Medieval Fantasy Meets Management Simulations in Potion Tycoon

Potion Tycoon
Reviewed On
Steam (PC)
Available For
Very Hard

The simulator genre is, as I’ve mentioned before, far more encompassing than I really expected it to be, and here we have the opportunity to open your own potion emporium. You can manage production lines, source ingredients, and even construct additional rooms in which to manufacture your witchy wares. If extremely granular management is your bag and you like a certain magical flair in your games, then Potion Tycoon may be for you.

Plot Ahoy!

The title opens with you choosing a name for your potion house, and that definitely sets the tone. Potion Tycoon is very definitely a management simulator, and you will be controlling your progress down to the last cent. I will say that Potion Tycoon’s tutorial is extensive and extremely thorough.

Potion Tycoon walks you through the process of creating your first production line, including identifying necessary equipment and personnel. You select your equipment, such as a cooker or a mortar and pestle, place it in the correct space in your production line, and then hire a minion with the correct skill set to operate it. Then, production begins. If you’re extremely lucky and have planned effectively, nothing occurs to stall production, but if you’re me, you’re going to get warning after warning after warning that production has stalled. Eventually, after some diligent headhunting and equipment construction, I was able to stock my first potion and attract my first customers.

Review Notes

Each potion you can produce falls into one of three categories: health, provisions, or sorcery. These categories attract different customers, obviously, and your shop’s fame, therefore, will be different in each category. That fame translates to the number of customers you attract, so it’s in your interest to increase your fame. In order to increase fame in a given product category, you launch more potions in the same category, which the game terms department. Potion Tycoon allows you to track your fame by department, so you’re better able to target your production to the more profitable departments.

Once you’ve produced your first potion, you’ll need to secure your supply lines, and the game allows you to grow the ingredients you’ll need in your potion house. Yay. You’ll, of course, need to plant your seeds in special containers that you will, obviously, need to construct. Different ingredient types will require different equipment, and you’ll need to keep track of what goes where, in addition to running everything else. You’ll also need workers to tend and harvest these herbs so that your other workers may in turn process them and use them as ingredients in your products.

Does this sound like work yet? It certainly felt like work. On top of handling all of that, Potion Tycoon also assigns you goals, which provide either monetary rewards, additional seeds, or perhaps both. In essence, the game tells you what you need to do, though there’s not really a mechanic to force you to do so. However, it’s much, much easier to follow the suggestions and keep going, especially in the early game.

Potion Tycoon features two separate currencies. The first is money, which exists in laughably small quantities, and the second is Tycoon Points, which you’ll use to hire workers and other, more specialized purchases. Please note that workers do require both money and Tycoon Points, and of the two, Tycoon Points are much harder to come by as they replenish at the rate of one Tycoon Point per day.

As with other management simulators, your employees’ happiness and health matters, adding yet another line item to the ever-increasing list of the things you need to manage in order to bring your wares to sell successfully. Most of this information can be tracked in the helpful ledger, meaning that your screen won’t be entirely occupied with lists and tallies. Potion Tycoon features some adorable 2D animation of your minions going about their jobs as well as sleeping. Oh, did I mention that they will periodically wander off to sleep without notice, which can cause production to stall? You can boost your workers using Tycoon Points, but as I mentioned, these are fairly hard to come by.

Did I also mention that Potion Tycoon feels like work? Honestly, if this is the kind of granular management simulator you enjoy, please let me assure you, you will very much like Potion Tycoon. As a more casual player, I found the title a little daunting, and it was difficult to balance all of these elements while still keeping a wary ear out for my own household distractions. From a technical aspect, it is solid from the aforementioned adorable 2D animations to an innocuous sound design.

You do get the option to design your own potions to sell in your shop, usually based on notices from “the outside world.” I recommend using the tutorial here because it took me far longer than I expected to discover that via “processing,” I was able to select certain aspects of my ingredients to use in various recipes. Fortunately, you do have a recipe list as a guide. However, as with the production and ingredient sourcing, there’s a lot of which to keep track here.


In fact, if I can describe my overall impression of Potion Tycoon, it would be that it goes very, very deep into the nitty gritty details of creating your own potion sales empire. If that’s your bag, you’ll really enjoy Potion Tycoon, and even I have to admit that seeing my minions smoothly manufacturing product while a steady stream of pleased customers leave the shop is satisfying. The visuals really do help here, but if you’re more a casual player with limited time to delve deep into the title’s intricacies, Potion Tycoon may provide more frustration than entertainment.

Potion Tycoon is in early access on Steam and sells for $19.99.

Stray Thoughts From Behind the Keyboard

    1. So, every time I launched a potion, the customers hated it. I never did quite figure out the best way to prioritize launches, and it got a bit demoralizing.
    2. You do have to stay on top of your workers because they’ll go to whatever is open, even if that’s not the task for which you hired them.
    3. The tutorials throw A LOT of mechanics at you, and it really isn’t all that intuitive. I do wish there was a more streamlined “easy mode” with which to start.
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