Developed and Published by PM Studios. Inc, Alchemic Cutie is a colourful simplistic RPG that emphasises relaxing gameplay and raising Jellies. There is a desire for these types of games and it seems it is a challenge to hit the sweet spot of something like Animal Crossing where there’s elements of progression but there is no pressure to do so. There is a lot of focus on exploration and discovery but that only works if the content is interesting.
Alchemic Cutie has you playing the part of Yvette, a young girl who has passed her test to allow her to use Alchemy (or what this game considers alchemy). You are helping your parents at their slime ranch as well as exploring the island of Wimba. As you explore the islands you realise there are some areas you cannot access and certain pedestals placed around with an air of mystery surrounding them. It all comes back to alchemy users and jelly relics that are required to fully unlock all the secrets of the island.
The graphics used in the game are very similar to those of the same genre of whimsical RPG. I suppose Stardew Valley would be something to liken the look to. It’s not mind-blowing but it is cute and interesting and enough to draw you in. The controls are simple enough and the game does briefly go over some controls that you will need to get by. You can pick up items scattered around, you can use your magical flute that uses alchemy to tame jellies, regrow plants or convert grass to money. There are many villagers to talk to, many of which are your family. Each of them may have something to tell you, a quest to give you, or even train your jelly to learn a specific skill.
Therein lies a problem with this game. It refers to itself as a relaxing RPG and I can understand that with the likes of Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing there is a desire to play games like this with little or no pressure. But what they have which this game doesn’t is some direction. Yes, you can explore the island, you can pick a lot of items up, you can speak to many people, do simple quests and tame jellies so you can train them. But I am not sure where it’s headed as the information is very vague. The quests range from being a long repetitive fetch quest to a simple delivery of this item to this person.
I really struggled with this game as I just don’t know what I am supposed to be doing. The items you pick up, the rewards from quests and the goods you can buy from the shop all relate to things you can give the jellies you have captured at your ranch. Each item has a small description of what giving it to your jelly will do, but you can only give your jelly 3 items at once which they consume one at a time. Some items stave off hunger, some make the jellies happier and some grant Experience. Now you can place a jelly in your back should you wish and that does make your jelly happier and you need to have one in your backpack if you are going to pay someone to teach it a new skill. But I just didn’t know why I needed to teach the jellies skills as they don’t do anything. Well, I say that but I captured loads and tried to feed them all and then overnight the majority of them just went and disappeared. Not sure if it was a capacity thing as there was no explanation on why they vanished. Yvette’s dad says that when a Jelly dies it becomes a relic. I have poured in quite a few hours into the game and I have not seen one relic or how a Jelly can die. Not even starving them seems to kill them. I just don’t get it.
I think I remember during the opening they mentioned that the jellies compete in activities. But it could also be that I read it online as I just had to find out what else this game had to offer. I didn’t find any activities going on and I scoured the island quite heavily. The 2 most interesting parts of the game and I couldn’t experience either of them. I couldn’t get any Jelly relics to explore more of the island and I couldn’t find any activities to put my jellies to use. It just makes the game dull as all you’re doing is picking things up and either feeding or selling them. Somewhat ironically the game encourages you to pick up what the Jellys poop out. Yep, jellies can apparently poop and not only that, you are supposed to pick them up. I mention the irony as it does feel I may have metaphorically picked up some poop with this game.
Alchemic Cutie is a relaxing RPG that relies too much on the patience of the player. I have reviewed similar games like Monster Harvest so I wasn’t expecting miracles. But demographically this is all over the place. The quests and simplicity seem to feel it was aimed at kids but the sheer tedious of waiting for something to happen will make many lose interest. There is only so much crap you can pick up before your soul starts slipping away.Become a Patron!
This game was reviewed based on Xbox S|X review code, using an Xbox S|X console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.