14 people found this review helpful
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 2.7 hrs on record
Posted: Mar 10 @ 12:45pm
Product received for free

Nora: The Wannabe Alchemist is a cute time management/visual novel hybrid where you play as Nora, a witch who gets expelled from witchcraft school but strives to become a famous alchemist.

The Story

In this cool mash-up of visual novel meets time management you play as Nora, a wannabe alchemist despite her klutzy nature. At the very beginning of the game you are kicked out of a witchcraft school and with nowhere else to go move back to the house you shared with your grandma, and which is much in need of repair and cleaning. From here you head into town to meet the locals who help you start your journey.

Game-play & Features

At the start of the game you unlock the workshop. This is the place where, once harvested, you use the plants and ingredients from your garden to make potions for the townsfolk. This is where you make your money in the game to continue buying new plants and items from the shopkeeper. In the beginning the coin you make is minimal, and so begins the grind.

There are no penalties for taking as many days as you need to harvest (thankfully) and make potions. The time management part starts when you click harvest and only have so much time to collect all the plants. Each plant provides two types of flower, if you let the flower sit it will further mature into the second form. But like in life, plants will wither with too much time.

Nora has limited amounts of mana and this is what you have to monitor besides the health of your plants. You can use a mana recovery potion (so keep some in your inventory once crafted). Your inventory is limited so there is a bit of inventory management in this game. You can increase your bag space but only by 10 slots at a time. You also need to pay coins to unlock new plant plots to grow new plants.

There are collectable items like leaves, feathers, fruit and butterflies! A nice touch.

For ultra widescreen users change the mode to windowed and change the resolution to scale down to a comfortable window size. The game at full screen on an ultra wide screen looks stretched and the text does not fit neatly within the text box at full view.

The Grind is Real

The grind is frustrating in this game, it takes a while to gather enough coins to buy anything. Thankfully the first plant is free and you can get a replacement if it withers (and it probably will). The time you get to harvest before your plants wither is way too fast, and this is extra frustrating with multiple plants on the go and they all wither and grow flowers/fruit at different rates.

The Visuals & Audio

This game is a delight visually, with whimsical illustrations that are colorful and magical. Like pictures in a fantasy book for children. Really enjoyable to look at. The music too is upbeat and goes with the theme of the game.

Overall Experience

A cute idea to mesh a visual novel with a time management game. The grind is real, as in most time management games but the rate at which the plants wither is so fast and it gets frustrating with multiple plants on the go. I recommend this game with the caveat that you are informed about the grind involved and you expect it.

The game overall is not without its charms, like the premise of the story and the artwork. And I am sure like other games in this genre you can craft potions at later stages to slow down plant growth rates to make harvesting more enjoyable. It is just having enough patience for the grind to get that far. 🌺

Otome Lovers wishes to thank Error 300 for providing a free review copy for this game.

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