Designer – Sergey Machin
Now for the 4th in a series of card based games from Rightgames, Potion-Making Practice, which is probably the most fun. A game for 2-6 players, ages 8+ (not so sure about this…), the players are attending a lesson in potion making at the Sorcery College and the student who collects the most victory points by collecting elements and creating alchemical formulas (the more complex, the better) wins.
The cards are very nice and clearly illustrated and of good quality. You also get a scoring card and plastic scoring pegs. Each card has 2 parts showing an element and a formula section. You can play any card as an element or a formula, but not both.
Elements are played into a central “Desk of Elements” by all players making a communal place to pull them from in order to play Formulas. Formulas are worth a variety of victory point values that are earned when they are created. The Element(s) required to play the Formulas are indicated on the card. Some are more rare and difficult to create so, of course, worth more. The complexity starts at Simple elixirs on to various combinations required for complex elixirs, Great elixirs, powders, Talisman, a creature (yep you can create creatures), The Supreme Talisman and the Supreme Elixir.
The player turn is very simple. Draw a card and play a card. Doesn’t get any easier. Any card except spell cards can be played as a formula or an element from your hand.
The Spell cards are essentially there to spice things up and have different effects.
– Eureka spells allow you to take a card with a formula on it from the Desk of Elements.
– Decomposition spells allow you to destroy formulas you composed earlier in the game so you can treat it as a newly composed formula and also drop components needed for a new formula. You can also use it to gain a new formula.
– Transformation spells allow you to change one formula into another.
When the deck ends, the game is over and play continues until the players use all the cards in their hand.
There isn’t really any player interaction. This is essentially a game of collecting the right combos to create more and more complex Elixirs, etc. The decision making revolves around when to go for certain combos and the luck of the draw will dictate how much control you have over these decisions. So its a light game but you do need to think about which choices you go for. Having said that, the more players you have, the less choices you will have as well as the deck will get used up and you need to go for the best choices available while you have the chance. The Spell cards are nice as they give you so “extra” options although there aren’t many of them in the deck.
The process is relatively smooth I have to say that i think that I just don’t see how the age can be 8+ for this game. I would have thought at least 10 + would be right as there are a lot of different combos and although all very visual and recognizable, I think 10+ would cope better.
Did it work for me?
This is probably my favorite of the 4 games I received from RightGames. The artwork, as with the others is very good, the process is very simple yet you do need to make choices and perhaps more risk is there if you hold out for rarer combos. I really enjoyed playing it and again, I can recommend it as a very nice filler for game groups. Easy to learn, fast playing. It all works well.
Boardgames in Blighty rating – 7 out of 10
Yes, I would recommend it as a nice family game for 10+ .
For more information go to – www.russianboardgames.com