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iPhone: New Strategic Board Game "Alchemy" Just Released on iPhone/iPod Touch

02-10-2011, 11:23 AM
#1
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 18
New Strategic Board Game "Alchemy" Just Released on iPhone/iPod Touch

Following on the successes of Tribal Dice, which was released about a month ago on the iOS, and in conjunction with the release of the iPhone on Verizon networks in the United States, Alchemy is now available in iTunes.

The same commitment to great music, graphics, and gameplay, Alchemy offers a few extras, too, at the same rock bottom price of 99 cents: universal app, retina graphics, Apple Game Center integration, global leaderboards, and 25 achievements to conquer if you have the strategic genius to claim them all!

Master the ancient elements, combine and destroy them in a series of reactions, and see if you can win the Alchemist duel against three levels of artificial intelligence, or a friend in a face-to-face intense conflict!



Gameplay Video: www.theoctopi.com/alchemy.htm

Last edited by Blue Steel; 02-11-2011 at 11:53 AM.
02-10-2011, 11:33 AM
#2
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 145
I really enjoyed Tribal Dice, and this one looks cool, but can you explain how the game is played? Even after watching the video I don't understand it at all.

02-10-2011, 11:48 AM
#3
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: World, now Belgium
Posts: 3,031
You need to combine elements that have affinity in what they are or in their composition (basically numbers). The one that cannot combine elements looses. Simply mechanism, but fun! If you go checking my twitter you might find some promos .... not sure they are not used up though (and no I am not the dev, just tested it).

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On GC I am FPEX
02-10-2011, 12:40 PM
#4
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 18
Hello, Riggy and FPE. Thanks for the interest, and the great explanation. Tribal Dice is a fun, strategic game with a lot of dice rolls, introducing some excitement and chance into a great puzzling game. Alchemy, on the other hand, has no chance involved in your victory: it is an abstract strategy combinatorial game. You can combine elements that have the same dominant color or the same chemical weight (number). You can also destroy the volatile "fifth" elements. When elements combine, their weights combine. The goal is to leave your opponent without a legal move. For a game that can play in 30 seconds, you won't find deeper strategy and trickier games, and the hardest AI is a tough!!

Does anyone know how I can embed the video or some screenshots directly in the top post?
02-10-2011, 05:44 PM
#5
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 247
Here is how to put a YouTube video at the top:
["hqyoutube"]value["/hqyoutube"] without the quotation marks

We met with Ben (Blue Steel, the designer of the board game Alchemy) on Touch Arcade to colloborate on Alchemy, and I had nothing to do with the design of the game - I am the developer of the app.) He might not agree with it, but here is how I think about the game play:

1.If you're playing casually, the first 7-9 moves of the game is actually setting up a sort of arbitrary little puzzle for yourself that can be solved in the last few moves (or possibly, an impossible to solve puzzle that leads to you losing). And there is strategy involved in deciding when the puzzle has become 'solvable' (by which I mean being able to calculate the last few moves to the game's end).

2.As you become more experienced with the game, are playing more thoughtfully, and get to know your opponent, you develop a little bit of a sense of which 'puzzles' might end up good for you and which 'puzzles' your opponent might not be able to think through.

When you master 1., you can beat the easy AI. When you master 2., you can often beat the medium AI.

And the hard AI, I myself haven't been able to beat more than a couple of times
02-10-2011, 06:03 PM
#6
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: World, now Belgium
Posts: 3,031
I still fail at easy

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On GC I am FPEX
02-10-2011, 06:43 PM
#7
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 247
@FPE
You might find this depressing then, but easy is just the random player
Try think through the next 2-3 moves when there are only 3-5 elements left on the board, and you'll often be able to win against easy.
02-11-2011, 11:52 AM
#8
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 18
Thanks for the information on how to embed the video. It seems to really slow down the page load, though? I took the embedded video back out and just left the link.

At any rate, I'm thrilled people have been enjoying this design. Make no mistake, for a game that can be played in under a minute (perfect for a phone), it is very, very challenging! I love that about the game. I have had a fantastic time trying to earn the achievements: I have all of the easy ones now, several at the medium level, but still only one at the hard level!

I have to say thanks to Baris, too. He was awesome to work with on this project, really captured the vision of the strategy and excitement this game offers, and did amazing work on every part of it. The strength of the AI, the brilliant layouts, and the exceptional app design are thanks to him.
02-18-2011, 02:12 PM
#9
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 584
I have played around 20 games of Alchemy now and overall it is a fun quick strategy game! The graphics are crisp and the music fits the game well and I enjoy listening to it.

The game is really easy on easy, but that should be expected. Medium was fairly balanced overall. Hard however is a different story. I was able to win my second game but have not won again since. Here is where I see a potential downside to the game, as it is fairly lite in scope, which means that parsing all of the possible AI moves shouldn't be too difficult. Basically this means the AI will be near impossible to defeat in hard mode. I almost wonder how I was able to beat it at all. I feel like sometimes it is cheating with its combinations as well.

One addition I would love to see is the ability to add additional rows and/or columns of elements, as I think that would add additional challenge and options. Maybe even introduce a new element.

I would also like to be able to slow down or replay the AI's moves. It happens so fast I am not always sure what it did.

Another interesting addition would be to make the volatile elements have a little more power. I thought initially that they would destroy bordering elements. It would be interesting if in a different mode they would subtract 1 from the bordering elements totals.

The controls work perfectly and I have never made a mistake in my moves, except for with my own logic. As a quick fix strategy game it definitely achieves as a game can be played in under two minutes. Overall it is an impressive game, but I feel that it falls short in a few key areas. 4/5 stars