Last month I have decided it was time to start tackling my video game anxiety. Working myself up to diving back into a game in my backlog just wasn’t working. I’d been trying without much success for months to do that and it just was not working. Time for a new strategy. When I saw my fellow bloggers were writing reviews for the Steam Game Festival 2021 in February I decided to try a new tactic; start small.
Hazel Sky has beautiful graphics and an intriguing storyline, however, the controls when using a mouse need improvement. To grab hold of items the player needs to press and hold the left mouse button and then move the item around using the WASD keys on the keyboard. That sounds easy enough except for the initial grip using the mouse doesn’t seem to stay on. Normally I’d just assume this was due to my personal mobility issues, however, other reviews and posts on the Steam forum show similar complains with the controls.
The other issue I had, which again appears to be encountered by other players, is that sometimes the directions are unclear. I managed to work out most of them for myself until I got stuck on trying to jump across a gap which clearly was impossible. I eventually had to cave and look up the walkthrough only to find that the way across was up and along the wall. There was no mouse over indicators to suggest any interaction whatsoever and even when doing it my cursor disappeared.
Fair enough, it is just a demo and perhaps I’m expected too much from it, but I expect to be able to enjoy it and work things out – not resort to finding a walkthrough just to finish the demo. This is a game where bugs like this change an interesting game with mysteries into something you just end up rage quitting.
If you’ve ever played one of those mini or mobile alchemy games then you’ll love Potion Craft. I could have kept playing the demo forever because just like those ones it is addictive as hell! I stopped only because I ended up getting frustrated due to the limitations of ingredients which I put down to it being a demo. Unlike previous alchemy games I’ve played, I felt like there was a better sense of progress in Potion Craft as you explored your little potion crafting map to unlock new and better recipes. It’s like working your way through a map in an RPG but by crafting potions.
The only thing I really disliked was the ‘haggle’ feature which I just couldn’t work out and never won a haggle. It’s just not as simple as it could be in my eyes and there were not any useful instructions on how you were meant to win a haggle. It was the only part of the game that was a let down for me.
The whole sketch/hand-drawn aesthetic was beautiful too. It was well designed, making the UI feel natural and gave the whole game a lovely homely feel. I really did feel like I was a medieval apothecary mixing herbs with my mortar and pestle.
Over to you
I hope you enjoyed hearing my thoughts on these two video game demos that were available during the Steam Game Festival 2021 in February. The Potion Craft demo is still available so if that sounds like your kind of thing then go try it out for yourself – I am not responsible for any hours you lose as a result 😛
I hope to bring you more video game reviews more often so if you liked this post please let me know your thoughts in the comments as they mean a lot to me <3
Did you check out any games during the Steam Game Festival this year? Let me know!
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