In Potions - A Curious Tale, Crafting is the Essence of Combat

In Potions - A Curious Tale, Crafting is the Essence of Combat

Seattle indie studio Stumbling Cat's first project, Potions - A Curious Tale is trying to hit all the right notes.

With all the cautionary tales that are passed around about Kickstarter, it is easy to occasionally forget the successes, and there are even plenty of failures that ended just fine for the backers. It should be noted again that coverage does not constitute endorsement, but I thought Stumbling Cat's Potions - A Curious Tale campaign looked to be making reasonable promises with a reasonable ask, which is always a good place to start in deciding whether it's a risky campaign to support.

Potions' kid-friendly aesthetic will likely put off a swath of serious gamers, but when I chatted with Stumbling Cat's Renee Gittins, she seemed less concerned. As she described it, the visuals are deliberately skewed to be more attractive to less traditional gaming audiences. The mechanics are designed for accessibility as well, but I'm told that the same systems are also meant to cater to the traditional gaming demographic in different ways.

Potions is meant to be enjoyable by pretty much everybody, but the way the combat works is designed to challenge even experienced players. You'll have to check out the Kickstarter for the finer details. As I understood it, your potions are your weapon, but they're single-use, so you need to gather materials and craft potions for every fight. That makes fighting more cost-benefit than risk-reward, which is fostered by systems that allow you to sneak past, or even scare away enemies you'd rather not fight.

The thing that got me most interested, though, was how the crafting system was designed to support experimentation. It's not the first time a game has encouraged trial and error in crafting, of course, but I've wasted so much time and so many materials trying new combos, I'm eager to play a game where that's fitted to be part of the experience.

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I watched TotalBisquit's video on the game. It seems really interesting, at least what the developer wants to make. With the experimenting and crafting, it feels like Magica, which I really liked.
But the art style is really offputting. Everything seems out of place. Nothing seems to fit well the rest. The animations they have in places are bad.
The game needs a lot of work until it starts looking decent.

I don't support any Kickstarter and don't plan on changing that. I will try keeping the game in mind and check it out when or if it gets released to see how it turned out.

BiH-Kira:
I watched TotalBisquit's video on the game. It seems really interesting, at least what the developer wants to make. With the experimenting and crafting, it feels like Magica, which I really liked.
But the art style is really offputting. Everything seems out of place. Nothing seems to fit well the rest. The animations they have in places are bad.
The game needs a lot of work until it starts looking decent.

I don't support any Kickstarter and don't plan on changing that. I will try keeping the game in mind and check it out when or if it gets released to see how it turned out.

Are you able to elaborate at all on the art style? I've seen the same complaint from a few people and I'd really like to better understand the problems.

jake557 :

Are you able to elaborate at all on the art style? I've seen the same complaint from a few people and I'd really like to better understand the problems.

I'll give my opinion just from the screen shots I can see and I can say the art doesn't seem to "mesh" together. I'll use picture #2 as an example. The main character looks like a low resolution anime character, the background seems to have this washed water color style, and the cat has a white outline and limited palette making it look flatter like a sticker.

None of these styles by themselves are bad. They're all fairly good looking for the style they're going for, they just don't all belong together. The fact that there's so many competing for space brings down the quality of the whole in my opinion.

I hope they can avoid the same mistakes Sticker Star made with the same battle system.

I saw the video from TB, it is a very good idea but they still need to make it. And I will wait until they do because most of these things fizzle out long before the finishing touches are made.
Magicka was great because they pulled all the ideas together in the end, it all worked like a charm as far as game mechanics go. And to be quite clear since the original creators handed over the IP the other games felt like cheap knockoffs, now the franchise is just a poor recreation of the original idea.

It is very easy to let all those marbles drop and make a terrible mess, so I'm waiting to see what happens.

 

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