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Master of Alchemy - Vengeance Front Review

By Dave Flodine, on April 7, 2013


Master of Alchemy - Vengeance Front
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • The brown misty backdrop and contraption design invoke a cohesive steampunk style.

CONS

  • Too many menus.
  • Some solutions are the opposite of elegant.

VERDICT

Puzzle fans may enjoy Master of Alchemy. It certainly sells its aesthetic, but the finesse required for placement, and the solutions that result from this do not create a cohesive experience.


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Isn't it interesting what sort of ideas can be turned into tropes in a specific genre? By now everyone has played some version of that puzzle mechanic where you guide the path of a laser with angled mirrors. Likewise, most of you have probably played the game where you have to guide the droplets into a vat through the use of angled barriers. Master of Alchemy: Vengeance Front is a new version of that, complete with steampunky contraptions and reverse gravity.

Each level starts with a number of faucets turning on and slowly dripping droplets onto the stage. There will be a number of vats of varying colors (or one multicolored) that you have to guide the droplets into. This is done with the limited number of contraptions you are given. To start out with you just have barriers that you can angle to guide the droplets to the right or left, but as the game goes on, you gain splitters and directional shooters. Because of the free-form placement, there is a feeling that a level can be completed in multiple ways (especially where the collection of the stage gems are concerned), but this also sadly results in an experience that feels a little too loose and at the whim of the physics engine.

While the art really helps sell the whole steampunk / alchemy vibe, the game is far from streamlined. There are far too many menus just to get to the next level, and the requirements to gain the best ranking in each level are ambiguous (I mean they're easy enough to figure out, but the game doesn't let you know that). Puzzle fans will probably get their enjoyment out of this title, as it does some interesting things with the gravity levels, and the free-form nature might appeal to some, but most won't have the patience or desire to get very far.

Screenshots

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