In Alchemists, 2-4 players compete to discover the secrets of their mystical art. Mix magical ingredients into potions and drink them to determine their effects – or play it safe and test the concoction on a helpful assistant! Points can be earned in various ways, but most are earned by publishing theories – correct theories, that is – and therein lies the problem.
The game is played in six rounds. At the beginning of the round, players choose their play order. Those who choose to play later get more rewards.
Players then declare all their actions by placing cubes on the various action spaces. Each action space is then evaluated in order. Knowledge is gained by mixing ingredients and testing the results using a smartphone app (iOS, Android, and also Windows) which randomizes the rules of alchemy for each new game. If the alchemists are longing for something even more special, they can always buy magical artifacts to get an extra push.
Players can also earn money by selling potions of questionable quality to adventurers, but the money is just a means to an end. The alchemists don’t want riches, after all. They want respect, and that respect usually comes from publishing theories.
During play, players’ reputations will go up and down. After six rounds and a final exhibition, reputation is converted into points. Points will also be scored for artifacts and grants. The secrets of alchemy are then revealed and players gain or lose points based on whether their theories were correct. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins.
The game will be available to pre-order for Spiel Essen 2014 this September.