fairly simple, but offer a rather engaging sense of gameplay that many life sims can fall into. But harvesting these ingredients is where the real fun comes in.
Instead of farming for resources, Potion Permits send you deep into the nearby forest. In addition to the forest, there are two other locations that can eventually be unlocked once you have enough money, stones, trees, and enough reputation. Your reputation grows not only by healing the town, but also by finding remedies for the environmental destruction that the former chemist gave. But (you’ll find me serving pizza to Shane far more often than you’ll find me in the mines of Stardew Valley), collecting and exploring resources in Potion Permit lets you get out of town and find a new I was often tempted to discover plants, monsters, and winding paths.
This is not to say that the social aspect of Potion Permit is less appealing. In fact, alongside its story and gorgeous, understated art style, that might be the most interesting thing about the game. The town of Moonberry is filled with villagers, each with their own personalities and struggles. Kind-hearted chemists are more than happy to help them get over them. Romantically, each of her six characters (three female, three male) is well-written and tender, eliciting more than a few heart-pounding moments. Even better, once you’re in a relationship with them, you can date anytime, and these dates cycle between several different outings.
It was also impressive that even characters who were not romantic targets were thought through. In most life and farm sims, these characters are tertiary and there are very few cutscenes featuring them. Almost every day there was something new for them and the town every time I played. It makes Moonbury feel alive in a way that many life-sim games rarely do. Each villager has their own schedule, but you don’t have to carefully schedule where the villagers are, as you can always have your canine companion take you. This is just one of the quality of life improvements Potion Permit brings to the genre. I hope it will be implemented more often.
However, Potion Permit is not without its fair share of issues. Game relationships have some of the drawbacks of romantic and platonic relationships. Most life sims present the challenge of finding a gift their character likes, but Potion Permits only allow you to gift moon cloves.This streamlines and expedites the process of making friends In addition, there were several friendships that were shocked that they didn’t turn into romances. ask You’re not only dating her, but you’re a book-loving Lucke.
It also raised questions about how the game presented certain mental health and disability-related issues. He is clearly portrayed as mentally handicapped, but he hates being called “a simple idiot despite his size”. Garrett’s portrayal as an old man turned out to be a very tired trope. It is a disorder that is difficult to describe. I think Potion Permit is ambitious in introducing these characters, but it fails at times in its portrayal.
However, these issues pale in comparison to the game’s bugs. On Switch, I encountered a few frame drops, as well as odd instances of the game scanning towns and flashing building interiors before playing cutscenes. , there have been a few instances where I just got the text “reserved for text” or a similar placeholder message instead of an errand I could undertake. Several categories on the menu continually told me there were new items to look into even though I had already looked them up.
However, the most serious of all these bugs is in the game’s romance options. The last interaction before entering into a relationship with Xiao caused the game to go black, forcing him to skip cutscenes and miss the gentle tarot card reading.Another big bug with him is Matheo It happened when I gave the Moon Brooch (an item used to start a romance path with a character). After giving him the item, the game scrolls through town before teleporting me to another character, Leano, and making me fall in love with her even though I wasn’t even on her relationship level. I sent you down the path of romance.
The game feels rough in places due to bugs and the lack of certain romance options, adding to that feeling is that certain systems are underutilized. The trust system established early on is a nice addition to the game’s narrative, but after gaining a town’s trust, it’s hard to lose it, even for a brief period when the event sows dissatisfaction among the villagers. There wasn’t. Cauldron and infirmary upgrades are essential, but upgrading the size of the house, adding a kitchen, and decorating the house all feel like a waste of money and resources. . So I didn’t really care about this until the end of the game’s story. At that point, I had little motivation to do so.
Finally, character customization and accessibility options are severely lacking. The hairstyles feel mostly made for fair-skinned characters, the tailors in town offer little when it comes to how to change their appearance, and accessibility options are almost non-existent. It’s especially bad considering how often you play games (some of which involve button mashing and precise timing) and how small the game text is. I was a little dissatisfied with the smallness and thinness of the characters.
Despite all these issues, Potion Permit is one of my favorite games I’ve played this year and one of the best life sims in recent history. Large scale It’s a testament to how high that highest value is. The end of the game was bittersweet considering how much I was engrossed in my time with Moonbury—the art, the gameplay, the characters, the world, the writing as a whole. Above all, I admire the Potion Permit series. It could stand proudly alongside games like Stardew Valley, Harvest Moon, and Story of Seasons, and I believe that if we address some of the most obvious issues, we could move the genre forward in a meaningful way. I’m here.
https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/potion-permit-review-an-engaging-elixir/1900-6417970/?ftag=CAD-01-10abi2f Potion Permit Review – Charming Elixir