[Nintendo Switch] Potion Permit Review
Potion Permit from PQube and MassHive Media will place you in the role of a talented chemist who must help the people of Moonbury. Check our Potion Permit review!
Potion Permit from PQube and MassHive Media will place you in the role of a talented chemist who must help the people of Moonbury. The town had always been wary of the advancements and innovations of the outside world, but one day, Mayor Myer’s daughter fell ill, and the local witch doctor did everything possible to try and help her recover. It’s then that the Medical Association sends you to Moonbury to cure the Mayor’s daughter while also showing the residents the wonders of alchemy.
The first step in this journey will be to customize the look of your character. You’ll select between a male or female character and pick their name. After that, you can select your hairstyle from 4 options, skin color, hair color, eye color, outfit color, and cape color from 14 different options for each element. Once you’re done, you’ll get to travel to Mooonbury by train with your adorable dog by your side… who you’ll get to name right then and there!
Once you’re in the town, you’ll be working every day with the 30 or so residents of Moonbury who fall ill every now and then, so you’ll have to review their symptoms and then find the right cure for their predicament. To heal them, you’ll have to collect the ingredients needed for each recipe. You’ll have to craft medicine to help them. To gather resources, you’ll have to use your tools, which you’ll eventually have to upgrade if you want to keep up with the gameplay loop since some gathering spots will take too many hits to yield their items.
Collecting resources and materials is all fine and well… except that things can sometimes get very dangerous! Some materials need to be harvested from monsters, so you’ll have to go into the wilderness to fight them. Since combat is in real-time, you’ll have to attack with the Y button and use the always handy roll with the A button to avoid incoming attacks. You can switch between the available tools by pressing the L and R buttons as needed. Oh, and you can whistle with the ZR button to call for your dog!
The previous chemist left Moonbury a long time ago, so the Potion House you’ll be taking over is in desperate need of multiple repairs. There’s not even a working cauldron! How are you supposed to brew potions without a proper cauldron? And the clinic next door will also need some extra love. The floor has lots of cracks. The beds look as if they haven’t been used for ages and are full of mold and stains. The windows are boarded up. There are crates everywhere, and the water is dirty.
Your home is where you’ll treat patients and create the concoctions needed to cure them, but it’s also where you’ll live, so why not decorate your room? Any newly acquired furniture will be registered in different categories for decoration purposes. Do keep in mind that you can’t place anything that would block your path between your bed and the door, so you’ll sometimes have to rotate furniture to make it fit just right. Add a table here and a chair there, change the lighting and add some plants or paintings to make it feel cozier.
Foraging is a big part of the equation, so you’ll need to find gathering points to forage resources. You’ll know you can forage resources thanks to the glowing sparks. Every time you use a tool, you’ll consume some of your stamina, which is the game’s way of balancing things out so that you take on quests and objectives at a slow but steady pace. You’re going to have to use the right tool to gather each resource type, so be sure to switch between your hammer, axe, and sickle as you go. If you’re low on stamina, you can always eat something for a quick pick-me-up or just call it a day and go home and get some sleep so that you can rest for the next day.
The people of Moonsbury are not very happy about a new chemist moving into town, so you’re off to a rocky start. The good news is that as you prove your skills and help them out, they’ll end up changing their tune. Something that is very interesting is that every single individual in town has a specific schedule they follow for their day-to-day, so you can find them walking through spot A at this time, and then they’re back home at another moment. If someone’s sick, that will change their whole day, which will also have an effect on the day of other people. Do you have what it takes to increase your reputation as you build new relationships?
As you diagnose those that are sick, collect the right ingredients, and then craft the right cure, you’ll be taking on a couple of fun minigames that will keep things flowing while changing the pace of the game. For the diagnosis part of the equation, you’ll have to complete a rhythm minigame that will allow you to learn someone’s symptoms. You must press the input that appears and then do as you’re asked within the hitbox. Press the wrong input or press it outside of the hitbox. Your performance during this minigame will affect the patient’s satisfaction level.
After you’ve collected the right ingredients, you’ll return to the Potion House to craft the cure with the power of the cauldron. For this step, you’ll have to do so while taking on another minigame in which you must fit all of the ingredients into specific shapes depending on the recipe you’re working on, in a lite puzzle experience. Some recipes will have restrictions on the ingredients you can use, so be sure to follow the instructions! Be sure to upgrade your cauldron so that you can use more ingredients per recipe since this will allow you to use the very handy single square ingredients to fill in any gaps.
Potion Permit is a game that presents elements we’re familiar with while wrapping everything in a charming story and an experience with fun gameplay mechanics. There are some moments that will remind you of the Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons series, with a dash of alchemy from the beloved Atelier series. There’s a lot of content to take on for Potion Permit, but its gameplay loop is very specific, which means this one won’t be for everyone, especially since it’s a slow burner that does take a bit of extra time to get going as you unlock new objectives and new elements to interact with. Potion Permit is out on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 asking price.
This Potion Permit review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by PQube.