Crafting items is easier than crafting strategies...but not by much
Game Details and Transcript of Review
Welcome back to the Daedalus Machine! Today I've got a fast-paced puzzle game released at Digige 2017 called Alchemy Panic, whose basic concept was designed for a game jam and whose prototype was put together over the course of two days. Since then, it's seen about 6 months of development and testing.
The game's short, immensely replayable, and perfectly frustrating. These features would make it a great game for commuting, but so far it's only on PC.
The premise of Alchemy Panic is simple to learn but hard to master: basically the player needs to put various colored elements into one of three beakers. The goal is to fill a beaker with three elements and thereby create a liquid of one of these specific colors. Sounds simple, right?
Here's where it gets interesting. There are only four colors (red, green, blue, yellow) but each element consists of two of them, making a total of 6 combinations. In order to get a beaker to fill with a specific color, two conditions must be met:
So, let's say you want a beaker to turn blue. You need to fill it with elements that are blue-green, blue-yellow, and blue-red. This combination would make a blue beaker; others result in failure. Successfully making a beaker of any base color nets you additional time and, for a short period, bonus points. Failure results in being unable to use that beaker for a short period of time.
Alchemy Panic has two modes with different objectives. The first is a story mode, where the player needs to fill a set number breakers with specific base colors. Doing so in the time allotted lets you progress to the next stage, where the time is shorter and creation conditions increased. The other mode is free mode, where play lasts as long as there's time on the clock.
Of the two modes, I think story mode is more difficult simple because of the additional requirement that you meet specific color objectives. As the color combinations of the elements that appear are random, it can be difficult to achieve the desired color—which is especially frustrating when the clock is counting down and you just need one more damn yellow piece to clear the stage.
So that’s the game in a nutshell.