Too many role-playing games take themselves seriously. There’s the strange, tongue-in-cheek moments from the first two Fallout games, and the Bard’s Tale series is known for its humor. But it’s rare to see a western style role-playing game with a carefree attitude and a cute sidekick. Alchemist Adventure developed by Brazilian developer Bad Minions is exactly that.
Alchemist Adventure is a role-playing game played from an isometric perspective. It has heavy puzzle and adventure game elements, tempering it a bit from being a straight action role-playing game, while its pace is faster than most CRPGS. That puts it into ARPG territory, but with heavy exploration elements and puzzle solving. So don’t go into it expecting Diablo, but the combat isn’t turn-based, either.
In Alchemist Adventure you play as Mya, an alchemist who inexplicably finds herself in the abandoned region of Isur. Alone, she soon meets an adorable Homunculus that serves as a companion on your journey. The developers and I have a very different image of what a homunculus looks like, but I’m glad they went with their version. You guide Mya as she explores the mysteries of Isur, and expands her own knowledge of the alchemical arts.
As Mya, you have the elements at your disposal, namely fire, water, air and earth. But each one is introduced through gameplay, so you’re not just given a list of ingredients, or potential ingredients to start. There are no predefined recipes, though, so you’ll have to experiment to get different effects out of your concoctions.
Exploration is a big part of Alchemist Adventure. It won’t be as easy as traveling from Point A to Point B, though, as obstacles and puzzles block Mya’s way. She can use alchemy to get through these obstacles, though. Mya can use wind to push blocks, fire to burn (or explode) away wooden roadblocks, electricity to power objects, and ice to freeze pathways onto water–to name a few examples.
Besides exploration and potion making, Mya will have to fight to survive in Isur. As an alchemist, she has her potions at her disposal to help dispatch enemies. You can even use the environment to bolster her alchemical arsenal. Does the boss fight take place in a pool of water? Use electricity to leave a lasting damage over time effect you can kite the enemies through. Combat is done in real-time, but switching between potions creates a slowdown effect that is similar to a tactical pause.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Alchemist Adventure’s UI. The menus—everything from settings to mixing ingredients, you have to open the book. It feels a little cumbersome. Additionally, I couldn’t get my mouse and keyboard to work with this game—forcing me to use nothing but my controller. But there is full controller support, and even local multiplayer. The second player can take control of Mya’s flying homunculus ally.
Alchemist Adventure is still in Early Access. As it is right now, according to their Steam store page, the first of four chapters is completely playable. I know the developers have recently added in a few more regions to explore, so it’s getting bigger by the day. Also according to the Steam store page, the full release won’t be until the end of this year.
Everything about Alchemist Adventure invokes a sense of discovery and even a little whimsy. There is definitely a mystery to uncover. There are also potions to make, and puzzles to solve. Alchemist Adventure has the potential to be a great adventure role-playing game.
Alchemist Adventure is available now on Steam Early access
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