The Alchemist's Apprentice
At 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.
John: 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!