This week I want to talk about a game I had the pleasure of playing over the long Easter weekend: Potion Explosion by Cool Mini or Not.
I’d been seeing this game all over my Instagram feed, and it’s one of those games that looks so undeniably cool that you just have to find out more about it. So I did some reading, some research, and I ultimately decided to buy the game. I’ve been a sucker for anything with marbles ever since I was a little kid and my brothers and I played with those Marble Works toys. There’s something about the sound of rolling and clicking marbles that is just so addictive.
As one might expect just from looking at it, Potion Explosion has a rolling marble mechanic – players take turns picking a marble (potion ingredient) from a chute. If the marbles roll down and create a new chain of like-colored marbles, then an explosion occurs, and the player gets to take all the chained marbles as well. Then if that creates an explosion, they get to take those marbles as well, and so on and so on. The marbles are used to create potions which score points. It’s quite simple, but the gameplay is fast and addictive.
The dropping and chaining mechanic has an almost video game feel to it. It’s very Dr. Mario or Candy Crush-esque, and I’m sure CMON knew this going into the game design, fully intending to put a lot of focus on the recent digital port of Potion Explosion (which I’m avoiding downloading for fear that I’ll get so addicted that I’ll give up on basic societal obligations like bathing). Though without the timer mechanics that most video games of this type have, the game is a bit prone to analysis paralysis. However, if you just focus on having fun, then it won’t be too bad. It’s when you get a group of competitive alpha gamers together that the picking slows down.
All in all, Potion Explosion is a ton of fun. Kids love it, and it’s still great fare for adults who want something to play in lieu of heavier games. If you’re playing with kids, I’d recommend playing without the “Little Help from the Professor” rule, since it’s a mechanic that requires a bit more analysis than the game already requires. But either way, this game will see a lot of play on my table. It’s fast, it’s fun, and it has rolling marbles! What’s not to love?? Until next time, gang. Keep it plucky,