The Alchemist's Apprentice

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Rating: 4.3/5 (32 votes)
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JayThe Alchemist's ApprenticeAt first glance, when submitted to our recent game design competition, I thought perhaps The Alchemist's Apprentice would be similar to other 'recipe' games like Grow that have been popularized by Eyezmaze. And while recipes actually play an important role in this game, the concept is an original and creative idea from the mind of Lars Andreas Doucet.

In this entertaining puzzle game You are the alchemist's apprentice left in charge of the alchemy shop while the master is away (probably away on business, but we don't really know for sure; details are sketchy, you see, and therefore we shouldn't jump to any conclusions.) In any event, she left some instructions behind: you must conjure three (3) items before the master returns.

You will have to read through tomes of material (ok, maybe not 'tome' in the literal sense, but definitely in the figurative sense as it relates to figures drawn on the screen) to solve the mystery ensconced within this delightfully interactive experience. And in these tomes is where the brilliance of this game shines its brightest.

Lars toiled, no, he double toiled and troubled over the charming drawings and imaginative stories that unfold within the pages contained therein. I found myself chuckling as I went through each recipe and ingredient, even letting out an occasional guffaw(!) at the clever and witty references he tosses around. Great stuff!

The core of the puzzle itself may be a bit difficult to solve for some and, on the downside, once the 'key' is found there's little motivation to return to this otherwise engaging and inviting game. But don't let that stop you from rolling up your sleeves, donning an apron, and trying out this rather bewitching little puzzle game created by a Norwegian born American now living in Texas, USA.

JohnBJohn: The Alchemist's Apprentice is an extremely creative idea that should be played even if only for its wonderful sense of humor. It's tough to figure out, but at least you're smiling the whole time. Look at the ingredients book, flip through the recipes, then start experimenting. Despite the tomes of information before you, it's still easy to feel rather lost in the alchemy shop. This works both for and against the game: you feel like you can create anything, but it can be frustrating at first to make even one recipe. I quickly became an expert at making Aglaglop, and I'm not stopping until I make Unobtainium. I don't care what the book says. Thanks to Lars Doucet for a fantastic game!

Play The Alchemist's Apprentice

Walkthrough Guide

(Please allow page to fully load for spoiler tags to be functional.)

Behold! The complete and total walkthrough for every recipe!!! (except Unobtanium) There are several ways to make everything, but these are the ones I found.


Pants=Chicken(1)+Seaweed(3)+Baby Powder(1)


Lead=Duck(2)+Chicken(1)+Ball Bearing(3)

Puppy Dog=Eye of Newt(4)+Baby Powder(3)+Rat(3)



Gold=Chicken(1)+Gunpowder(4)+Ball Bearing(3)

Sugar=Fairy Dust(3)+Silk(3)+Sulphur(2)

Dynamite=Fairy Dust(2)+Gunpowder(5)+Silk(3)



Codfish=Eye of Newt(1)+Skunk(1)+Rat(1)

Shrimp Cocktail=Silly Putty(1)+Mold(3)+Chicken(2)

Gumbo=Silly Putty(2)+Mold(2)+Glue(2)

Whatsit=Fairy Dust(4)+Ball Bearing(5)+Sulphur(1)

Unobtanium cannot be obtained.

So there.



Haha, Anyways, I tried this game before, and I kinda stunk at it... anyone know good recipes. I always make some goop or something like that.


Gunpowder, babypowder and Fairy Dust= Sugar

Thats all I found


Well the game in theory looks great. Love the idea of some mathematical puzzle tailored to look like alchemy.

In practise....

Eat goop apprentice monkey boy!!


Heh, once you figure it out, it's kinda easy. But it's fun :)


I figured out how to make the shrimp cocktail and the sugar, but that's not really helpful, is it?

BTW, where are these hilarious references that were mentioned? I must be oblivious to them.



Spoiler for lead:

1 Mercury + 1 Silly Putty + 2 Gunpowder


Ok found 2

1Gunpowder + 1Baby powder + 1Fairy Dust = suger 1chick + 1glue +1sulfer = whatsit

Mmm, same, so far i've only managed to make a shrimp cocktail...woopie?

1 part eye of newt, 1 part rat and 1 part silk


This is the second time I have had a go at this game, and I still think it is impossible! Grrr!

kingfrogger September 19, 2006 10:25 AM

This game is really easy once you figure out the relation between a couple of key elements (I hope I don't screw up this spoiler tree... if I do, someone please delete it so it doesn't ruin things for others):

  • Obviously, each item you're asked for has certain "attributes" listed in the recipe book (shiny, plastic, metal, etc.).

  • Each item in the ingredients book has its own "attributes" as well.

  • When you add an item to the cauldron, there's a number with up and down arrows next to it.

  • Those numbers actually MEAN something.

  • If you check through different items, the numbers vary - some go up to 3, some go up to 4, etc.

