Ravenous Games blends resource management with a relationship simulator in your first game, potionomics. These types of games usually center around a cafe or farm, but this time, it’s a potion shop.
A witch named Sylvia has moved to Rafta to take over her late uncle’s potions business. Little did she know, it’s actually a run-down place without a lot of materials or much prestige. Fortunately, she quickly befriends the townspeople and soon cultivates a decent amount of clients. It turns out that Rafta is full of magical entrepreneurs and adventurers!
Xseed Games, a publisher with a reputation for publishing welcoming games like rune factory 5, is backing the game. If you want a cozy game with a focus on characters and economy (hence the name), this one is worth checking out.
potionomics It’s not packed with mechanics, it has a few that it explains well without feeling overwhelming. Your main goal is to manage your time efficiently and earn as much money as possible with high-quality potions and people skills (aka haggling). There are only six time slots during the day and some potions take longer to brew than others. In short, you’ll need to consider how long it takes to make the potions and sell the ones that are ready before closing time.
The more diverse and high-quality materials you have, the more options you have to earn money and produce higher-quality products. You need to acquire the tools to get more valuable potions (multiple cauldrons, for example) and then sell them for the highest possible price. Well, if you don’t let the customers intimidate you.
Negotiation is another aspect of the game. Mixing potions and selling them fills the same niche that a coffee shop, restaurant, or farming simulator might have due to the similarity to making items and selling them. However, trading ups the ante by the amount of money you win and adds a layer of a strategy game to an otherwise straightforward game. potionomics it’s labeled a “deck builder” for a reason.
At first, players can only choose from a three-card hand while haggling with a customer. These cards can have a variety of abilities, from increasing customer interest in your item to preparing for any complaints a customer might make in response to your offer. As Sylvia meets new characters and gains more experience, she will eventually unlock other strategies that could give her an edge on a bargain.
Then there’s friendship and potentially romance. Sylvia converses with many characters, from merchants to heroes. Befriending them increases the benefits they grant you, such as receiving a discount on potion ingredients or other cards for your bargaining deck. These friendships function similarly to support levels in fire emblem – the closer you are, the more buffs (or more valuable buffs) you will receive from the character in question. It may not be an enhancer, but it will help your business in some way.
Also, apparently you can date one of ten viable single men and women. Whoever the player chooses as their romantic partner won’t make a difference when it comes to perks. Skin colors, sexualities, and other qualities are also reasonably represented in the game.
Not to mention, the characters themselves never fail to impress. Each one felt unique in both personality and appearance, enough that one of them would please any gamer. Sylvia herself is an energetic entrepreneur who makes it easy to improve the shop and befriend the townspeople. There’s Quinn the witch, a sleepy-eyed girl who has that boring goth girlfriend vibe, a brave and friendly hero named Mint who can add some punch to your strategy, and the list goes on.
potionomics is Voracious Games’ first game as a studio. However, the experience of its developers has paid off with a delightful clean demo. If you are curious about other PAX indie games from Xseed Games, also check out Melon Journey: Bittersweet Melodies Y deadcraft.
potionomics It will be released on PC in Fall 2022. You can wishlist it on Steam now.