Cure ailments with alchemy in Stardew-like town sim Potion Permit

Begone overgrown family farms, dilapidated crafting setups, and shops tragically behind on their loans. In crafting and town sim Potion Permit it's the citizens who need shoring up (and, yes, your lab too). These poor folks have a fever and the only prescription is, well, you. As the most accomplished chemist around, the town of Moonbury has summoned you to diagnose the mayor's daughter and brew up cures for everyone else in town during your stay.

Developer MassHive Media has shared a quick snippet of a Potion Permit trailer at the Wholesome Games showcase and launched a demo too. Don't mind if I do.

At this stage of Harvest Moon hopefuls and Stardew-alikes on PC, I'm always happy to see a good twist on the "new tradesperson in town" formula and an accomplished potioneer conceit will surely do it.

Rather than planting crops and selling them in a shipping bin, your top-tier chemist gathers ingredients outside town—rocks and trees, because no crafting game can deny them, but herbs and flowers too. Back at the lab, you'll toss together ingredients in a cauldron, standard equipment for witches and chemists, to brew up remedies. 

There's a grid puzzle involved in the brewing process, with different ingredients represented by certain shapes and their own properties. You're also a doctor, so you'll have to determine what your patients need, not just whip up a nice red unspecified potion of healing to solve every problem. You'll identify neck injuries and foot problems and other ailments through a different minigame that appears to involve timed button presses. 

I rather appreciate the minigame-ification of crafting that's been going around in these witch-adjacent games, so I'll be signing up for my chemist license in short order.

You can't forget the townsfolk and story in a town sim either, so of course Potion Permit mentions getting to know your new neighbors, in sickness and in health, I take it. "It'll take a little while, but your patients' health will be much better thanks to your efforts," MassHive says. "Your reputation with them will increase, and they'll open up to you a little more. You may even find yourself growing particularly close to certain bachelors or bachelorettes."

Aside from all that, you can also craft or buy furniture for your home, upgrade the town and surrounding areas, fish for dinner, and, importantly, enjoy the company of your lovely dog companion.

If it sounds like as much your brew as mine, you can go ahead and try out Potion Permit's demo over on Steam during the Next Fest that begins on Monday, June 13. Potion Permit is planning to launch later this year.

Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor in 2021, now serving as the self-appointed chief cozy games enjoyer. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, has strong feelings about farmlife sims, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.