SailorSoapbox
Myrna   Toronto, Ontario, Canada
 
 
I play vidya gaem.
Currently In-Game
Balatro
Review Showcase
40 Hours played
I managed to clear all 38 achievements before writing this review, so I'd like to think that I gave it a good amount of playtime! With the understanding that this game is still a work in progress, I'll give my Great/Needs Work/Oh Dear opinions.

First, the Great:

- The pixel art is charming and beautiful. The little emoji expressions are adorable.
- The music is relaxing and pretty.
- The controls and instructions are well explained and can be mastered quickly.
- The balance of the minigames' difficulty is much appreciated. They were still challenging without being a roadblock to completion, and doing them well does give a good sense of achievement.
- The people of Moonbury have interesting personalities and storylines.
- The game in general is like a cozy blanket, and very easy to get sucked into. Perfect if you're a fan of town building sims a la Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, etc.
- Not only can you pet (and feed!) the dog and cat in this game, you're actively encouraged to.

The Stuff That Needs Work:

- Whoa nelly is this game grind-happy. It makes sense that there is a limited daily supply of plants/trees/rocks/animals, but many quest requirements will take multiple trips over multiple days to get something. It gets tedious, especially for the item drops that only come from trees and animals (more on that later).
- Almost all of the quests are "I need something, go grind for it." I had to wonder how the town managed to function at all considering they apparently need the Chemist to do EVERYTHING for them. I'm a Chemist, why do I also have to be a Hunter, Lumberjack and a Miner too? Go fetch your own bear asses for your furry underwear design, Nova.
- Item drops need better balance. Your plant supplies can be easily supplemented once you get the Grow Lights installed in your house, and you can purchase supplies of plants and sap at the Rangers' store (assuming it's not Sunday). However, there are 5 different kinds (!) of sap, trees don't always drop it when you chop them down, and many potion recipes require the sap, which is the only type of ingredient that is a single block. Animal item drops are even worse, as you basically *have* to hunt them to get enough to use in your potions. This got especially tedious when I needed to gather 15 or so Razor Fins, because only three of them are obtainable each day and the animal takes a long-ass time to kill.
- Restorative items need balancing. It wasn't until late in the third chapter that I finally unlocked some recipes that healed HP and stamina in a substantial way (the Truffle Pasta and Baby Back Ribs). For most of the game I was just pumping gold into the bar by buying tons of steak. Almost everything else heals for such a pitiful amount, they're not worth using.
- Rewards for doing quests like the Community Board need more variance. I have apple juice coming out of my ears, and it's a little irritating to spend days grinding for those bear asses, only to get pocket change as a reward.
- The player character, the Chemist, is your traditional silent protagonist, but they have absolutely no personality whatsoever. There are no dialogue options or plot choices to be made. It's just, hey, you have a problem, I will fix, I am the nicest person in history. The ability to confess your love to the bachelors & bachelorettes are the only choices currently available to the player, which is a good start, but the story isn't affected whatsoever.
- I am assuming this is something that will be added in future updates, but the game does feel very short. I'd like to see more than just the three exploration areas made available.
- Please allow the player to sell food dishes for extra cash. Because most food items weren't worth making, I had ginger and coconuts coming out of my ears and nothing to use them on.
- Please allow item sorting. Right now the items appear in your bag in order of when they were obtained, which can get confusing when you're looking for that juicy hunk of steak and it's not where your muscle memory told you they were supposed to be.
- I passed out on the floor mere inches away from my bed because I was a second too late. I probably deserved that, but lol.

And...Oh Dear:

- The "achievements" for failing to cure 1-10 patients are bonkers. You basically have to play the game completely wrong to get them, because it requires the player to ignore TEN patients for 4 entire days despite potion ingredients being (usually) easy to find and plentiful. I eventually just started ending the day immediately just because it was taking too long to ignore all ten patients. I felt like an ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥. Why was I being rewarded for Doing It Wrong?
- Related to these achievements is the approval system. Letting my patients down understandably reduces the town's trust in me, but it was weird to see how every character's friendship meter was still maxed out, but they were refusing to talk to me as if it was like the beginning of the game. This is particularly jarring if you've entered into a romance with a character who now suddenly treats you like a stranger. Maybe some dialogue along the lines of "How could you let us down like that? I believed in you," or "I think we need to take a break" from romantic partners would help?
- Sometimes, when trying to choose a recipe to make a batch of potions, the cursor would lock and it wouldn't let me select anything. It was usually fixed by exiting and re-entering the house, but that's a weird and annoying glitch.

Anyway, I'm trying to be as constructive as I can here. I genuinely enjoyed Potion Permit, and can't wait to see what the future updates have in store for us!
Comments
S&shrew Jan 7, 2013 @ 4:38pm 
Yaaaay you're my friend!