Alchemists

You are an alchemist, you have your own personal laboratory, a little money and the first ingredients you need to start doing what all good alchemists do best: make potions.

You are an alchemist, you have your own personal laboratory, a little money and the first ingredients you need to start doing what all good alchemists do best: make potions.

Alchemists is a strategy game for two to four players, in which you try to become the most famous alchemist by collecting various ingredients, creating potions (using the ingredients you have collected), selling these potion to wandering adventurers and heroes, acquiring magic items, but mainly by publishing your theories or proving the theories of your competitors wrong.

 

Number of players: 2-4

Average duration: 120’

Age: 13+

MSRP: $75


Thumbs Up:


Gameplay:
The main feature of the game is clearly the application, which you can install for free on your smartphone or tablet, simply by scanning the QR Code on the back of the box. This application allows you to scan both component cards  and automatically shows you the filter that results from them. The result gives you information on the two components that will help you discover the three elements contained in each of these two components, while ruling out others.

Interaction:
Interaction is a main feature in this game and it is both indirect and direct. The order in which you choose to play each turn affects the various actions you perform and the interaction with other players in multiple areas, while, whenever a player publishes a theory, you can agree with it or prove it wrong.

Component Quality:
Both the quality of the materials and the illustrations on the various cards, boards and tokens are excellent and the final appearance of the game is very impressive.

Replayability:
The fact that the records of the various components are randomly chosen each time, is a feature that eliminates the possibility to memorize any or some of them.

Rules:
The rulebook of the game is great, with beautiful illustrations, many examples and humorous comments, which make reading very relaxing and enjoyable.


Thumbs Down:

Component Quality: The tokens that are built to fit the triangular results board of your laboratory, are not the right size so they do not perfectly match, but are placed diagonally. This is a problem that the company itself has admitted, however it pointed out that this applies only to the first copies of the game for which it sends new tokens in the correct size, and of course there will not be an issue in the following copies of the game.

Gameplay:
If you wish to play the game without the use of any electronic device, there is the possibility of a player to take the role of the Game Master that controls the triangular results board, letting the players know of the results every time they make an experiment. This specific role is particularly awkward and players that assume it are not active in the game.

Difficulty:
Although as it has been mentioned the game has a very good rulebook, it is a fairly complex game that will take even the most experienced players a few games until they are completely familiar with all its mechanisms and characteristics. Also the choice of the Apprentice mode does not seem to particularly simplify the game.

Setup time:
The many contents of the game in conjunction with he improperly configured storage, will require you to devote enough time to setup the game.


Final Verdict:

Alchemists is basically a worker placement game that manages to provide a fairly fresh and enjoyable gaming experience by adding various traditional and modern features, while also combining the beautiful theme in a very pleasant way.

Who is it for:

Family Gamer: Yes. If the players of this category devote the time necessary to become familiar with the game, it is sure they will be completely satisfied with the experience that it will offer them.

Social Gamer: No. The limited number of players in combination with the very rich rules, make it prohibitive for this category of players.


Strategy Gamer: Yes. The fact that strategy is superior to luck to a great extent, is definitely a feature that will satisfy the players of this category.


Hobby Gamer: Yes. As it has already been mentioned in a previous article, hybrid games is the new trend in board games and Alchemists is definitely one of the titles that will lead this trend. Therefore it should surely be very high on the list of hobby gamers.


Hardcore Gamer: Maybe. Alchemists is a game that will satisfy but will not impress players in that category.

 

Game Contents:


double-sided game board
theory board
exhibition board
4 laboratory screens
4 results triangles
4 player boards
6 adventurer tiles
2 conference tiles
5 grant tiles
8 alchemical tokens
104 result tokens
36 gold piece tokens
44 seal of approval tokens (set of 11 in each color)
6 conflict tokens
starting player token
8 ingredient tiles
gamemaster board
40 ingredient cards
22 favor cards
18 artifact cards
16 bid cards
8 plastic beaker figures (2 in each color)
24 plastic cubes (6 in each color)
pad of deduction grids
containers for tokens
rulebook

 

 

 

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