Potion Explosion. It came out big time in 2015/16, and for good reason. On one hand, it’s simple set collection. Collect colours to create a potion, harder ones give you more points. As a bonus, potions also give you a one off bonus when you ‘drink’ them.
The big draw is how you collect those resources. In the physical version, there is a large contraption that sorts out coloured marbles. Pull one, and any matching colours that hit each other cause an ‘explosion’ and you collect those as well. Little hard to explain, easy to demonstrate, and get’s people looking at the game every time.
I love the gameplay, but being colourblind makes the game a little tricky for me in person. Because of that, I jumped into the digital version on my phone big time. The only downside was playing with someone was a pain. Rabbit also got into the app big time, but setting up multi-player was a pain so we rarely played against each other.
Luckily for us, Potion Explosion on Board Game Arena is a good implementation and easy to play against others!
Compared to the app, the controls on Board Game Arena are a little janky. You have to select marbles in a specific order, and it can take a minute to learn. This can be frustrating, but luckily it’s a couple of minutes at the start of the first game to come to grips with things.
I have made Potion Explosion sound pretty basic, but it’s one of those games that can reveal layers as you go. For example, there are more potions available that you can use in a game, so you can’t focus on one strategy all the time. Also, the marble hopper does a great job of mixing resources and hiding later effects.
As you play, the explosions don’t stop until the same colours don’t connect. This means sometimes you can setup massive chains, and others you can hope that a colour is coming out but there are no more marbles.
Potion Explosion is not a game that sounds good on paper. It is a game that looks great in person, and the digital versions do a great job translating this.
I am thinking of a way to demonstrate this, but I need to feel better then have more time to work on it. But in the meantime, if you like resource collection and variable powers, try Potion Explosion. You probably won’t regret it.