Elixir Master HD is the iPad version of Elixir Master for the iPhone. The main difference between the HD version and the normal one lies in the interface and graphical aspect. Of course the iPad HD version has graphics of, higher definition. Other than that the gameplay and game content is pretty much similar to the iPhone version. Elixir Master is a game where players have to make potions to serve their customers. It is not so simple though as customers are grumpy, impatient and there are many other obstacles in your way.
Elixir Master plays something like Simon Says. You will be given some ingredients to memorize and with the sequence and type of ingredients in mind, you will have to produce a potion with them. It is just that simple and the main gameplay revolves around that. You have 6 different types of ingredients that can be added to the potion. You will have a customer who comes by and states what he/she wants. A speech bubble containing the ingredients of the potion he needs will pop up. You will only have a limited time to memorize it and soon it will disappear. You will then have to add in the right ingredients in the correct sequence to produce the right potion. One mistake and your customer will get angry, leaving you with no points to collect at all.
Customers have limited patience; take too long and they’ll leave. If you have forgotten what the ingredients are, you can ask the customer again in exchange for them losing their patience even more. As you make more and more potions, your ingredients will decrease. You will then have to buy them by simply pressing the right sidebar of ingredients to purchase them. This adds a bit of a challenge as you manage between purchasing the required ingredients while not overspending to get a higher score.
As you progress further into the levels, you will get to serve more customers within each round and customers demand for more complicated potions (containing more ingredients). Should you manage to successfully serve the correct potion to every single customer in time, you will get to play a bonus level to get some points for upgrading. The bonus level plays something like a reaction game whereby the game will flash a certain ingredient and you will have to press on the corresponding icon that represents it.
As mentioned previously, the game is not that simple. It is not just simple Simon Says where you happily and peacefully make the potions to serve you customers. There is the presence of spiders and demons, all of which will do all they can to piss you off. The occurrence of spiders is random and they can happen in two different manners. One is a single spider coming down as and when your customer starts paying. Failure to squish the spider and he will steal away your money (which also is your money). The second occurrence is a horde of spiders coming and you will have to squish every one of them. Every spider that you fail to kill will steal 1 unit of money from you.
On the other hand, the demon can perform many different tricks to disturb you. These tricks include swapping the positions of the ingredients, blacking out the icons to prevent you from recognizing which is which, moving the ingredients’ icons up and down to reduce your touching accuracy and many more. It is manageable at the start but as soon as you reach the later few stages it can become quite a problem. This is especially so when your customers’ patience is extremely short and the potion they want consists of many ingredients.
Racking up successful servings of potion will increase the points/money you get from the subsequent customer. The max combo you can get is 4+ successive customers. Upon serving the customer, a prominent text will pop-up praising you of your great skill and it is accompanied by some sound effect that pumps you up; kind of a nice motivation for players to strive for the best.
The implementation of the obstacles in the form of the spiders and demon definitely makes the game more challenging and interesting. It sure does test your mind’s ability to stay calm and remember stuff. With the need to manage the quantity of ingredients at the same time, the game does become rather difficult at the end. However like the saying goes, no pain no gain. It sure is satisfying after completing the final stage.
There is also the implementation of an upgrade system. What is does is that for every point of points you have accumulated, you can choose a certain upgrade that will aid you in your endeavor to serve the right potion to the right customer. You have an upgrade that increases the patience of the customer, reduces the probability of the demon appearing and so on. Though it is very shallow (in the end you’ll get every single upgrade anyhow, so just pick whichever you think will help you more), it is a nice touch to the game.
The gameplay concept behind the game is simple, neat and well executed. It is a great pick up and play type game without the need of many explanations. However, with only 10 different levels to play with, the game is very short. I spent just nearly 2 hours (with short breaks in between) to complete about 80% of the game (reached level 8 or 9 I believe). The gameplay is also repetitive with not much difference from start to finish. It is only the difficulty that is increased, nothing less nothing more.
The game has its own unique style of graphics (see screenshots). It is nicely drawn and looks good on both the iPad and the iPhone. Although the graphics are limited (background, customers, and almost everything else repeats in a cyclic manner), they are sufficient to keep interest for the short amount of gameplay content the game has to offer. Sound effects are alright as well, with it suffering from the same problem as its graphics, the repetitiveness. Again since the game is short thus you will not feel much about it.
Overall Elixir Master is a good fun little game that tests your mind. The only problem lies in the game content that it has to offer. With just 10 different levels, the price tags of $1.99 (iPhone) and $2.99 (iPad) are more on the expensive end. Anyhow if you like memory games, Elixir Master is a great game that implements such a concept with its own twists and tweaks. You will get much fun from this game but don’t expect it to last. Replayability is a huge issue here, just hope the developers will provide some content updates in the future. Other than that, I would suggest that you buy the iPhone version if you are tight for cash. The up scaling of graphics isn’t bad at all.