Your gaming library is loaded with hectic and fast-paced titles, and that’s fantastic. You can join friends on a battlefield or race strangers across the globe. However, occasionally you want something a little more relaxed and slower-paced. You don’t want blood to fly, or people to lose their limbs. No, all you desire is a calm and cute environment. Alchemic Cutie delivers this and much more in its vivid yet laid back gameplay.
Developed by Sebastien Vakerics and Thomas Cashman and published by PM Studios, this is an adventure RPG. Set on a colourful and whimsical island, this slow-paced title demands you explore and care for your jelly farm. Fans of Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon will adore the style and premise. Subsequently, this has the opportunity to become a time sink and a cult favourite.
Alchemic Cutie breaks no new ground.
Thanks to its strong influences, Alchemic Cutie has the chance to be an excellent title. Sadly, however, it relies heavily on the key concepts from Stardew Valley and this stunts its creative flow. Moreover, every task has a deja vu feeling to it and this, unfortunately, doesn’t break new ground. This, however, doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. No, I was merely hoping for a slight twist in the action.
So, it’s not that original, but I’m not willing to write it off because of that. The story revolves around a delicious little island called Wimba. This beautiful tropical paradise hides secrets in plain sight and hosts a few residents. Subsequently, it houses an array of shops and restaurants, but most importantly, it’s the home to an impressive collection of wild jellies. These gelatinous beasts are the key to progressing the story and they are cute as hell.
You control the protagonist who is newly qualified in the alchemic arts. This skill is essential when it comes to taming jellies and exploring the island. Luckily, using these powers is extremely straightforward! All you must do is aim your cursor and click, and your only restriction is a generous stamina bar. You’ll capture jellies to send to your farm, harvest fauna, and cut down grasses. Completing these tasks will drop essential items and gems that can be spent in any of the shops or restaurants.
Loads of quests, but very little guidance.
One thing that Alchemic Cutie isn’t lacking is quests and objects to collect. I would normally be screaming about how great this is however, I can’t! Annoyingly, a lack of guidance leaves you confused and stabbing around in the dark. This is further compounded by the exploration elements. This should be phenomenal, yet I couldn’t comprehend how to progress.
Wimba’s secrets are locked behind shrines that require crystallised jelly relics to open them. Your tamed jellies need care and attention to survive, and a mixture of happiness and overfeeding forces them to end their lives and turn into a statue. Bizarre, I know, but let’s go with the flow. It sounds simple to manage, yet I rarely succeeded. Failure wouldn’t normally bother me, yet, without the relics, you can’t progress the story. So, unfortunately, I experienced a mundane cycle of jelly farming, side quests, and resource gathering, only to fail again.
The vicious cycle of minor tasks and failure are Alchemic Cutie’s Achilles heel. What should make it an enjoyable and in-depth game full of lore and interesting twists and turns undermines it. If the developers had been more forthcoming with a tutorial, then this cloud of confusion would have been lifted. Subsequently, players are left disappointed and frustrated by the lack of guidance.
Alchemic Cutie is very similar to Stardew Valley.
Alchemic Cutie unashamedly wears its influences on its sleeve. Its uncanny resemblance to Stardew Valley was a little too close for comfort. However, I have no issue with it per se, it simply reduced the originality. Other than that, it was nice to look at with the standard vivid colours and pixelated imagery. Wimba island has a nice variety of regions to explore and the bird’s-eye perspective made it easier to see all the action. You won’t be wowed by its style, but equally, it won’t disappoint you.
The same can be said for the cutesy and lighthearted audio. The upbeat tunes help to break up the monotony of each day, but they offer nothing new. Both the audio and graphics were serviceable, but I wanted them to deliver so much more.
A well-constructed UI.
There is plenty of content to contend with, so a well-constructed UI was essential. Luckily, the developers hid the menu system behind a clever notebook. Your journal covers every aspect of the gameplay and provides you with jelly information, a map of the island, and so forth. This was an excellent move, as I’d have been turned off by anything more complex. This is also supported by responsive controls and an easy to learn button layout. Therefore, if you can get to grips with the fundamentals, you’ll experience an easy to handle title.
The action may not be as clear as I’d liked, but it’s moreish and demands you keep playing. Caring for your jellies takes time, resources, and an eye for detail. Completing quests and unlocking the secrets is easier said than done and you’ll lose hours to finishing these tasks. Moreover, a thorough achievement list will require dedication if you wish to get them all.
Alchemic Cutie is good, but it’s sadly lacking in key areas.
I enjoyed what Alchemic Cutie offered, but it was sadly lacking in key areas. Its lack of explanation damages its potential and I think this will put many gamers off. I liked it despite its shortcomings and recommend you to buy it here! Can you unlock the secrets of Wimba Island? Tame some jellies, complete the quests, and help the residents.