Monday, Dec 11, 2023

Review: Potion Permit - A Great-Looking Life Sim That Eschews Both Farmwork And Challenge

Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked).

Potion Permit, a social sim-meets adventure RPG from MassHive Media is developed by MassHive Media. Potion Permit is a life simulator that doesn't require you to grow crops or tend to farm animals, but it does offer a way to forage medicinally to aid those in the community. This may appeal to life sim enthusiasts who have had enough of farming.

Potion Permit instantly puts you in the position of village chemist. Moonbury has called you through a special request from the mayor. You must accept. The town's citizens are hostile to you upon arrival and won't answer why. Even though you are quickly taken to a quiet corner of the woods, and told that your only purpose is to heal the townfolk from any number of uncommon illnesses, the game centers on your distaste for the capital and its chemists. You must prove yourself.

Potion Permit's main story involves you running around town trying to please everyone. Each mission unlocks a piece of the mystery, and the story will come together like a puzzle. It is possible to meet characters who have a strange connection to your current location. They could be a key player in the future. It's videogame time!

Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked).

Moonbury is full of unique characters that you can meet and talk to. These aren't NPCs created in bulk and each one has a recognisable, unique personality. As you progress through the story, Potion Permit introduces you to romanceable bachelors or bachelorettes. You're also introduced to the neat little town tradition of giving Moon Cloves which can provide a good friend boost.

The game's day and night cycles are completely unrelated to real world time. You are given a limited amount of time to accomplish tasks, forage, engage combat and heal citizens. This keeps you busy, but it can also make the days feel short. We found ourselves asking where the day went when it began turning dark.

There are no fast travel points in the town unless you need to get to your home from there. Otherwise, your time will be spent exploring rather than accomplishing tasks. We can't complain, though, because Moonbury is beautifully designed and a lovely place to wander around. We were happy to spend much of our time just walking.

Captured on Nintendo Switch.

While exploring the town is a great pastime, Potion permit quickly reminds us of our purpose. Helping the people feel better. You will find a clinic right outside your front door. This is where you can transport your patients when they need it. You'll be guided through a series minigames each time you visit a patient. This makes the diagnosis more detailed than simply being told what to do. These minigames make the consultation much more interactive than just a block of dialog and provide a great way to practice gamified medicine.

Once you have been diagnosed, your task is to create the cure. A new method is used when you want to do what your character excels at, brewing potions. Instead of just putting the ingredients in your cauldron, you will need to choose components and then put them together by hand. Each item can be forgeable by adding a set or elements to the blank space inside the cauldron.

To make the puzzle work, you must select ingredients that fit together. Otherwise your patients in the clinic will not be treated. This mechanic also encourages players not to stay in their homes and to explore the vast array of forageable goods that Potion Permit has to offer. It is significantly easier than standard fetch quests.

Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked).

Foraging is not as simple as gathering food peacefully. There are many aggressive enemies in the wilderness surrounding the town who will attack you if they see you do not tread carefully. Combat is however, not difficult. It is easy to spot enemy attacks and then evade them with one roll. Your character is also much faster than any enemy so you always have the option to walk away. You can use any tool that you receive during your first forage as a weapon. They are easy to defeat, no matter how difficult they may be to evade. Every foe also drops important loot that can be used in potions. You have to stop running from them.

Potion Permit's lack of challenge is the one thing that will let it down. Although life simulators are generally quite relaxed, this game offers some challenge with its complex minigames and combat system. However, it won't keep you up at night. We would have liked to seen more death from the enemies, especially in the wilderness. We were able to avoid being attacked unless we absolutely needed loot. However, even if you do land a hit, HP will not be affected. Once you have healed the first patient, the stubborn townsfolk will immediately become friends with you. The only problem in becoming friends is to make sure you talk to them every day.

Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked).

However, Potion Permit's visuals are stunning. The map has a beautiful autumnal pixel look to it, with enough detail to keep you exploring for hours. The audio is just as stunning, featuring a subtle soundtrack that immerses the user in the daily lives of the locals. It doesn't get repetitive or stale and can accompany every aspect of your adventure without being intrusive. Moonbury and the game are elevated by the way the audio is presented.


Potion Permit attempts to make engaging minigame mechanics via potion brewing, patient diagnosis, and other activities. However, it lacks challenge and repetition which makes it difficult to stand out among the many life sims. It is still a delightful experience that provides a lot of entertainment. The audio and visual presentation are excellent. Potion Permit is a great choice for something you can pick up and use to pass the time. There are plenty of quests to keep you busy and you'll be entertained for quite a while.

Amazing visuals and character designUnique minigames that are part of the core gameplay. A constant stream of quests, side challenges and quests to keep you busy each day. Sometimes it can feel a little too easy. Good710 PQube provides Scoring Policy Review Copy