Hungry’s The Potion Review
Before I begin it is important to note that I received a copy of Potion in exchange for a review, however, this is not a paid review
I recently was sent a copy of Potion by FoxMind games to review, I was pretty excited when I got the message it was on its way. After all, who would not want to be an alchemist competing to control the ultimate potion. That sounds like a good time to me. If you would rather watch a video review, here you go!
When it finally arrived I found myself in a bit of a quandary. Suddenly I found myself without folks to play this game, which needs at least 3 to play. This was a result of timing of course, but I did want to get a review turned around quickly. So I pondered it and decided to take it to my school and play it with my two middle school classes as a reward for good behavior, and when we finished work early. It was an absolute hit. The kids LOVED it, if I would have let them they would have played it all period long.
Before I get into my thoughts on the game itself, lets briefly go over how to play. This is a very simple bluffing and deduction game, with a little bit of dice rolling thrown in for good measure. Each player, or team, has two of each of the three ingredients: mushroom, elixirs, beetles. The winner will be the player that manages dispose of all of two of their ingredients. In other words if you have only mushrooms, or elixirs or beetles left, you are the winner. Should more than one player, or team, accomplish this on the same turn then there is a tie.
Each turn the dice are rolled. These indicate how many of each ingredient is needed that round for the potion. Each die has 1, 2, or 3 of an ingredient indicated in addition to some blank sides. Each player, or team, will select one of their ingredients and secretly put it aside.
When they are all revealed you check to see if the “recipe” on the dice are exactly filled. For example in the picture above the dice are calling for exactly 2 beetles and 1 elixirs. This means that if exactly two players selected the beetle they would complete that die, and put their ingredients into the potion bottle. The same if exactly one players selected elixirs. It is important to note that if three players selected beetles that the recipe was not filled exactly and no one puts their ingredient in the bottle. The other option is that you can select an ingredient that is no on the dice. You will get to put it in the bottle if none of the rolled recipes are EXACTLY filled.
So let’s get to it. How was it?
This is a fun game, plain and simple. It is really quick to set up, and it is really quick to teach, and plays in under 10 minutes (yes under 10 minutes with a full 7 players). It does seem like there is not much to the game, but the more we played the more I realized that there is actually a lot of reading the room in the game. There is a real joy in trying to guess if it is the time to try to get rid of one of your ingredients not on the dice or not. No matter what you put out there is always a risk that you will be out of luck. It is good fun.
I like the components. The dice are good, the bottle is solid and easy to open, and the ingredients are colorful and printed on plastic, rather than cardboard chits. I like them.
I like the theme of this game. Alchemists making potions…that is cool. I like the idea of trying to be the one to control this awesome potion. However, while playing the game I do not FEEL like I am an alchemist. The main reason for this is that the bottle does not look like a potion bottle. It looks like a vitamin bottle, it even opens like a vitamin bottle…well I think it does, it looks so much like one I instinctively press down on the lid as I open it.
I also find the win condition to be at odds with the theme. How does having only a single ingredient remaining mean I “control” the potion? I have no idea. The game is fun enough that I do not care that much, but I think the theme is not fully realized.
The rulebook is almost perfect, but what it is missing is enough to make me put it here. It does a great job explaining the basics of the game, but when it comes to the one thing that really needs to be explained, how it all works when there are multiple rolls of the same ingredient, it refers you to a picture. This picture is supposed to explain how it works…well I could not figure it out. I just do not know how it is supposed to work. I found a way to play, and I think I did it correctly, but I certainly do not know. I hesitated to put this in the “bad” section, but with such a small rulebook, with so few rules I think this is a real miss.
Bringing it together
The Potion is a fun game. It is really simple to play, and simple to teach. Yes, there is one ambiguous rule in there, and the theme is not fully realized, but if you enjoy playing bluffing games with large groups over a short period of time this is definitely a game for you. Currently, it is around $15 on Amazon, and that is an awesome price for an excellent filler game.
It would take me longer to read that than it would to play!
*This is a fun, light, and simple bluffing game
*Very nice components
*An excellent game to play with kids, or adults
*The theme is not fully realized
*Rulebook fails to clearly explain the only potentially challenging rule clearly
*Game plays in 10 minutes or less
*Extremely affordable, currently as low as $12 dollars