I love metroidvanias and platformers way too much. What can I say, they are what I was raised on.
My ratings:
5 Stars: A masterpiece. Everything it attempts is done in a great way.
4 Stars: Very good. Really enjoyed multiple aspects and the game as a whole.
3 Stars: A fine game. Enjoyed it while it lasted, maybe got bored before it was done, but enjoyed the experience overall. Alternatively, perhaps the game had good ideas but just wasn't for me.
2 Stars: Bad. Did not finish and do not want to. Waste of time.
1 Star: Atrocious. How did anyone think this was ok to release in any form?
In my reviews, I try to touch on gameplay, story,
characters, art, and music and give them each individually a rating of Bad (★), Okay (★★), Good (★★★), Great (★★★★), or Excellent (★★★★★).
Personal Ratings



Journaled games once a day for a month straight

GOTY '22

Participated in the 2022 Game of the Year Event


Gained 300+ total review likes


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Gained 100+ total review likes

Elite Gamer

Played 500+ games


Found the secret ogre page

On Schedule

Journaled games once a day for a week straight

Busy Day

Journaled 5+ games in a single day


Played 250+ games


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Received 5+ likes on a review while featured on the front page


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Favorite Games

Elden Ring
Elden Ring
Hollow Knight
Hollow Knight
Full Metal Furies
Full Metal Furies


