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Excellent alchemy shop sim Potion Craft has brewed a new playtest

Boil 'em. Mash 'em. Put 'em in a brew.

I would be a terrible potion barterer because I simply cannot be coy about cool things. On that note, crafting and haggling sim Potion Craft is excellent. If you happened to miss giving it a shot when it showed up in the Steam Festival from February, not to worry. Potion Craft has just brewed up a new playtest that you can tackle for the next two weeks with all sorts of new characters and its mysterious alchemy machine.

Potion Craft is a delightfully physical take on crafting, in which you need to grind up ingredients, stir your cauldron, and pump the bellows to create each concoction. It also allows a lovely amount of customisation, letting you create your own labels and names for your brews when you save them to your trusty recipe book.

That's all before you get to the bartering bits (which are good) and the strategic adventure part of brewing (also good), both of which I hollered about more in February when I said it cured my crafting woes. Alice B rated it as well, giving it a spot on her list of best Steam Festival demos from that month's event.

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Anyhow, that's all old news and we're here to talk new news. There are six new story chapters with quests to direct your brewing journey. The mysterious alchemy machine in your basement, which was not usable in February, can now be mastered to create legendary ingredients such as Void Salt. They've also given more ways to organise and customise yuor recipe book, added new customers to the rotation, more flask shapes, and more. You can check out the full list of changes.

In particular, I really like the look of the new recipe book features. Don't miss the gif of moving little bookmark tabs around the top and side of your pages. It's more of that fiddly physical quality that I enjoyed so much when I first tried it. Partly for the mortar and pestle but also party for how it allowed me to just chuck my completed potions around the shop and watch them bounce off the walls. It's my shop. I'll do as I like!

You can play Potion Craft yourself right now and I genuinely recommend you do. I've not loaded up the newest version just yet, but I certainly plan to.

You can get into the playtest yourself by pressing the "request access" button on its Steam page. It appears that you'll just get immediate access. I did, at least. The playtest is on now and runs through August 13th.

Potion Craft doesn't have a full release date yet, but still appears to be planning a launch before the end of 2021.

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Lauren Morton