Alchemists (Board Game)
In Alchemists, two to four budding alchemists compete to discover the secrets of their mystical art. Points can be earned in various ways, but most points are earned by publishing theories, correct theories that is, and therein lies the problem.
The game is played in six rounds. At the beginning of the round, players choose their play order. Those who choose to play later get more rewards. Players declare all their actions by placing cubes on the various action spaces, then each action space is evaluated in order. Players gain knowledge by mixing ingredients and testing the results using a smartphone app (iOS, Android, and also Windows) that randomizes the rules of alchemy for each new game.
If the alchemists are longing for something even more special, they can always buy magical artifacts to get an extra push. There are 9 of them (different for each game) and they are not only very powerful, but also very expensive.
Money means nothing, when there's academic pride at stake! The possession of these artifacts will definitely earn you some reputation too. Players can also earn money by selling potions of questionable quality to adventurers, but money is just a means to an end. The alchemists don't want riches, after all. They want respect, and respect usually comes from publishing theories.
During play, players' reputations will go up and down. After six rounds and a final exhibition, reputation will be converted into points. Points will also be scored for artifacts and grants. Then the secrets of alchemy are revealed and players score points or lose points based on whether their theories were correct. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins.
Flavor text: Mandrake root and scorpion tail; spongy mushroom and warty toad, these are the foundations of the alchemist's livelihood, science, and art. What arcane secrets do these strange ingredients hide? Now it is time to find out. Mix them into potions and drink them to determine their effects or play it safe and test the concoction on a helpful assistant! Gain riches selling potions to wandering adventurers and invest these riches in powerful artifacts. As your knowledge grows, so will your reputation, as you publish your theories for all to see. Knowledge, wealth, and fame can all be found in the murky depths of the alchemist's cauldron.
- Boards & Dice
- 29 Sep 2015
- Strategy Games
- Game Mechanic
- Year Published
- # of Players
- 2 − 4
- Suggested Ages
- 14 and up
- Playing Time
- 120 minutes
- Game Designer
- Matúš Kotry
- Game Artist
- David Cochard
- Czech Games Edition
- User Suggested Ages
- 12 and up
- Language Dependence
- Moderate in-game text - needs crib sheet or paste ups
- Supply Source
- South Africa
Maverick onReviewed by
A game of deduction with a strong theme
Hendrick S onReviewed by
It gives you ample methods to use to gather information to deduce the correct values for your board. And it balances that with limited the rounds of play. These two aspects are crucial to balance logical games. Give to few methods of obtaining information and the rounds become formulaic bopring. Let the game drag on too long and no matter what methods you use you will always get to the answers eventually...also boring in a deduction game.
Alchemists strikes the right balance between these two points. You have to spend your limited turns deciding where to spend your actions to get the most information - not just from the direct actions you take, but also from the information your opponents disclose.
The theme fits perfectly as well for this style of game to boot. However I am a sucker for all things fantasy and high fantasy so I am likely biased in that area.
And not that his evens bear mentioning, but this game's use of app integration is beyond phenomenal. There is a reason this game made BIG waves when it released. It is a great game that marries solid mechanics and rules with a smart touch of app integration.
Great game. Lots of replayability. If you have gamer group that likes this style of game of course.