  • The number doesn't refer to how much of an item you want to add.

  • Where in the game can you count a number of things associated with the items?

  • That's right - the ingredient book has those "attributes" for each ingredient.

  • So how does the list of attributes relate to that number?

  • Perhaps the attributes are in order, and that number corresponds to the attribute in that position. Example:

  • If one of the items is described as "The cheese is soft, made of food and is shiny," then "soft" would be 1, "food" would be 2, and "shiny" would be 3. (There isn't any cheese in the game, I just made up an example.) Still don't get it? Try reading the required attributes for the recipes, and look for the same attributes in your list of ingredients.

  • Then combine the ingredients and adjust the number so it reflects the correct attribute that your recipe calls for (using the exmaple above, if you needed "shiny" you would add the cheese and move the number to 3).

Hopefully that does the trick, and will help some of you out. Good luck!


Yey I figured the game out! Really neat idea.


After completing all three recipes is that all? No "congratulations" or sth?


Cute, fun game! The abrupt ending was a bit of a disappointment, though.


Hmm, maybe it was just me, but none of the links actually went to the game. I had to go to the authors site and find it there. Don't know if we overloaded the website, or if its because I'm on a Mac with Safari or what. Oh well, at least I found it.


Dreamhost is down (again). I've moved all the files to a backup server in the meantime. The links should be functional again.


Has somebody already mentioned the creative name of "your loving master"?
"Herr Ananas Wurstwagen" is German.
Herr = Mister
Ananas = Pineapple
Wurst = Sausage
Wagen = car / cart
Wurstwagen might refer to a hot-dog stand?


If you notice, the master's red mark is a picture of... maybe a pineapple riding a sausage cart? Or a turnip on a skateboard.

In regards to the game it was simple once figuring out the key. I had hoped for a "YOU WIN!" or "Congratulations" or a "Great Work Apprentice." Otherwise cute game.



I'm glad someone noticed "Herr Ananaswurstwagen." Actually, Ananaswurstwagen, though it could be rendered, "Pineapple Sausage Cart/Vehicle" is using the word "wagen" as in "automobile."

It's a silly inside joke. You see, I have Tourette's Syndrome - a neurological disorder which, among other things, makes me randomly blurt out strange non-sequitirs as my brain sends crossed signals to my mouth. One of the frequently recurring vocal tics I have is saying the word, "Pineapple-sausage-mobile" over and over again.

When I was studying German in College I whimsically thought of how you would say "Pineapple-sausage-mobile" in German and the closest I oculd come up with was "Ananaswurstwagen." I've never claimed to be an expert in German so that might not be right :P

Sorry for the no-ending. I made this for the contest based off of the click-drag-type model, which returns you to the menu almost immediately after you finish the game, so I thought that's what I was supposed to do. I can always stick a more satisfactory ending on the version on my website when I get around to it.

Also, I've been thinking about making a sequel to this game, a more level-based challenge where the core mechanic is no longer a secret and the trick is to find out how to use what you've got to make things based off of limited resources. Does that sound like a cool idea?

Thanks for all the wonderful feedback!

Sincerely yours,
Lars A. Doucet


Yes, that actually sounds like a great idea. Once I figured out HOW to play the game, it was too easy. Playing it about 5 times, i never ran into a situation where I could not complete all three recpies.



That's exactly the suggestion I made to turn this game from a time-waster to a brainteasing strategy game. I'll look forward to playing it once you have it done!


Nifty game!

I definitely think this has potential as a multi-level puzzle game with different challenges. To that end, here are a few suggestions for tweaking the interface to increase usability:

1. Put the list of things you need to make in a corner where you can always see it but it's not in the way.

2. Have single-clicking on any target or ingredient automatically open the appropriate page of the appropriate tome, perhaps also in a sidebar.

3. Perhaps have the tome also have an index by attribute, so you can click on "shiny" (in an item description) and see a list of all shiny things... maybe this would make it too easy?

4. So, have the tome start out blank — when you start a new game, the association of attributes to items is randomized. You have generous quantities of a small initial selection of ingredients, and you have to experiment to figure out what their attributes are. Indeed, the attributes aren't named, so you have do decide what you want to call whatever it is that toadstools and ball bearings have in common!

