Kids, today we are going to learn about alchemy, a wonderful (albeit sort of fictitious) science of turning metal into gold, wood into glass and your free time into thin air. Get ready to put your arcane knowledge to the test in Alchemystery, a puzzle game in which your powers of transforming materials will bring you fame and fortune or, failing that, at least a hefty amount of fun.
Your task for the day is to guide balls through maze-like levels, collect all the coins, and then find your way through a door to the next stage. Numerous challenges stand in your way, as the levels are beset on all sides by traps in the form of pools of water or acid, magnets and fire. Balls are made of various materials, each with their own properties: wood can float but will burn, iron is attracted by magnets, but sinks, and so on. On top of that, you'll have to pay attention to the size of the balls, since some sneaky coins might be hidden in narrow passages. In each level, you start with a ball made of a certain material; you will either be allowed to transform it, or you will have to find a way to manipulate other balls to reach your goal. Either way, thinking ahead is essential, as you must plan your steps carefully and execute them quickly one after the other. It's not exactly a Rube Goldberg machine, but at times it feels like one.
Alchemystery is definitely more beautiful than your usual browser puzzle fare. The attention to detail adds a lot of charm and creates an unmistakably magical atmosphere, what with the carelessly strewn crystals and esoteric symbols. The gameplay is refreshingly new and well implemented, with good physics and mostly straightforward levels. The only possible downside is the difficulty in getting all three stars, as the timer will rob you of a star at the smallest hint of hesitation. On the other hand, this might be an advantage, if it incites you to play it again in order to get better results.
Alchemystery is the right stuff for those who want more out of their browser games. It's polished and pretty as well as clever and demanding, and is an utter pleasure to play. Too bad there are only twenty-one levels!