Game Review: Alchademy

Alchademy, by Hyper Beard Games, is a mix and match puzzle game in the same vein as Little Alchemy 2. The game starts with raw materials that you combine, two at a time, in the cauldron for a chance to make something new. There are reasons I both love and hate this game. I completed all 6 books without using gems.

Gameplay

Each book starts with 3 or 4 raw materials. Combine them, two at a time, to make new raw materials and final creations. There are tricks to this game so you know what you’ve already combined and how many combinations each material has left.

Each mixture takes a number of seconds to complete. The seconds increase with each mixture and cap out around 3,000 (or 50 minutes). You can skip the wait time by paying 200 coins. Coins are earned from first-time completed mixtures and watching ads. Click the little ghost to watch an ad and earn 100 coins. Need more coins? The ghost will pop up again in a few seconds.

Watch the Cauldron

When you place an item into the cauldron, lights appear on the cauldron’s rim. These indicate how many matches are left for that item. No lights? No matches.

Place a second item into the cauldron and watch the liquid within. If it turns red, you’ve already tried that combination.

Collections

Besides raw materials, you can also collect different cauldrons and alchemists. However, these require the triangular runes. Pay $3.99 for 60 runes or trade in 500 coins for 1. New alchemists cost 20 runes, and cauldrons cost 5.

During the course of the game, you can unlock 6 books, each with a distinct set of materials and themes.  You can unlock each book for free when you complete the previous, and you can switch between any unlocked books.

Final Thoughts

Pros:

  • The art style is GORGEOUS. It has a whimsical yet dark feel. The ingredients are bizarre, lending to the eerie fantasy setting.
  • Nerd references. There are often final creations that mimic video game characters and items we know so well. I counted at least two pokemon (Cubone and Gengar) and of course, Majora’s Mask.
  • Details. As you move the screen, utensils, herbs, and skulls sway with physics and move when you scroll around the room. Finished creations populate the small hanging cubbies under the shelves.

Cons:

  • Do you like watching ads? If you’re an impatient gamer like I am and enjoy binge playing games while watching shows, you’re going to be sitting through A LOT of ads. Literally, 50% of the gameplay is watching ads.
  • MOAR ADS! If watching ads isn’t enough, pop-ups for other Hyper Beard games appear nearly every time you log in.
  • It’s short. I beat it in five days.
  • Anti-climactic. After completing all six books, nothing happened. There’s no real story. In fact, the game keeps pushing pop-up notifications for me not to leave an empty cauldron, but I have nothing left to mix.
  • Too casual. I feel as if this game is meant to be played super casually. You’re meant to wait the approximately 3,000 seconds it takes to mix. The coins you collect are meant to be turned into triangular runes, which in turn, unlock the new cauldrons and alchemists. Otherwise, you’ll have to fork up money or watch a whole lotta ads to get all the unlockables.

This game has a lot of promise. There should be a different gameplay mechanic to earn coins and runes. Convert the timer to minutes, so players don’t have to do math every mix. With a bit more work and fewer ads, this game could be phenomenal.

 

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