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Alchemist of War Review: Less of a War, more of a Skirmish

Alchemist of War is an intriguing game that I want to like. It’s got a distinctive art style and an interesting premise. I feel like there’s the bones of an interesting game here, but it definitely falls short of feeling completely fleshed out, however. It definitely seems like a game that could become something more with just a couple extra updates, or a little more polish. So while I’m recommending it tentatively, I definitely feel that anyone should wait until it’s at a price point they feel comfortable with or until the game’s gotten some more content..

Here are the entirety of the instructions for the game.
The two sides are never described as anything other than “Blue” and “Red”.

The general premise is that you’re an arms merchant, selling weaponry (that you create) to both sides in a conflict. Your overall goal is to keep this conflict going as long as possible, to increase the gold in your coffers. It’s a premise that I can’t recall having seen explored before, and I really wish they’d given us more here – either in terms of weapon/conflict variety, or maybe some sort of flavor text describing the origins of the conflict, or what’s happening during the war.

While your customers are all done in a very stylized and unique artistic style, there’s only eleven of them, so you’re going to quickly see everything that the game has to offer. The same thing applies to the weapon creation system – there’s only fifteen, and so you’re going to see them all very quickly. The music is a single 30 second loop that oozes a dark and whimsical Danny Elfman-esque style, but unfortunately, it’s so repetitive that eventually you’ll probably want to mute the music, or your brain will tune it out completely. In the end, you’re just left chasing a high score and more than likely only paying attention to your customer to see which side they’re on, and only paying attention to the weapon to see the effect it has on your score and the tide of war.

I have never seen a high score table that only has two slots, I must admit.

In addition, the “scoreboard” feature only has two slots (and wasn’t functional in my build). In a score-chaser game, this is something that’s frankly essential, because nobody’s going to keep notes on their best scores. The mechanics themselves (including the ability to kick out a customer) weren’t explained well at all. Both of these things are presumably easily fixed, and neither was a deal-breaker for me, but it’s not entirely encouraging. It’s such a shame, because this game has such promise and personality. It absolutely oozes charm. I just wish there was more content, because this really feels like the developer was on the cusp of creating something very special.

Click here to buy Alchemist of War.

The Chuck is a lifelong gamer who was born in Ohio, but now lives in much closer proximity to Mickey Mouse.

The Chuck has found his life to be a series of improbable and almost unbelievable events, starting when he was twenty and caught the bubonic plague from a prairie dog. He was as surprised as anyone when he found out that's something that can happen.

When he isn't gaming, The Chuck can be found enjoying baseball, (American) football, pro wrestling, and horror movies. He is most commonly seen in the company of one or more cats.

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