Of course, now I'm talking about a whole new game. ;-)


ive figured out most of the recipes, but for the life of me, i cannot figure out the ball! can anyone tell me the ingredients for ball? and it is ALWAYS a listed product to make no matter how many times i restart the game lol


rae - for ball try:

(4) gun powder; (4) mercury; and (3) silly putty


Okay this is all I found, I'm new to gaming so still don't get the explaination of key to this game - could be that my dull job has turned brain too moosh hence the name. Anyway this is all I found so far:

CODFISH = 1Croc + 5 Mold + 1 Seaweed.
SHRIMP COCKTAIL = 3croc + 1toadstool + 1 seaweed.
ALSO SHRIMPCOCKTAIL = 3croc + 4 FD + 1 Seaweed
SUGAR= 1 Gunpowder, 1 Baby Powder + 1 Fairy dust
WHATSit = 1chick, + 1unpowder + 1 sugar
LEAD = 1 Mercury+ 1 Silly Putty + 2 Gunpowder

But yes you've guessed it I never get asked for these things all at one time Love the game though yeah it would be better if it were multilevel -love Jay Is Games loadss!!! you've saved my life - and brain... :)


Hey! this game is fun!

But is there a secret way to make unobtanium? :S


"The ball lives *within a deep forest*." Could this be a reference to the game of the same name reviewed on this site?


i got

shrimp cocktail=1 chick +1 rat+1 seaweed
pants=1 baby powder+1 silk+1 mold
codfish=1 duck+1 toadstool+1 skunk

that's all so far

cheesefan#1 October 25, 2006 7:43 PM

I liiiiike this game!

hollowedgrounds November 18, 2006 8:21 PM

anyone on unobtanium?

hollowedgrounds November 19, 2006 1:15 PM

i've gotten how to play this finally.
heres how to do some stuff.

gumbo: 3 mercury, 2 sillyputty, 2 glue

Fregetable: 3 seaweed, 1 crocodile, 3 gunpowder

those were some of the harder recipes to make.
there are several ways to make a recipe, you just have to look.


the alchemist's name is awesome
im takin german this year, but i havent learnt much at all

Das ist nicht richtig.

Scott Shipley November 20, 2006 7:45 PM

How do you make a puppy dog?


Cool game, took me a while to figure it out. I didn't really understand kingfrogger's explanation! Sorry.
I found this to help, it's not really a spoiler but you may prefer not to us it. It's just a table of all the ingredients and recipes all in one place...


Chicken      - Soft, Meat, Light

Duck         - meat, dark, noisy

Croc         - moist, dark meat

Seaweed      - moist, dark plant

Rat          - meat, stinky, dirty, dark

Skunk        - stinky, meat, dirty

Gunpowder    - powder, dark, dry, shiny, noisy

Baby powder  - light, powder, soft (not babies)

fairy dust   - shiny, powder, light, soft

Mercury      - metal, shiny, goop, round

Silly Putty  - soft, goop, plastic, moist, noisy

Glue         - sticky, goop, light, plastic

Mold         - plant, goop, moist, dark, stinky, dirty, sticky

Toadstool    - soft, dry, dirty, plant

Eye of Newt  - moist, round, dark, meat

Silk         - soft, light, shiny

Sulpher      - stinky, powder, dirty

Ball Bearing - round, shiny, metal, dark, sticky


Ball            - round, shiny, plastic

Pants           - soft, plant, light

Sandwich        - moist, meat, plants

Lead            - dark, soft, metal

Puppy Dog       - meat, soft, dirty

Pineapple       - plant, moist, sticky

Mud             - dark, sticky, goop

Gold            - soft, shiny, metal

Sugar           - light, shiny, powder

Dynamite        - powder, noisy, shiny

Egg Plant       - Dark, Shiny, Plant

Fredgetable     - plant, moist, dry

Codfish         - moist, stinky, meat

Shrimp Cocktail - Soft, Moist, Meat

Gumbo           - goop, goop, goop

Whatsit         - softy, sticky, stinky

Unobtanium      - cannot be obtained

Agaglop         - everything else!


Well Scott, When a mummy dog and a daddy dog love each other very much...


skunk crocudile and duck make fish ( 1 of each)

HARAKIRI13 December 27, 2006 7:26 PM

i made a puppy!


Excellent game, but WHY? Why, why, why is there no unobtanium? Must try harder. If anyone knows the arcane lore of making unobtanium, you are hereby promoted from Apprentice to Supreme Lord of Alchemy. POST! I'm dying here. *pulls hair out*


this is a great game!Try making a new one that is easier!Ibeat it with no spoilers!yay me!

whooooo hoooooo!!!!!

Anonymous April 18, 2007 10:31 PM

I dont understand once i use one thing i cant use it again and i have 2 things that need the same ingredient


I believe there is more than one ingredient that fits any of the descriptions, so that two end-products won't require the same ingredient.


er...i found a

puppy recipe lol?

i might tell

ok ill tell


i forgot the rest lol...


found sandwhich...

3 or 4 newts+3 or 4 colony+seaweed (3)


I got gold....this game is so hard!

gold is 1 part chick,1 part feary dust, and 1 part murcury


ok well to make a shrimp cocktail is one croc one rat and one silk

Mudmaker June 26, 2007 2:53 AM

i made mud =)))

bigmanoncampus July 16, 2007 2:34 PM

Some people have noticed that Herr Ananas Worstwagen means Mister Pinapple Hotdog Car. If you look at the stamp on the letter, it pictures a pineapple floating above a hotdog on wheels.



