While undeniably quite positive and cute, there are some mixed messages in implementation that make it unclear who the game is for
While the cultivating / farming RPG subgenre has been around for quite some time, I think the breakaway success of Stardew Valley really brought a ton of new people into the fold. Obviously many folks have been busy trying to find success with their own variations on that title, but it’s also quite apparent at this point that creating lightning in a bottle like that is a challenge. Alchemic Cutie, on its surface, seems to be coming at this general formula from a lighter and “cuter” overall angle, but in a number of ways it feels inconsistent and a bit confused. I’d tend to say it seems to be targeting being kid or casual friendly, and certainly in look and tone that’s true, but in the play mechanics if that audience is the target this is doing an awful job of meeting them halfway. An abundance of screens, a host of rules and stats to try to understand, and what simply feels like a lack of sufficient direction on what it is you should be doing to get the most out of the experience make it a bit tough to recommend to inexperienced or impatient gaming fans. The fact that it’s lacking in great writing, interesting and meaningful relationships to try to build, and some of its control decisions are unusual hardly help make matters any better. There’s something nice to be enjoyed here, but its lack of consistency in its vision and overall implementation keep it a few steps away from making a bigger splash among its contemporaries.
Justin Nation, Score: