Before I ever started playing visual novels, I was obsessed with time management games like the Diner Dash series. Combine both and you get Nora: The Wannabe Alchemist, a cute time management/visual novel hybrid where you play as Nora, a witchcraft school dropout (well, she was expelled) who wants to become a famous alchemist.
The early access version of the game which includes the first chapter of the The Wannabe Alchemist was release May 26th and Error 300 was kind enough to provide a review copy. I really enjoyed it and think the game has a lot of promise!
The game starts with Nora accidentally exploding the lab, getting expelled, and moving back home. Once you’ve cleaned up the run down home, you learn that you can plant in the garden behind the house and receive quests and potion requests as you progress through the first chapter of the game.
The illustration is very whimsical and provides the perfect laidback atmosphere in contrast to the time management premise.
Once you’ve made it into your home and past the entry, Nora will learn how to harvest flowers that she can use to make specific potions. This is where the time management portion of The Wannabe Alchemist comes in! Fortunately, there are no penalties for taking time to harvest and make the potions for the customers (or as the plot requires).
Rather, once you click to harvest, you have a limited amount of time to click and get every flower that is growing in the garden. Interestingly, each plant provides two types of flowers. If you let the flower sit, it will mature into the second form.
However! The plants all wither, so between harvesting flowers, you also have to click on the plant to water it. Of course, Nora only has so much mana so you have to watch for how much mana she has and either use a mana recovery potion or stop harvesting. (Don’t let your plant die, you’ll need to spend money to buy another one.)
Like any good time management game, you also have to keep an eye on how many items are in your inventory, and while you can increase the number of item slots, it only goes up ten items at a time.
I played the game for about two hours after making it past the available quests so that I could rack up some money from potion sales for when chapter two is available. However, the game did start off a bit confusingly because you have to clear out all the messy areas of the foyer with no hint if you can’t find the last space.
On the other hand, there are a lot of cute collectible items that you can click on, so I’m excited to see how it looks when it’s all finished later this year.
I think it’s worth purchasing the game now, because then you can spend the time between now and the second chapter selling enough potions to actually move forward in the game once the chapter is available. (You’ll need to make 10K in game money to move forward in the plot.)
You can grab Nora: The Wannabe Alchemist on Steam now. Error 300 promises the second chapter in July and that the full game should be available by the end of 2022.
Review copy of The Wannabe Alchemist and images courtesy of Error 300
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