Total Games Played


Played in 2023


Games Backloggd

Recently Played See More

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Jun 05

Street Fighter 6
Street Fighter 6

Jun 04


May 29

Magic: The Gathering Arena
Magic: The Gathering Arena

May 24

Arcana of Paradise: The Tower
Arcana of Paradise: The Tower

May 09

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Potion Permit joins a growing list of relaxing and enjoyable experiences but a lack of variety prevents it from being as memorable as the likes of Stardew Valley.
The game follows the protagonist as they work to earn the trust of the NPC villagers by treating ailments using potions and helping them with various relationship quests. You must collect your own ingredients or purchase them and make a variety of potions to treat the villagers when they become sick.
Gameplay - ★★★
Gameplay consists of harvesting ingredients in the wilderness, brewing potions to sell or use when NPCs are sick, treating sick NPCs, talking to townspeople to make them like you more, and doing quests for the NPCs to unlock higher levels of friendship and, of course, new features for the town and your house.
I think that the concept of finding out what ails the villagers and applying the proper treatment is a very promising setup, but unfortunately, I feel like it fell flat because the "diagnosis" portion of the treatment process is really boring and has nothing to do with reality. To diagnose a problem you just complete a short mini-game consisting of a directional memory challenge, a DDR-style input game, or a really straightforward "dodge incoming obstacles" game. At first, these were fine but as I continued playing they really just became something annoying that I had to do before actually applying the proper treatment because they had absolutely nothing to do with the particular ailment and they weren't particularly fun.
Once you have diagnosed the problem you have to go brew the correct potion for the ailment, or you can immediately apply it if you already have it on hand. Potion brewing is done by placing what could be described as Tetris-block-style shapes on an outline, filling it up entirely. Different ingredients have different shapes and different potions have different outlines for you to fill in. I thought this was a cool take on this concept and my only complaint here is that the blocks could not be rotated. I understand that the developers wanted to have more ingredients and by not allowing the ingredients to be rotated you have 4 different ingredients that are uniquely useful, instead of one that can just be used in 4 areas. But because the shapes look like Tetris blocks I found myself constantly having the desire to rotate them.
The major problem with this game is that collecting ingredients for potions is really boring. You have three tools that you use to collect materials from trees, rocks, plants, or monsters. They all take multiple hits to harvest and you cannot hold the button down to hit them. You can very easily spend an entire in-game day doing nothing but harvesting materials. That's probably about 30-45 real minutes doing nothing but smacking inanimate objects and the occasional enemy that barely poses a threat. Speaking of, the enemies are basically a joke. In the first two areas, it's not even worth your time to avoid their attacks. They are so weak that you're better off just taking the hit because you have a limited amount of time in the day and it's not worth spending it trying to dodge attacks. In later areas the enemies become more difficult and you do actually have to pay attention, but the first couple areas basically teach you to not care about combat, so by the time you have to actually pay attention it's not something that you really want to do at that point.
New areas and tool upgrades are acquired using money, wood, and stone. New areas have new materials and the tool upgrades make your items more powerful, requiring fewer swings to dispatch your targets. This is all very standard, but the problem is that the only way to make money at anything but a snail's pace is to brew potions. And brewing potions requires ingredients. So the best way to make money for necessary upgrades is by doing monotonous collection all the time.
The relationship quests are what really kept me going in the game. I'm honestly not sure why, because I don't normally care much about NPCs in games, but I found myself wanting to help them out with what they needed. There were several characters that I genuinely wanted to watch grow and learn and this is what kept me going for most of the game.
Story - ★★
The mayor asks your character, a Chemist, to come to town to help heal his daughter from an ailment that the local doctor can't figure out. You come and cure it immediately and so he asks you to stay. The problem is that no one trusts you because the last time there was a chemist on their little island, he royally fucked up, destroying the environment and causing several of their native plants and animals to go extinct. Your job is to not only help the townspeople but also find out what went wrong and fix the errors of the previous chemist.
This is a good set up but in the end mostly just boils down to completing more quests to brew potions to fix the damage. You will discover scrolls as you explore written by the previous chemist but none of it is particularly interesting. But even if I don't necessarily care about the how or why, I do like the goal of restoring a natural landscape to its former glory.
Characters - ★★★★
There are too many characters to discuss in detail but they all feel very unique and fleshed out. It would have been nice to see more dialogue options available for the "talk to them once a day" voice lines, but there are a large number of cutscenes involving each character that give you very good insight into their lives and personalities. Every time you speak to a character they like you a bit more, up to a max. Once you hit that max you have to do a relationship quest to unlock the next level of friendship. These relationship quests are very well done and often are unexpected in how they play out. For example, to unlock a new friendship level for character A you may sometimes have to talk to character B who asks you to work with character C to do something nice for character A. The quests are not always just "give me this thing, ok now I like you more" and they aren't always materialistic either. I thought both of those aspects were really good at making the whole process feel more natural and also giving the town a very "community" vibe. A place where these people live and know one another while you're new in town and getting to know them all.
Art - ★★★★
The pixel art is wonderful. Bright and colorful areas with lots of detail. Character sprites move smoothly and are unique. Their outfits, movement, and idle animations all help to tell a story of their personality. The wilderness areas look very nice, even if there isn't a ton to do in them, and enemy design is fun if a bit derivative in some cases. I was particularly impressed in a snowy area when the snow on the trees fell off realistically when the tree was chopped down and hit the ground.
Music ★★★
There were not very many different tracks that I noticed but I really enjoyed the music for one of the wilderness areas. It is a shame that the other areas did not have the same care.
In summary, Potion Permit is a fun game and one that I would recommend that any "cozy gamer" play. But go into it knowing that you're playing a relationship-building game with some potion-making elements and be prepared for a lot of chopping.
Played on Amazon Luna as a monthly free game for Amazon Prime members. I ran out of time to play it while it was free and didn't want to sub just to finish it. If I subscribe to Luna again I'll finish it.

