Harry Potter does ground force
The concept of running your own gardening shop with the help of alchemy is an interesting notion… And that’s exactly what MadSushi’s new casual indie simulator; Alchemy Garden is all about.
At the start of the game you’re given a simple cabin and a garden. The idea of the game is to plant, harvest and sell grown products to allow you to kit out your shop and buy supplies. You do this by exploring the open world and harvesting new plants you can then go and plant in your own garden. The alchemy part in the tile comes from combining different plants and ingredients on an alchemy table in your shop to produce potions and new plants that can both help you in your gardening venture or be sold to the NPC characters found in the games market area. There are a few ‘missions’ to complete – Most of these are made of creating new potions or plants on a checklist or by hunting for a plant and helping an NPC find certain potions out in the wild.
As you progress through the game you earn more money to buy more and more items for your shop, drawing in more customers; essentially this is both a gardening sim and a commerce game. Visually the game looks ‘pretty’ with a nice bright colour pallet and the animation style is very indicative of an indie title. The game plays very well, with little to no stutters or glitches. The same can’t be said about the in game text that occasionally pop up as both tutorial hints and in game ‘dialogue’ between your character and NPC’s. There were many occasions that the written text was written in very bad grammar and sometimes made no sense at all. Now, I’m not sure if this is down to a translation error from the developers native language or just really bad grammar from the programmers.
Overall my initial impression of the game is mostly positive. It plays well, looks good and is prefect for a relaxing play-through. However, for me, this slow pace was just dull after an hour or so. The game doesn’t really present you with many challenges, it just lets you plod away at your own pace to get things done. And the tasks become very repetitive after about forty minutes of play. I’d say this game was ideally suited for people looking for a more chilled out version of Minecraft. There are no ‘bad guys’ and you can play at your own pace for most of the game. And much like Minecraft, you can build houses, and extend your garden space as time goes on.
I’d give this game a 5/10 for its style and gameplay. But its just too slow a pace for me.
Alchemy Garden is available on early access on Steam’s sale with 20% off for £6.39 right now.