Playing God can be addictive – Alchemy Classic HD for Android (Review)

I’ve been told about a smart new addictive game that just became available on the Android Play market. As I love addictive games (and especially mind and logic puzzles) I felt the urge to give it a try and review it. The game is called “Alchemy Classic HD” , it’s free and available on the market (see direct links at the end of my review).

Like other Android apps and games – setup is pretty straight forward and takes a minute or two to complete (depending on your bandwidth as the game is 20Mb in size).

When you initially start the game you will see an empty playground with a graphical list of elements on it’s left side.

The basic concept is that you get a chance to create the world from scratch (playing God or Nature in way). Combining stuff to generate and invent new and more advanced stuff.
You start off by trying to combine pre-existing basic elements (i.e. Air and Fire) to create a new and more advanced element (in this case Air and Fire will produce lightening).

In a similar way Water and Earth will produce a Swamp. Add Lightening to the swamp and you will get amino acids (the basic building blocks of all living forms), Add water to those and they will transform into Algea and add Earth to that and you get Moss and so on.
In an endless creation process you slowly re-create the world around us and it’s elements.

I’ll admit: when I started playing I was baffled as to what I needed to do. Took me a few minutes to realize that I need to drag elements from the left inventory area to the central playground area and stack them one on top of each other to create something new.

I also used the “i” icon (top bar on the right side) to get some help and noticed that the help area shows you how many elements you need to combine for next element you need (it offers a list of the next elements in line for creation).  The help section doesn’t spell out what you need (i.e. “air” ,”water” etc) but rather shows you a “place holder” for each element needed in the combination (i.e. X+Y=Lightening or X+3Y=Metal).
If you want, you can click the place holder and have the game “sell” you a clue and reveal the element that is required.  Clues cost points (which you gather as you create elements) and we found them to be very reasonably priced. As an example – after we created about 3-4 elements we had around 1000 points and a hint had cost us about 100 points.

Using this process you slowly build up the world; starting from basic elements and moving to more advanced ones (metals, bacteria, chemical) and then progress to living creatures, buildings, vehicles and so on.
Once you get the hang of it (I’d say that’s just about when you’ve created 5-6 elements on your own), it becomes super addictive and we found it hard to stop.  The endless creation of new things using previous things you created has a gratifying feeling  and as the combinations got more and more complex (as you have a lot more building blocks to use and the combinations are nearly endless) – we found that the game has a rewarding and curiosity affect which leads to hours of fun.

If I was asked to set a category/type to the game I’d say it’s an advanced, addictive logic puzzle (in terms of you needing to think what is the combination you need to create something new).
From thousands for games played I found it to be unique and different from others with its own innovative concept and gameplay.

I’ve asked my 10 years old daughter to take it for a spin (I wanted to hear what the younger generation think);  At first she didn’t understand the idea but after we created 2-3 elements together she got the hang of it and started to advance quickly.  Later on she approached me to ask what metal might be made off  and that made me realize that the game also has a good educational value to it (even though some elements are not scientifically precise the kids still get the basic idea of what things are made off).

Here’s a screenshot of the main screen so that you can see how the game looks and feels.
It shows the basic playground area – notice the left side is the inventory list from which you can drag elements to the right side which is used to build things (by stacking them one on top of the other):

Summary:
Alchemy Classic HD is a new and innovative addictive logic puzzle for the Android platform. Once you get to understand the ground rules and how to create elements you will get hooked.
It offers a nearly endless combination of creations using nicely made graphics, supporting over 17 different languages and running on nearly any Android device out there (Android 1.5 and up is required).
As the game is free I’d highly recommend you give it a try and start re-creating the world.

Release date: July-31 2012.  You can download the game here.

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