Potion Permit is a mix of Sim-life and RPG gameplay with a pixel art style. You’ll be farming ingredients, making potions, slashing monsters, and treating the sick people from town.
After you create your character and head to the small town of Moonbury to begin your new job as the local chemist, you’ll be greeted by the local folk that want nothing to do with you! How rude! I was a bit eager to take control of the character I just made and found the story introduction a bit long winded. Every new NPC you meet likes to reiterate a similar story in the beginning and it will take some time for the townspeople to warm up to you.
As I explore around town, I see shops and gathering activities to work towards getting unlocked. This game feels somewhat of a slow burn, and you are eased into the mechanics without being flooded with an overload of information. The old house the mayor gives you looks so awfully run down that it’s kind of laughable, and while I know I’ll be able to upgrade it later, being given something so ugly at the start of the game is a little unappealing.
So far, the quests I have played through are quite linear and it’s easy to follow your objectives with the on screen list of items you need, plus markers on the world map to point you in the right direction. While there is a day cycle, I’ve yet to encounter any quests that are timed, so you have the freedom to go farm ingredients for potions instead of tackling the next quest if you feel like it!
However, once you unlock the infirmary, how many days have passed is something you will need to keep an eye on. If you don’t treat your patients in a timely manner, they will be sent somewhere else for treatment, and you’ll miss out on an opportunity to increase your reputation with Moonbury. It’s all about that customer satisfaction! Diagnosing your patients has some different puzzles involving timed button presses or memory games. Then you will need to cure them with the potions you have created.
There’s also your own health and stamina to manage, as you will fall asleep when exhausted and be returned to your home. Going to bed saves and starts the new day. So, it is best to head home before you turn the game off, to make sure you don’t lose any progress.
You have a doggy companion that follows you around but I’m not sure what role he will play in terms of game mechanics. I think I am meant to feed him, but the game has not taught me how, even though I have already played for several hours. I feel terrible that my furry friend looks exhausted at the end of each day.
Potion Permit has cute pixel style graphics, but despite its lower resolution feel, it does stutter a bit as you load into a new area. (eg: the transition from town to meadow). I also encountered a bug while trying to teleport in town that left me stuck in trees and the graphics looking half loaded. My only way out of this glitch was to teleport to a different point.
Overall, I feel like Potion Permit is a decent game that has a lot to offer those that love more laid-back games that will keep them amused for many hours. But personally, I would have preferred a deeper story hook to compel me to play more. I enjoyed farming for materials and making potions, but treating patients feels a bit tedious as I dislike memory games and quick time events.
Potion Permit is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, XBox, and PC via Steam.
For more information, visit: https://pqube.co.uk/potion-permit