Look at the market. There are potions, vessels, artefacts and rings. Some are too expensive and others just don’t let me mix up powerful concoctions. The Finger Ring of the Additional Pinkie looks useful and the Ghost Beaker is also a promising start. So let me buy both, add them to my deck and then see if, on my next turn, they would allow me to join the league of PotionSlingers by Anthony Fasano.
PotionSlingers is advertised as “a card comboing brew ha-ha” and I think that sums it up nicely. The game tries to create something new in the already quite saturated genre of deck-building card-battling games. There are dozens upon dozens of cards depicting potions, vessels, artefacts and rings, which you can acquire on your turn. Potions deal damage to opponents on their own or they can be mixed together in a vessel to hopefully increase their potency or loaded into an artefact like you load foam arrows into your Nerf gun (other brands are available). Rings, meanwhile, tend to give you some sort of protection, increase the power of your attack or add some other permanent ability.
So far, nothing new really. The gameplay in PotionSlingers will also be very familiar to you if you’ve ever played another deck-building card-battling game. Draw cards, buy cards, play cards and deal damage or heal. You can play with up to four players, allowing you to choose who you want to attack and making it probably a bit more fun than some two-player-only card-battling games. However, it’s all very common fare and won’t surprise anyone.
PotionSlingers with a Difference
There are a few things that PotionSlingers does differently and that I haven’t seen in other games.
First of all, your draw deck is face up. Cards you buy go on top, while cards that get used during an attack are added to the bottom. You never shuffle the draw deck either. Instead, you simply draw from the top. That allows you to plan ahead a little. You know which cards you will draw on your next turn, but so will everyone else.
Secondly, everyone tracks their damage with so-called essence cubes. These represent 10 HP, health points and everyone starts with a certain number of them. As you get attacked, you move the cube down a track until it reaches 0. However, once you’re at 0, additional damage doesn’t hurt you. When it is your turn again, you remove the cube from the 0 space and discard it. Then you add a fresh essence cube to the 10 position of your health track. It’s a neat way to stop a group of players from ganging up on someone else. You get a quick breather while you’re knocked out. You’re safe from further attack until the round comes back to you.