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Potion Permit review – “A solid way to scratch that crafting itch”

  • Partner up with the best of dogs
  • One of the greatest stamina systems in sim history
  • Many minigames to keep you interested

Back in 2022 – which is somehow not last year – MassHive Media released Potion Permit, a delightful sim where you are put in the shoes of a purveyor of medicine. It performed incredibly well on consoles and Windows, and now that Playdigious has brought it to mobile, will it do the same in our world?

The goodest of crafting boys

Kicking off, you are swiftly introduced to the two protagonists, starting with creating the main character with a limited creation suite. There are not many options, but the game has a charming art style that makes any of the choices look good. Secondly, we meet our trusty companion, a Saint Bernard-esque dog in goggles, which pretty much has me hooked already. So with ApotheTerry and AlcheMutt ready, we move on to the town of Moonbury. Nestor talking to a man and his dog in Potion Permit

An onslaught of exposition from your Medical Association colleague, Doctor Nestor, and the Mayor of Moonbury, Myer, sets the scene; an old chemist from the Association caused a few disasters on the island that include wiping out a few species of plants, and as such, the doctors where banned. Up until Myer’s daughter fell ill, now he is crawling back, and it is up to you to cure her and restore the Medical Association’s reputation.

Where you spend most of your time

To achieve that, we get to the meat Potion Permit – gathering and crafting. Pretty quickly, you are equipped with an Axe, Sickle, and Hammer, and sent into the wilderness to find resources. It is a fairly easy exercise, equipping the appropriate tool to gather what you want.


You will also be able to vanquish foes to get resources from them, which again is a simple task of swinging at them with whatever is in your hand, besides a few special cases like having to whack Armodilos with a hammer to break their defences. It is a basic mechanic, but thankfully so. You will be doing so much – it’s far better than having it be something complex and time-consuming because that is a valuable thing in Potion Permit. Main character in Potion Permit standing on a green field near a white dog and a tree

Your adventures in Moonbury are governed by two main resources: time and stamina. Whenever you swing a tool, you drain stamina, and general existence will cause the clock to tick down at a rate of roughly an hour per human minute. A lot of these simulations get this so wrong, but Potion Permit’s interpretation hits right on the head. I never felt pressed for time.

In fact, I often found myself struggling to find ways to fill the day, and the stamina bar decreases at a rather manageable rate. You can even recover it fully in exchange for two hours at the bathhouse, and time is never an issue thanks to a fast travel system that costs nothing to use. This might be the most beginner-friendly time/stamina system I have encountered.

You get a minigame, you get a minigame

Lest you start to worry that Potion Permit is too basic, you will quickly learn that this is far from the case when you start encountering the mini-games. Starting with crafting, each reagent has a shape assigned to it, whilst every recipe has a unique board you will need to slot them into, kind of like an alchemist’s jigsaw puzzle.

Depending on your cauldron level, you will have a max number of components to use in each mixture, so you will need to work out the most efficient use of space. It is quite an interesting brain teaser for each craft, and one that doesn’t outstay its welcome thanks to the ability to register your own recipes after five creations for quick re-synthesizing. Minigame to create a neutralizing herbal balm

When you unlock the clinic to start helping people, you will first have to diagnose them, which takes the form of a rhythm game, which is absolutely hilarious to imagine a visit to the doctor and they suddenly whip out a Dance Dance Revolution machine. This is, unfortunately, where we hit a snag with the controls. I have a fairly up-to-date phone, but occasionally these games would lag on input or not even register the press.

This also happened during the part-time job games where you can get some extra cash – you press and nothing happens. It isn’t a massive issue, and you have enough time to cover this, but it is noticeable. That said, each of these parts having a unique minigame does wonders to keep your interest as you go through the motions.

Rue character asking our protagonist for help

Too many people and not enough gifts

Finally, we must address the characters. A large part of Potion Permit is building a relationship with the townsfolk, who initially hate your guts due to past Medical Association interference. You can talk to anyone you want once a day for a small boost, or give them a gift to get a big boost. This is the one I actively dislike, purely because it is so time-consuming. One of the early quests you get is to befriend three people, which is a huge effort since the daily talk boost is minimal.

You might think, just buy them with gifts, and yes, this would be ideal, except there is precisely one gift type, and they primarily come from curing patients, and you don’t get these every day. It could be part of my gaming brain that knows because of this, that quest will be in my log for ages, but it would have been much better if there were more gift types, or more reliable ways to increase relationships. There are so many townspeople and so little illness.

Potion Permit icon

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