Master of Alchemy iPhone game blends well

Aug 19, 2010
Games

Coming at players with a style best described as mouse trap meets Bill Nye, the Master of Alchemy iPhone app is a clever puzzle game that gives users three states of matter (solid, liquid and gas) , a few minor instructions and a gadget or two (like burners to convert your solid to a liquid), […]

Coming at players with a style best described as mouse trap meets Bill Nye, the Master of Alchemy iPhone app is a clever puzzle game that gives users three states of matter (solid, liquid and gas) , a few minor instructions and a gadget or two (like burners to convert your solid to a liquid), and lets them get to work crafting clever solutions to unique puzzles.

All the while, the difficulty of the puzzle increases ever so gradually as new gameplay elements are introduced, creating a perfect learning curve for the player. While your first puzzle could be as simple as turning solid matter into liquid (using one of the tools at your disposal) and leading the liquid into a basin, later levels will have you separating different colored elements while converting them from solid to liquid to gas.

It sounds overwhelming, but it’s actually quite a bit of fun. Adding to Master of Alchemy’s overall enjoyment is a slightly generous scoring system. While you’ll have to hustle and make quick decisions to earn the highest possible score for each puzzle, the app gives you plenty of leeway to complete it slowly if you’re trying to get your bearings about you. It allows for the user to learn how different elements of the game act without rushing them through the easy stages.

While the gameplay can be a blast, the visuals leave a little to be desired in Master of Alchemy. The puzzles themselves aren’t anything special for an iPhone app at this point, and the three states of matter aren’t literally represented. Instead, there are three different spherical shapes, one for each state.

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It’s not difficult to understand that if your matter is travelling upward it’s in a gaseous state, and if its large and solid it’s the solid state; yet it’s disappointing to not see actual gas or liquid represented instead of these place-holders.

Master of Alchemy would also benefit from a ‘reset’ or ‘undo’ button. Sometimes you’ll find you’ve dragged a tool out and you won’t end up using it right away. These tools blend into the background surprisingly easily, so it would be nice if there was a way to undo their selection, putting them back for when you’ll need them later.

Minor quibbles aside, Master of Alchemy is a fun, unique puzzle experience that should appeal to fans of clever puzzle games and science  geeks alike.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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