Potion Permit is a pretty casual action RPG from MassHive Media and PQube, and it takes place in a quaint little town that is quite weary of the advances of the modern world. You play as a chemist who is new to town as you attempt to help save the mayor’s daughter.
So are the people of Moonbury worthy of your expertise and findings, or is this place a lost cause and your services are better off shared elsewhere? Let’s find out!
The story of Potion Permit follows you, a young chemist who has been asked by The Medical Association to come to Moonbury and cure the mayor’s daughter. It is strictly up to you to convince the people of Moonbury that advances in science are a good thing, so you take plenty of jobs from people around town to try and show them the good of modern medicine.
You have some pretty solid customization options for your character before the game even starts, which is always a lovely addition to these types of action RPGs. Your character and your dog are both adorable, and I love that the controls even include a whistle to get your dog’s attention.
The story is a pretty good one that does speak into the narrative of people’s fear towards advancements, growth, evolution, etc. It is an interesting approach for a game and its story to tackle such a theme, but I absolutely love how Potion Permit does so gently and in a wonderfully healthy way. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the different characters along the way and how they quickly pass some type of judgment based on the individual or the information presented to them. This makes for some tense encounters at times, but it does keep things interesting throughout.
The way Potion Permit plays is similar to other action RPGs out there but with a twist. Unlike most action RPGs, where the action is the spotlight in many ways as you protect some place/people from a devastating monster/phenomenon/etc, Potion Permit goes a different direction in that the action is a means to an end. You see, you have to go out and collect materials to craft potions and cures for the various ailments in the village, so collecting the right materials, puzzling them together, and then delivering the goods is the key to winning the village’s trust.
On the action side, things are quite simple. You go into certain areas and find flowers, rocks, mushrooms, trees, etc that you can harvest, and within these areas, there are some dangers that can cause trouble. Thankfully, you can use the same tools for harvesting against any threat coming your way, and the other nice thing is that these threats can possibly drop some rare items that you can also use in crafting.
As you take on various missions to help people, diagnosing the villagers and their symptoms, followed by collecting the right materials, and then creating a potion that will ultimately heal the villagers of their various ailments. There’s a fun rhythm game that is necessary for diagnosing, and then crafting requires a bit of puzzling as you need to fit certain ingredients into particular shapes in order to craft potions. This combination of gameplay allows for some fun variety, as you are harvesting, fighting off enemies, diagnosing with rhythm inputs, and using your head to fit the right pieces into the crafts’ puzzles.
What makes Potion Permit feel so good is that it magically combines multiple elements into one lovely brew. The action side is pleasing, and tending your patients is done quite well while continuing to keep you invested in the gameplay. There are even some life sim aspects as well, as you are able to fish and entertain yourself in other ways outside of the standard practices that are relevant to the story.
The graphical side of the game is outstanding! This is one of the prettiest pixelated indie RPGs I have played in quite some time, and I especially love the character designs and your little doggo. The village of Moonbury is brimming with life, and each of the villagers within it have their own personalities that help to create a better understanding of the tension between them and the capitol, including their advancements in science and medicine. It is really well done, and it is such a delight.
The soundtrack is equally pleasant, and it constantly feeds a calm and relaxing feel. Since this “action RPG” caters more towards healing people and less towards hurting and killing things, the tone is appropriately laid back. I also thoroughly enjoy the classic RPG text scrolling sounds and even the emotes that float over the characters heads to express their emotions. There are honestly just a lot of small touches in Potion Permit that make it feel particularly special.
Winning over the various villagers’ favor is such a fun and key element of Potion Permit, and this is what honestly kept me hooked. Seeing the little faces improve over time as I performed various tasks for Moonbury was such a good feeling, and I think MassHive Media did a phenomenal job showing that you can earn the trust and respect of people by simply doing the right thing.
As we live in a world today that denies a lot of scientific advancement, it is refreshing to play a game where the sole goal is to win people over and prove that science is not against them. I love this story, I adore these characters, and I thoroughly enjoy the layers of gameplay.
For the price, what you get with Potion Permit is a massive bang for your buck. There is a whole lot to do, and each area has been given so much attention that it is difficult to become bored playing this one. This is a lovely brew, an excellent narrative, and simply a fun game. Potion Permit is fantastic!
Wonderful story that plays into all areas
Great balance in gameplay
Stunning pixel graphics
Lovely and relaxing soundtrack
Some slowdown at various points while playing, especially when transitioning from one place to another
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.