Over the past few years, Angry Birds has been the predominant mobile game that everyone has heard about. I mean, they’re even making an Angry Birds feature film. It’s been rather polarizing, too, with people either loving or hating the game – very few people find a middle ground. Other games, like Plants vs. Zombies, have also gained traction with the casual gaming crowd.
Casual gaming is not for everyone, but if it’s your cup of tea, then here’s another Android puzzle game that you might enjoy. It’s called Alchemy and it’s available on Google Play for free. There is a premium version that you can purchase for $3.95 USD that will remove the advertisements and unlock the Undo feature, which isn’t necessary to play but could be useful.
Here’s the tagline for the game, which will give you an idea of what it’s all about:
You have only four basic elements: Fire, Water, Earth and Air. Combine them and their products to get more than 300 new elements.
Sounds simple enough, right? The entire concept of the game is to take the basic elements that are provided for you and combine them in numerous different ways to create a lot of different products. These products can then be further combined – either with the basic elements or with other products – in order to continue the chain of creation.
For most of you, this game will be highly addictive. Like a fool, I installed this app just before going to sleep so I could get a taste of its gameplay. I ended up postponing my bed time by an hour because I just had to figure out one more combination, and then one more combination, and then one more combination…
Like the description says, you start off with four basic elements. You can drag these components onto one another to try and combine them into something new. In the screenshot above, I’ve combined the Air and Earth to get Dust and the Water and Fire to get Alcohol.
The main feature of the game is that, for the most part, the different pieces will come together to form logical creations. It makes sense for Air + Earth = Dust. On the other hand, Water + Fire = Alcohol is a little out there, but it still makes a little bit of sense.
The difficulty, then, comes from figuring out which pieces will come together to form what. It’s a very long but addictive process.
If you click on the “+” button at the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a list of all the products you’ve discovered. This is a handy tool, since you can look through and test combinations without having to memorize all of the individual reactions that got you this far.
Some of the products in the list will have a red asterisk (*) next to them. This indicates that it is a Terminal Element and cannot combine with anything to create anything further. It’s a useful indicator, indeed, so that you don’t waste your time trying to combine items that don’t have reactions.
You can also drag an element on the main screen down to the “?” button at the bottom left. This will provide you with a little bit of background information on the item, as well as show you all of the reactions that you’ve discovered that involve that particular item.
I’m aware that this game won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. To be honest, I didn’t think I’d like the game very much. The concept is cool, but I thought I’d get sick of it in a matter of minutes. Not so.
I highly recommend everyone to try this game at least once. It’s a largely simple concept that can provide you with hours and hours of entertainment. In my opinion, Alchemy rivals the best of the best in terms of fun and enjoyment when it comes to casual Android puzzle games.