Coming from developer MassHive Media, Potion Permit is a sweet little social adventure simulation RPG. However, unlike most of the life sims currently dominating the eShop, Potion Permit features no crops to grow or farm animals to tend to, and instead relies on finding medicinal food to help those in need. found in the city, which can be a welcome change of pace for life sim fans who have had enough of farming.
Potion leave immediately thrusts him into the role of the town chemist. He has been called to Moonbury through a special request sent by the mayor, so he must accept. But when you arrive, the citizens of the city look at you coldly and do not explain why. So even though you are whisked away to a private corner of the forest and told that its sole purpose is to cure the townspeople of any number of unlikely diseases, the game focuses on the distaste for the capital and its chemicals and requires you to you prove yourself.
Most of the Potion Permit story has you running around town in an attempt to cater to everyone’s whims, whether it’s making friends or engaging in fetch quests via the local bulletin board, but each completed quest will reveal a part of the mystery with the story ahead. together like a puzzle. You may meet a character who has an unlikely connection to where you are now, could play a vital role later on. Yes, it’s video game time, folks!
Moonbury is full of unique characters for you to meet, talk to and match the level of visual detail in the town; these are not bulk-created NPCs, and each one has a recognizable and unique personality. Potion Leave introduces romantic bachelors and bachelorettes as you slowly progress through the story, and you’re also quickly introduced to the small-town tradition of giving away moon cloves, which provide a decent friendship boost when needed.
The game follows a day and night cycle that has nothing to do with real-world time. Like Stardew Valley, you are given a set number of daylight minutes to complete tasks, search for food, engage in combat, and heal the necessary citizens. Unfortunately, while this keeps you on your toes, the days sometimes feel too short, leaving us wondering where the day had gone by the time it started to get dark.
The city lacks fast travel posts unless you want to go straight home from your location, so most of your time will be spent traversing rather than completing tasks. We can’t complain too much though, as the town of Moonbury is incredibly well laid out and a lovely place to walk around; we were very happy to spend a large part of our time walking at a leisurely pace.
Although exploring the city is an excellent pastime, Potion Permit quickly reminds you of your purpose if you slow down: to help the townspeople feel better. To the right of your front door, you quickly open a clinic where your patients will be transported when they need your help. Every time you treat a patient, you’ll be taken through a series of mini-games, making diagnosis much more comprehensive than just telling you what’s wrong. The application of these mini-games makes the entire consultation process considerably more engaging than a dialogue block and provides an excellent hands-on approach to gamified medicine.
Once diagnosed, you are tasked with creating the remedy for the disease. When it comes to doing what your character does best (brewing potions), a whole new mechanic is introduced. Instead of simply asking you to dump the appropriate ingredients into your cauldron, you must select the components and carefully assemble them by hand. Each forgeable item has a set of colored tokens and an item, which are applied to a puzzle-like blank space in the cauldron.
You must select ingredients that sit together to complete the puzzle for it to work, or the patients in your clinic will not receive treatment. Additionally, this mechanic encourages players to leave the comfort of their homes to venture out into the wild and explore Potion Permit’s extensive list of collectible items, making the process significantly less repetitive than standard fetch missions.
But searching for food is not as easy as peacefully collecting items. The desert around the city is full of aggressive enemies that will quickly attack you if you don’t walk carefully, although the combat is not a challenge. Enemy attacks are easy to predict and in turn evade with a single roll, and your character is much faster than any enemy, so there’s always the option to move away. All of the tools you’re given during your first foraging can also be used as weapons, so you’ll never get caught without them. Just as enemies are easy to evade, they are equally easy to defeat. Each enemy also drops essential loot to use for potions, so you should stop running from them at some point.
If there’s one thing that lets Potions Permit down, it would be this lack of challenge. While life sims tend to have reasonably laid-back gameplay, this title suggests a challenge through its intricate mini-games and combat system, but doesn’t feature anything to keep you up at night. On several occasions, especially when exploring the desert, we would have liked to see more pain from enemies. Its predictable patterns allowed us to avoid attacks unless we desperately needed to collect loot, but even when landing a hit, your HP will never deplete detrimentally. The stubborn townspeople immediately warm to you as soon as you heal the first patient; the only challenge in befriending them is making sure you talk to them every day.
However, the images in Potion Permit are flawless. Everything takes on a lovely autumn pixel look, and the amount of detail in each area of the map is enough to keep you exploring for hours. And the audio is just as beautiful, with a subtle soundtrack that immerses you in the lives of the townspeople. The audio never gets repetitive or stagnant and accompanies all aspects of your adventure without feeling intrusive. It’s the presentation that really elevates Moonbury and the game in general.
Potion Permit strives to implement engaging minigame mechanics through potion brewing and patient diagnosis, but aside from that, the lack of challenge and repetitiveness mean it struggles to stand out in the vast field of life simulators. . Still, it presents a fun and charming experience that gets a huge boost thanks to excellent presentation in both the audio and visual departments. Potions leave fits the bill for something to pick up every once in a while and spend a few hours, and there are certainly enough missions where you can sink your teeth into it and keep yourself entertained for a while, even if it’s not as engaging as the best at the gender.