ReviewsReview: Potion Permit

Review: Potion Permit

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Trust is a commodity that is hard-won but easily lost. Subsequently, you must focus your time, effort, and resources if you want to form a healthy bond. In Potion Permit, you’ll learn this lesson the hard way! Though you have good intentions, the surrounding world is weary of your presence. As such, you’ll put your heart and soul on the line to win everyone over.

Developed by MassHive Media and published by PQube Limited, this is an adventure RPG title. What’s more, it has resource management elements and will remind players of Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley. Accordingly, it has a moralistic plot and will bowl you over with its old-world charms. Furthermore, you’ll lose yourself in its cute environment as you try to prove everyone wrong.

The village of Moonbury is quaint and charming.
The wonderful village of Moonbury.

Potion Permit combines many elements. 

This genre is much-loved by an eclectic blend of gamers. Thanks to the wonderful mixture of elements on display, it’ll tick every box. With a heartfelt story, adorable characters, interesting quests, resource management, renovation, and combat, there is plenty to do. However, the approach is laid back, and this prevents the gameplay from feeling overwhelming. Consequently, you can take your time, plan your day, and enjoy everything you do.

The plot revolves around a quaint island called Moonbury. Here, the people live a simple life and they have no time for outsiders. However, when the mayor’s daughter falls ill, only the best chemist will be able to save her. Unsurprisingly, that person is you! Without hesitation, you accept the Medical Association’s request and travel to the island. Here, you’ll discover a suspicious group of locals and a rundown clinic. Accordingly, once you heal the mayor’s daughter, you must help the locals, form a trusting bond with the island residents, and rebuild the village. Sounds a lot, right? Well, it’s all in a day’s work for the world’s best chemist.

Mini-games and exploration. 

Though there are an awful lot of components to understand, the action effectively revolves around 2 key mechanics. As such, every task requires you to explore the surroundings, or play mini-games to earn money, complete jobs, or brew potions. The latter is the most important, as every pivotal moment hinders on your alchemy and understanding of chemistry. Sadly, the locals are a sickly bunch. Whether it’s a tickly cough, a sprained wrist, or something more sinister, they’ll visit your clinic for medical assistance. Here, you must identify their wounds, pick a relevant potion, lotion, or ointment, and then brew it. Yet, if only it was that easy. Unfortunately, you can only get ingredients by exploring beyond the village walls. Subsequently, this is where the 2 key components are intertwined wonderfully.

You’ll spend your time searching the meadows, icy tundra, sandy deserts, or more as you find key ingredients. As such, you’ll use a sickle to cut at plants, an axe to chop trees, and a hammer to smash rocks. Alongside this, you’ll have enemies to defeat to collect key resources. Yet, you must hunt wisely, as each potion requires a set blend of ingredients. Therefore, if you get the wrong ones, you won’t be able to brew your potions, your patients will remain ill, and any minor smattering of trust will be diminished. 

The pub is the hub of the town.

Puzzles, stamina, and renovation. 

I’ve alluded to the potion crafting mechanics within Potion Permit. However, I haven’t mentioned the puzzling components. Subsequently, creating a desired elixir requires some thought processes and set ingredients. Whether you pick up slime, rocks, ore, flowers, shells, or more, they must be combined correctly to be successful. Think of Tetris and the odd shapes, and you’ll understand what I’m getting at. Each ingredient must slot into a set pattern, and no gaps may be left. Moreover, depending on the size of your cauldron, you may only use limited resources per potion. Consequently, you can’t just throw together any ingredients and this makes it a bit more challenging.

Once you get your head around the brilliant crafting mechanics, you’ll have to deal with stamina and health. As you fight or harvest resources, your stamina and health are reduced. Therefore, you must plan how to spend your day if you want to progress faster. If you so wish, you can reinvigorate yourself at the local spa, but this uses up time and isn’t always convenient.

Talking of time and, therefore, effort, the townsfolk are demanding. They’ll ask you to complete quests, rebuild the surroundings, and do other inane tasks. However, though it may seem irrelevant and inconsequential, these minor odd jobs are essential. First, they help to build trust, and this is key. Second, they pay handsomely, and this helps to upgrade your equipment and improve your home. Finally, the improvements to the village are key if you wish to progress the game. Consequently, without them, the action plateaus and you become stuck in a repetitive loop.

Potion Permit is a pastel dream.

This genre has created some memorable titles. Thankfully, Potion Permit is up there with the best. Though its aesthetics are pixelated and dated, the pastel colour scheme adds to the charming finish. What’s more, the simple animations and rudimentary sprites add a retro finish that is hard to resist. Alongside this, there is a pleasant variety of environments that kept things fresh. Furthermore, there are enough enemies to ensure you rarely tire of what you see. 

The folksy and dramatic soundtrack was perfect. They added energy and pace to an otherwise slow-paced affair. This was an excellent choice from the developers and one that showed a mature mindset. Furthermore, the fun sound effects enhance the fantasy elements of this unusual magical title.

Every great RPG has a fishing mechanic.
Fancy some fishing?

Excellent controls. 

Like Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley, Potion Permit has easy-to-understand controls. With a stripped-back UI and some helpful guides, it is simple to pick up. Though much of the action is slow and methodical, the inputs are still responsive. This was particularly helpful during each of the interesting and fun mini-games. Moreover, as you undertake each task, accuracy is a must. Thankfully, the speedy inputs ensure that each job can be completed with ease.

The central plot comprises many quests and plenty of regions to explore. Consequently, there is loads to do and lots to see. However, it doesn’t end there. No, you’ll have to heal each of the locals as well as renovate the village. As such, once the story is finished, you’ll keep coming back for more. 

Potion Permit is a great indie title. 

The gaming market is awash with indie titles. Accordingly, it is tough to pick an amazing game. Yet, Potion Permit is a great adventure RPG that is a must-play experience. With a charming setting, adorable characters, interesting monsters, and fantastic aesthetics, it will impress you. It is for these reasons that I recommend you buy it here! Can you appease the locals, renovate the village, and work your magic? Brew some potions, kill some monsters, and save the day. 

SUMMARY

Potion Permit is a fantastic RPG in the same vein as Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley. It is charming, fun, and rewarding thanks to the balanced and interesting core mechanics. Relax, save the locals, and knock down the walls of distrust.


+ I loved the pastel colour scheme.
+ Wonderful audio.
+ Excellent controls.
+ Lots of replay value.
+ A charming story.

- The gameplay can be a bit grindy.

(Rating: PEGI 12 Mild Swearing Release date: 22/09/2022 Price: £16.99+)


(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)


Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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<p class="has-text-align-justify" style="font-size:14px"><em>Potion Permit</em> is a fantastic RPG in the same vein as Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley. It is charming, fun, and rewarding thanks to the balanced and interesting core mechanics. Relax, save the locals, and knock down the walls of distrust.</p><br/> + I loved the pastel colour scheme.<br/> + Wonderful audio.<br/> + Excellent controls.<br/> + Lots of replay value.<br/> + A charming story.<br/> <br/> - The gameplay can be a bit grindy.<br/> <br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(<b>Rating:</b> PEGI 12 Mild Swearing <b>Release date:</b> 22/09/2022 <b>Price:</b> £16.99+)</p><br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)</p><br/>Review: Potion Permit