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Potionomics Review


Developer: Voracious Games
Publisher: XSEED Games
Platform: PC
Release Date: Available Now
Price: $24.99 USD – Available Here


Usually a shopkeeper in a video game is given the bare minimum of effort as the protagonists will go through numerous shops buying everything that they need on their adventure. However, what happens when the protagonist of the story is one of those same shopkeepers who is doing their best to keep their business afloat? Well then you have Voracious Games’ Potionomics. With plenty of potions to brew, deals to be made with customers, and even relationships to build amongst the townsfolk Potionomics balances a lot of elements and manages to brew a charming albeit a bit stressful business management sim.


When Sylvia receives word that her Uncle Oswald has passed away, she travels to his shop to find out that not only has she inherited a rather dilapidated looking potion shop, but also a hefty debt as well. Being the closest next of kin, Sylvia finds herself soul-bound by the bank and forced to pay back all of the debt that her uncle had accrued or find herself locked away in a cubicle forever. With the amount of debt seemingly insurmountable, it turns out that Oswald’s pet owl named… Owl, not only is capable of speech but also has a perfect business plan in mind for Sylvia. Take what’s left of the potion shop and Sylvia’s own skills and combine them to create a store capable of not only selling quality products but most importantly competing in a series of five competitions where the grand prize will pay off her entire debt.

The story for Potionomics may not be too revolutionary but it does work as a solid set-up and allow for great character interactions between Sylvia and other shop owners and her competitors. Most of these interactions are great thanks in part to the stellar presentation and some charmingly written characters that players will want to see more of. Thankfully Potionomics offers a relationship system that allows players to become friends with characters, unlocking various haggling and shopping benefits as well as learning more about them, and even romance one if they manage to grow close enough to them, though it is worth noting that time constraints do hamper the player’s ability to see everything each character has to offer without multiple playthroughs. 


Potionomics is a rather unique blend of games as it features both crafting through brewing potions, a deck building game that plays into not only haggling but also dealing with competitions, and a management sim as managing time, finances, and ingredients all play a role in what ends up being a tightly knit set of mechanics that create a satisfying and occasionally challenging experience. Nearly everything that players do in the game passes time and with players needing to work within a time limit, they will need to be wary of just how effective they are playing. Talking with other characters and buying items or improvements for the shop pass time, brewing potions will take a certain amount of time in the background and can be sped up using fuel, and even opening up the shop and selling what potions players have crafted will pass the time. Of course, players will need to manage Sylvia’s stress levels as well as high stress can negatively affect haggling and more.

Brewing potions can be a deceptively easy experience at first but can quickly become quite complicated the further players progress. Every ingredient in the game features certain “magimin” values that will determine what type of potion they can be used to brew and some of these ingredients also offer various traits of their own that can either increase or decrease their sales price when used to brew potions. Creating quality potions requires a certain level of balance between these values such as 1:1 or 2:1:2 and while players don’t need to match the exact ratio of magimins the potion quality will be higher if matched perfectly. 

This plays a vital role as players will need to brew specific high quality potions for every competition or face a game over that will require the reload of a previous save file to try and make right. Thankfully the game does auto save at the beginning of every day so players will be able to go back and make adjustments if necessary though considering obtaining certain ingredients can partially depend on luck, it can be rather stressful if players aren’t prepared. It is quite surprising that, despite the game’s charming appeal and enjoyable management mechanics, it also features a fairly strict time constraint for the aforementioned competitions that can truly limit player freedom and demand a more rigid approach to playing the game. While certainly manageable, the addition of either a softer time frame depending on a selectable difficulty or even the ability to unlock a sandbox style mode to approach the game at your own pace would certainly make things a bit more enjoyable.

Ingredients for the various potions that players will need to brew can come from a variety of sources but they will primarily be obtained through sending adventurers out on an adventure or investing in a guild effort that can potentially damage a location for a period of time. These adventures will almost always result in the player obtaining new or useful items that can then be used to either brew a vital potion or, at the cost of one the item, make it permanently available through another shop. Sending out adventurers or buying items costs money just like purchasing any improvements for the player’s shop such as fancier shelves or a bigger cauldron and the only way to make money is by selling your wares through a deck building minigame.

Every day various events will be shown to the player that can help dictate the price of certain types of potions but for the most part their prices will be set based on the quality and traits of the potion. Once players select what potions they want to sell and place them on shelves, they will then be able to enter the haggling minigame that sees players using cards to hook a shopper’s interest, reel them in with a good pitch, and then land the sale to try and make the most money on upselling each potion. Of course, rather than dealing with a health bar, every customer will have a certain level of patience that will decrease the more cards and turns that players use on them. These haggling events make for some great strategic moments, especially since players can make use of the various skill cards obtained from friends as part of their deck to bring new buffs and debuffs into a rewarding sale.

Visuals & Audio

Perhaps one of the best elements of Potionomics is just how much detail and care has been put into the game’s presentation. The character models have a great aesthetic and are well-animated with a solid amount of variety for every character. This helps breathe extra life into every interaction, even with random NPCs that come in to buy items. This fantastical and colorful aesthetic carries over to the world itself and really helps give the game a charming feel to it even if the gorgeous character animations may not see the most fluid transitions.

It is also worth noting that despite having an outstanding presentation Potionomics does not have any kind of voice work which comes as something of a surprise as the interactions with other characters is a real highlight and the lack of voice work is disappointing. The soundtrack features a great collection of tracks including some great music to accompany most character interactions, helping give the characters a little extra personality to make up for the lack of voice acting. 


Potionomics‘ charming and gorgeous designs belie the stricter nature of the game. While not overly difficult, Potionomics’ balance of management, crafting, and deck building combined with a strict time frame can make for some dire situations and an occasional game over should things not turn in the player’s favor. That being said, Potionomics‘ unique blend of these separate elements creates a fascinating game with plenty to offer.

Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.


Potionomics combines management sim, crafting, and deck building together to create a fine game that oozes with charm but is far stricter than it appears.
Travis Bruno
Travis Bruno
After playing games since a young age and getting into anime a bit later on its been time to write about a little bit of everything.
<i>Potionomics</i> combines management sim, crafting, and deck building together to create a fine game that oozes with charm but is far stricter than it appears.Potionomics Review