Players: 2-4
Game Time: 45 min
Ages: 8 and up
Complexity: Low
Strategy: Moderate
Luck: Moderate
Puzzle/Set Collection Game

Detailed Game Information
Download Official Instructions

POTION EXPLOSION is a simple puzzle game that involves elements of set collecting and pattern recognition.  The board game shares many similarities to the enormously popular mobile app entitled Candy Crush.  Players select colored marbles on their turn based on a set of rules.  The marbles are dispensed from a physical prop that randomizes their delivery.  They use these marbles to complete specific sets (called Potions on the game) that give them unique abilities.  Once one player reaches the designated winning score, the game is over.

In Potion Explosion, there are 8 different “suits” of potions – in any game, two of the suits are randomly removed to give each game a slightly different makeup of potion tiles.  Each player then gets 2 starter  tiles to place in their workbench and the rest are shuffled up into fives stacks.  Each of these potion tiles have colored bars in them, this tells you which colors of ingredients (marbles) you have to acquire and fill in those holes.

The marbles are dumped onto the lid of the dispenser so that they randomly fill all five columns of the display.  Note that the rows will be quite full, and you won’t be able to see to uppermost marbles as they are hidden by the platform of the dispenser.

Turns are fairly simply.  First you take an ingredient (marble) from the supply, you are limited to the bottom-most 8 on the track, i.e. the marbles that you can fully see and fully reach.  Then, you watch the marbles as they move on the tracks.  If marbles of the same color collide with each other, all the marbles of that color are also removed.  Again, watch the marbles, as this could cause a chain reaction of explosions of like colored marbles, and each time, you get to collect those marbles.  You turn keeps going until no further explosions happen.

On your turn, either before or after you take your ingredient, you could opt to get a “little help”; to do this, you pick up a “little help” token which is a 2VP penalty, and then you collect any one marble from the dispenser.  This help does not trigger any explosions, but it can be a useful tool to either collect one final marble that you need OR to set up your regular turn for some explosion goodness.

If you have completed a potion (by having a matching color marble in all of the holes), you remove it from your workbench, flip it over and place it next to your area. It will score VPs for you at the end of the game. Additionally, it comes with a one-time use action (based on its suit) that you can trigger any time after you have completed it. When you use the potion’s action, you turn it upside down to show that it is now empty.

Potion Explosion is a satisfying pattern-recognition and set-collection game from Stefano Castelli, Andrea Crespi, Lorenzo Silva and Horrible Games. It challenges you to bring your Candy Crush skills to a more tangible medium by collecting gross Ingredients like ogre mucus and fairy dandruff—yuck!—to make various concoctions and rack up points.  It is classified as a family game and ranks #75 in the top 100 family games of all time.  One game takes about 45 minutes to play.

Watch the videos below for more details on how to play the game: