Potion Panic

Potion Panic: Concoction Crafting for the Chaotically Inclined

Hey folks! I’m back again with another preview from Rocket House Games. This time, we’re grabbing our beakers, burners, and ingredients and we’re making potions! Come join me at my workbench as I walk you though this race to be the first player to make the Philosopher’s Stone. First player to do that is the winner! More importantly, how can you stop someone else from creating the Philosopher’s Stone first? That’s an easy one. Take one of the potions you’re working on and chuck it at their head. If it’s not the impact, it’s the fumes that’ll get them! Potion Panic is currently on Kickstart and can be found here.


  • 86 Potion Cards
  • 44 Recipe Cards
  • 40 Crystal Shards
  • 4 Player Reference Cards
  • 1 Philosopher’s Stone Reference Card
  • 1 Philosopher’s Stone
  • 1 Rulebook

Potion Cards – These come in different colors and abilities they do when used. You mostly do these actions when smashing the potions, but others will trigger when brewed or have a use while not on your turn.

Recipe Cards – These will have a name, what colors, or shape of potions, and how many shards you get for completing it.

Player Reference Card – This is a player reference card. . . but it’s also part of your workbench to keep track of your crystal shards.

Set Up

  1. Shuffle the recipe cards and shuffle the potion cards.
  2. Deal 3 potion cards and 1 recipe card to each player. These are hidden information from other players. They also take a player reference card.
  3. Next, draw and flip 3 potion cards from the potion deck and place these in the center of the table. These are considered the 3 potion stacks. If a potion stack is ever empty, immediately fill it from the main potion deck.
  4. Next, draw and flip 3 recipe cards. These are public recipe cards.
  5. Lastly, place all the crystal shards in a pile near the center of the table.

Game Play

Players take turns until the Philosopher’s Stone has been created (10 Crystal shards are collected by 1 player.)

On a player’s turn, they have to do 3 actions from the following list. Actions can be repeated, but they have to do a total of 3 actions.

Prep – Play a potion card from your hand face down in your workbench. You workbench has 3 spots for potions. If you play a potion here and it’s full, you discard a potion to any potion stack. If you have no cards in your hand, draw 3 potion cards from the main deck. Not to be confused with a potion stack.

You can have a maximum of 3 potions prepped.

Smash – Chuck a potion and see what happens! Flip a card face up from your workbench and preform the ability on the card. After the ability, discard the smashed potion to one of the potion stack piles.

When you smash a potion, you flip just one prepped potion over and take the action.

Brew – Flip over 3 potion cards on your workbench and complete a public recipe card or a private recipe card. Order of potions on your workbench doesn’t matter as long as all the colors are present. Take the shards listed on the recipe card, then discard the brewed potions to a single potion stack. Replace the public recipe card if brewed. If you brewed a private recipe, draw a new recipe as long as you don’t have any in your hand.

Flip over three prepped potions and complete either a public recipe or a personal recipe.

Reserve – Take a public recipe card and add it to your hand. You can have a maximum of 3 recipe cards in your hand at a time. Then add another public recipe card.

Take one of the public recipes and add it to your personal stash.

Players take turns until one player has collected 10 crystal shards. At that point, that player wins! In yo face other alchemists!

Final Thoughts

Potion Panic is a hand management, set collection, take that card game. It’s a fast game to set up, a quick one to learn, and a chaotically good time.

As this is a Kickstarter preview, the components are subject to change. With that said, I absolutely loved the art style of this game! Jake Reiman nailed the the potion cards! First, the potions each have a shape to go with the color. This will help anyone who is color blind. The yellow is a star, the purple is a square, blue is a triangle, green is a hexagon, red is a circle, and orange is an 8 shape. This is a very smart way to handle making the game accessible to players who are color blind. Next, each potion card has a delightful background! During the game, do yourself a favor and look at the backgrounds. More specifically, look at the names of some of the books! I’m also a sucker for tactile components and like the look and feel of the crystal shards. The player reference card makes it easier to keep track of how many shards you’re collecting during the game.

Game play wise, it’s a easy game to learn and teach. You’re doing 3 things on your turn. They can be any combination of A, B, C, or D. I like that it’s set to three actions you’re doing. It prevents prepping 3 potions and brewing in the same turn. I was a little thrown off by not drawing cards at the end of your turn. That just seems so normal to do in cards games. I like picturing when you smash potions, that you are throwing them in the way of the other alchemists. This is a take that game, it can be chaotic, it can be mean, and if you’re into that, I believe you’ll have fun. First game I played, I brewed a recipe, earned two shards, then immediately had them stolen by other players. It was great! This is a highly interactive take that game, so if you’re not into that this might not be the game for you. If you love take that games, high player interactions, and the idea of chucking potions at each other than this game is for you!

Potion Panic. This potion filled game is chaotically fun for the alchemist within! Check out the Kickstarter here.

1 thought on “Potion Panic

  1. Fast and light, this card game is accessible, simple, and fun. Fans of ‘Splendor’ and ‘Point Salad’ will love this just as much.

    Liked by 1 person

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