Nora: The Wannabe Alchemist – Review
Follow Genre: point-and-click adventure
Developer: Error 300
Publisher: Error 300
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Nora: The Wannabe Alchemist – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Addictive yet simple gameplay
Bad: Not complex enough to stay interesting for long
User Score
0
(0 votes)
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Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Error 300 is a rather new game developer on the scene. Only less than a year ago we reviewed their first release, Mosaic Chronicles, which was a simple puzzle game with some story for added charm. Today we’re looking at their second title: Nora: The Wannabe Alchemist. This title is a lot more complex in various ways, but it delivers exactly what it promises on the store page. You’ll be treated to a cute resource and time management adventure that draws you into a world of magic potion making.

Story

The game starts with a cutscene that looks like it comes straight from a storybook. Our main character Nora is making a potion that (literally) blows up in her face. Apparently, this is a big enough mistake to get her kicked out of magic school. This is a huge problem because Nora needs to earn a license to be allowed to continue doing magic. Back in her hometown, a local witch tells Nora it’s possible to get her license through remote learning, but it costs quite the penny. Thus, Nora has no choice but to earn that money through alchemy.

Graphics

Nora: The Wannabe Alchemist has a very pleasing and cute art style. As we mentioned above, it’s reminiscent of storybooks, having a fairy tale quality to it. It fits the overall whimsical vibes of the game. While the big interface buttons will remind most people of the kid-friendly computer games they played growing up, it’s clear this title is aiming to be accessible to a younger audience too while still being enjoyable for adults. In other words, we don’t really mind, even if it’s clunky.

Sound

The sound design of this game isn’t terrible but it’s definitely a bit amateurish. The feeling that we’re playing a kid’s game is felt hardest in the soundtrack, which gravitates between being charmingly upbeat and so annoying it gives us a headache. Thankfully each track has a designated room or activity it plays in, and since each game segment is so short you’ll never be forced to listen to one song for long stretches of time. The game lacks any voice acting and doesn’t have a lot of sound effects either, which is a pity.

Gameplay

Nora: The Wannabe Alchemist is a point-and-click adventure game that challenges you to do simple time and resource management and run a successful potion shop. The game is laughably simple and the gameplay never strays further from clicking on things, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a lot of fun. In fact, we’d call this game addictive at times. Since earning money is easy and you can generate a steady cash flow quickly, it becomes tempting to always play ‘just one more day’, because you want to complete the next quest.

To make that money, you need to sell potions. Of course, potions need ingredients, but luckily Nora has a garden where she can grow plants that produce magic flowers and fruits. These are what you use to brew potions in your kitchen. You can choose to sell the potions in the shop, which will give you a nice sum for them. But it’s even more profitable to fill the custom orders you receive, where people ask for a specific amount of each potion. Money earned will have to be spent, so go down to the shop again and buy yourself upgrades for your garden, new plants, or extra space in your inventory. The more potions you make, the better you’ll get, and new recipes will eventually unlock. Even though you start the game with one plant and a dream, you can quickly become a thriving alchemist.

There are a few special quests for NPCs that include some more story to experience, but overall the game doesn’t get more complex than what we described. The garden mini-game where you harvest your plants also ends your current day, so that’s where the time-management aspect comes in. The game never feels like it’s actually rushing you, however. Growing plants also costs mana which is recharged daily, so you need to be decisive about which ingredients to prioritize. This elevates what would otherwise be a game so simple it got boring, into something to capture your interest, even if for a short while.

Conclusion

The interesting thing about Nora: The Wannabe Alchemist is that it’s technically still in Early Access, with only one story chapter currently up. While the game is fun, it’s also very easy and it has a simple, cute plot. Perhaps with what’s going to be added to it, this title has a lot of secrets still in store. For what it currently is though, this game already isn’t half bad.

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Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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