3chicks, 4seawead, and 3baby powder.


Yes! Great idea, if you do another version of the game you should make it with levels getting harder as you go so you may have to combine things that you have made to make new things etc.



Or atleast work on making it, i know i am!


I need help !!!

i need to use mercury for ball but i already used it on gold!!!

somone plz help me



I got codfish-

Its skunk,duck,crocodile


Found a secret.

On the rubber ball, put your mouse over "within a deep forest"


does anyone know how to make this to get how to make pants with different ingreadiants:
spoiler please tell me please spioler


OMG, I was looking for a good spoiler for YEARS. And it turns out the best one is one at the beginning. Really may attention to the definitions. And there position in the list. And think outside the box =))

For those who are still dumb enough:

The position of a certain quality for the ingredient defines the number of times it should be used to get this very quality in the thing you're making. So to take "moist" from a crocodile use it 1 time =))


its sorta boring once you no what your doing


I HAVE DESCOVERED THE SECRET! the number is the number in the recepy! for example, the crocodile says, moist dark and meat in that order, if you need dark, you would put in 2!

Lorraine June 3, 2008 10:17 PM

how do you make something but you used one of the materials? And how do you make a puppy dog and whatsit?

calviander August 10, 2008 3:11 AM

Finally! A complete walkthrough!

Are you sure? Last Chance!

The bold words in the recipe are the ingredients. In the ingredient book, you have qualities in bold. The number from the first bold in bolds is the number you put in with the ingredient. Example:

Ball:Round, Shiny, Plastic
Mercury:1.Metal, 2.Shiny, 3.Goop, 4.Round
Put in mercury and increase number to 4. Repeat for every other ingredient.
Gunpowder:1.Powder, 2.Dark, 3.Dry, 4.Shiny, 5.Noisy
In other words, put in gunpowder and increase number to 4.
Silly Putty:1.Soft, 2.Goop, 3.Plastic, 4.Moist, 5.Noisy.

Or do you not need the example? Anyway, Happy Alchemy!


i got a pine apple!!


I gotta say, i do not like this game. The game design is very poor. The main challenge behind the game is figuring out what those numbers in the pot mean. There is no feed back to that end. Unless you get a recipe right, you have no idea. Right or wrong is not enough feedback for this game. Any game where you need a "stroke of genius" to solve is not a well designed game.

The author made a comment about making the game multi level with the challenge being how to use your limited resources. That design is way better. Knowing the mechanics of the game is key.


At last i have the elusive fredgetable! it's:

3 seaweed
2 toadstool
1 crocodile

P.S. if my spoilers didn't work, sorry. They are my 1st ever spoilers.

OmeletteBox July 19, 2009 12:51 PM

Behold! The complete and total walkthrough for every recipe!!! (except Unobtanium) There are several ways to make everything, but these are the ones I found.


Pants=Chicken(1)+Seaweed(3)+Baby Powder(1)


Lead=Duck(2)+Chicken(1)+Ball Bearing(3)

Puppy Dog=Eye of Newt(4)+Baby Powder(3)+Rat(3)



Gold=Chicken(1)+Gunpowder(4)+Ball Bearing(3)

Sugar=Fairy Dust(3)+Silk(3)+Sulphur(2)

Dynamite=Fairy Dust(2)+Gunpowder(5)+Silk(3)



Codfish=Eye of Newt(1)+Skunk(1)+Rat(1)

Shrimp Cocktail=Silly Putty(1)+Mold(3)+Chicken(2)

Gumbo=Silly Putty(2)+Mold(2)+Glue(2)

Whatsit=Fairy Dust(4)+Ball Bearing(5)+Sulphur(1)

Unobtanium cannot be obtained.

So there.


Lil Sammy July 19, 2009 4:52 PM

Okay-heres my theory for unobtanium! Look at the mud recipe, and see how the book says "we beleive this material is produced by an incredibly complicated process involving pineapples, eggplants, and gumbo" Could that be the secret to unobtanum? Ive had all 3 items on the screen at the same time, but i havent found a way to combine them yet. :( Its just a theory, but it might work!


Maybe, for unobtanium, you could make pineapple, eggplant, and gumbo, and then make mud in the cauldron below and see what happens!


Another shrimp cocktail solution when you've used one of the ingredients:

Silly Putty(1) + Chicken(2) + Seaweed(1)


Okay, I've done the math and i think the unobtainium is probably a red herring

People have said that maybe you could make it if you get a pineapple, eggplant, gumbo and mud on the screen at the same time, but to do that you would need 4 goop and 2 sticky, you have those ingredients, the problem is that glue and mold are both of those things so you'll always be out on either goop or sticky

I really hope someone can prove me wrong though :)


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