Alchemic Cutie is a farming and (musically and conceptually) charming game where you can catch and train slimes on your family ranch.
While your grandparents are away, it is up to you to run the family slime ranch; lulling slimes with your flute, sending them back to the farm and keeping them fit and fed with plantlife you’ve grown, bought or gathered from around the area. Alchemic Cutie, from Vakman, has a whole lot to do in it — combining slice-of-life farming sim (Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley) with a fun slime-raising system.
The slime-raising element is fascinating. Each slime, once captured for your enclosure, has its own identity, properties and fullness rating. You can feed each slime with any of the tens of different item types, with most of them not only fulfilling hunger, but also altering characteristics. Not only are you improving the slime’s stats, which is useful in the minigames, but you’re also earning currency for the experience. Alchemic Cutie’s titular alchemy is tied to this fusing of items into statistic boosts, and — even from the first encounter — manages to both elude to greater things and avoid seeming impenetrable.
Your inventory, which fills up fast, does something most other ‘farming’-style games fail at; it manages to make all of the items feel as though they have (at least) a dual purpose… something beyond being fed to the little slimes. This is also true for your trusty flute. If you play the flute near certain plants, or near dropped items from slimes, they can upgrade or transform into different things.
In addition to hauling potential food from your surroundings back to your farm, you can also enter your slimes in races and competitions, breed them to create hybrids, or even trade them between friends using cutie codes.
I was lucky enough to play through an early demo while at EGX earlier in the year. In addition to everything I mentioned here, I spent a lot of time talking to the other residents of the island — that and selling rubbish to a merchant to work toward powerful potions for my slimes.