Really nice stylized visuals and a story with well-developed characters are positive aspects of this potentially really great modern entry into the Beat 'Em Up genre that sadly does not reach its potential because of several types of balancing issues. Still enjoyable to play, particularly co-op, but not as good as it could be.
My wife and I finally quit the game at about 60% completion, not because it was bad but simply because the minor frustrations kept us from being drawn back in.
Gameplay ★★★
First: if you're going to play this game, go to accessibility and turn on the ability for your block to interrupt your attacks. I don't know why this isn't just the default but it makes a huge difference. In a game with blocks and parries, you need to be able to act reflexively at a moment's notice.
Combat is your standard beat em up style but with some minor RPG elements including level-ups, equipment, and stat upgrades. These features set the game apart but also make it fall short in some ways.
I enjoyed the variety brought about by the different types of weapons that play differently, from quick knives to slow war hammers. (Bonus point here for showing the DPS of each weapon on the equipment screen instead of showing me a separate number for damage and attack speed. I don't want to have to do math in my head to decide if a weapon's attack boost is worth its slower speed.) This was a refreshing change from other BeU games that typically just have you using your fists the whole time or using temporary weapons that break or are dropped from screen to screen. Unfortunately, the item drops/stats are not balanced very well. By the time we quit playing we had each been using the same weapon for at least half of our play time because we were never picking up better ones and the shops didn't have any good ones to buy.
A surprising issue that I found was the ever-so-subtle difference in the camera angle from that of most other BeUs I've played. It had a side-view camera slightly above the ground, looking down, but where most other games in this genre have a more extreme angle, probably about 40 degrees from the ground, Young Souls' camera was at more of a 30-degree angle. This doesn't sound like much but it meant that when there were more enemies on screen, the ones in the back get blocked out by the ones closer to the front and it was difficult to see what they are doing and therefore very tough to block, parry, and dodge their attacks effectively.
The major issue that we had was again with balance, but this time with the difficulty. I'll be there first tot admit that I'm not the greatest at BeUs but I've played my fair share and completed each one of them. We started on the Hard mode which made regular enemies manageable but kind of monotonous because of how much HP they had. When we got to the third boss, we absolutely COULD NOT beat him. He had too much health and there were zero health drops from enemies or environmental stuff. So we turned the difficulty down to normal. This made the regular enemies much less threatening but more manageable to our time, and we were able to beat the boss, so we kept it there. We also appreciated the occasional health drop even if they were exceedingly rare. A couple bosses later and we absolutely COULD NOT beat him. So we turned it down again to easy. At this point the main enemies were basically a joke, and HP was dropping from them constantly, but the boss was still hard to beat! The balance issue is clear here. In order for the bosses to pose a reasonable challenge, the enemies have to be trivial. And why am I getting like 2 HP drops per level on Normal but getting 5 HP drops per screen on Easy. Surely there is an in-between here? But the main thing I blame is the lack of weapon and armor drops. I should not be fighting the 7th boss with a weapon I got from beating the 2nd. Even though it was a Unique weapon I should still have found something better by then. Same goes for armor. We just were not ever finding armor, even in the shops that was better than what we already had.
Story ★★★
The story was interesting but of course somewhat flat, featuring a secret underground race of goblins who are preparing to invade the surface for an unknown reason (I didn't finish, remember?)
Characters ★★★
The two main characters are twin brothers and sisters. They are pretty young, probably between 14-17 years old and they were adopted by the guy that gets kidnapped. They've got some attitude, which is fun, but their dialogue can be really cringy because they feel the need to throw in curse words periodically for no reason except I guess just to sound cooler or edgier. Overall I like them, they've just been watching too much TV so they think that cuss words = cool dudes.
The enemies are surprisingly fleshed out and every cutscene featuring them I found myself interested in their plight and pleasantly surprised at the amount of detail we learned about their relationships with and feelings toward one-another. The writing in this regard is definitely really good!
Art ★★★★
One of the highlights of the game for me was the art style and direction. area transitions are done in this quick-cut cinematic fashion the is best explained with an example. When leaving their bedroom, you see a close up of one of the kids putting on a shoe, then it cuts to both sets of feet going down the steps, then a wide shot of them zipping off toward town on their scooter. It's very stylish and lots of fun. The character designs are also all unique and well done.
I'm not sure it's technically under "art" but I'll put it here because I don't know where else to put it. This game has SO MANY SCREEN FLASHES. It is exhausting to anyone and very frustrating for a person who can get a headache from bright lights and flashes. It happens during exploration and during combat, but is really bad when you finish a level. Pick up an item FLASH.
Beat a boss FLASH, get the boss reward ANOTHER FLASH, get the experience reward for clearing the level A THIRD FLASH.
Unlock a checkpoint FLASH.
Excessive. I'm not sure why disabling screen flash was not in the accessibility menu. That one has been a pretty common accessibility feature for over a decade so I was surprised that they had an accessibility menu but not that option. (speaking of: points for having an accessibility menu!)
In closing, I enjoyed Young Souls and really wanted to keep playing it, but it kept feeling like an obligation to go back to. And once that happens the game is on life support for me and it has to turn it around soon or it'll be lost. Unfortunately, Young Souls only continued down the path that made me feel that way and I lost interest in the end.
Played on Gamepass

Fantastic spell-slinging action. So many different, completely unique spells allow you to find your favorite build and make tons of different combos.
Really fun to play, especially co-op.