Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Alchemy Review

Alchemy is a game featured on the Android Marketplace (different versions on the Apple App Store). The developer is "Andrey 'Zed' Zaikin" and there is a premium version which offers hints and undos, both of which won't be THAT useful, so the $5 premium version isn't worth it in my opinion. The simplest explanation of Alchemy is... well you do alchemy. You start out with four basic elements, put them together to make more elements, and eventually you've over 200 different objects you've created. The concept is very, very intuitive and innovative, but the execution of said concept is... well, please read on.

Overall: 34/40 or 42.5/50

Gameplay: 6/10
Playing Alchemy is not fun. Simply playing it is not fun. Thinking about combinations and getting the combinations correct is fun. It is somewhat hard to explain, but once playing, it should be easy to get. Basically, all you do is test out different combinations of elements. When they match, they will create something new or occasionally two or three different things. If the combination doesn't make anything, the elements just sit there. It is somewhat boring, but will definitely challenge and frustrate your brain.

Playability: 10/10
Basically what I described in the gameplay section is how easy Alchemy is to play. Just drag and drop. There is a plus at the bottom that will let you add any previously discovered element. When an item is picked up, the plus turns into a trash can, allowing you to get rid of that element. There is a question mark that will give you the summary of that element on the respective Wikipedia page, which is definitely a nice addition to the game.

Entertainment: 7/10
Like I said before, the game itself isn't a very fun thing. But thinking about it is. If the developers were able to make it somehow more immersive to play, the score would be much higher. Once you get a large number of elements they become too hard to keep track of and guess. Of course then you can just randomly throw things around until you make something... but that just isn't fun. So Alchemy gets frustrating and boring at about the same time.

Graphics: 9/10
The simple background and thumbnails don't make the game more distracting than it should be, which is a good thing. Basically the score is so high because the graphics aren't overdone like they are in many of the other installments.

Sound: N/A
Alchemy has no sounds. But think about it, what could it have? Not much except for a retarded bubbling sound that repeats whenever you put stuff together. That would be annoying. Instead of sounds, Alchemy vibrates. A short vibration for putting two things together; a long vibration for make a new combination.

Overall: 34/40 or 42.5/50
Basically, Alchemy is a game that you will enjoy for a while, then you won't enjoy it anymore. But the time in between is very fun. Nonetheless, the concept is really quite intriguing and if this one doesn't fit your style try out one of the many other ones.