What are element alchemy games?

An element alchemy game (later EAG) is a game where you start of with the four natural elements (air, fire, water and earth) and combine them in order to form other elements. For example: earth + fire = lava. You then use the newly created elements to make other elements.

Little Alchemy (well, that was easy)

I was stuck in Little Alchemy, so I decided to reverse engineer the Android app. After downloading it to my computer using adb, I unpacked the APK using apktool. I quickly saw that the app was written in JavaScript?! After a bit of googling, I found out that it was built with cordova. I looked for files with information about the recipes. I found two files: assets/www/resources/base.json containing the recipes and assets/www/resources/en-us/names.json containing a mapping between item_ids and names. Bingo! Afterwards, I wrote a script to convert them to my format.

The joybits family (are they even trying?)

I wanted to try to reverse another app and looking for a challenge, I downloaded Doodle God and Doodle God Evil. Sadly enough, there wasn’t much of a challenge: I unpacked the app with apktool, and found a whole bunch of reaction_xyz.txt files in assets/data. I banged together a Python script to parse them. Onto the next one!

Doodle Alchemy (regex FTW)

Finally, a bit of a challenge. I downloaded Doodle Alchemy. I unpacked the app with apktool, but didn’t find any recipe files. Since the game was playable offline, the recipes had to be somewhere in the APK and were probably embedded in the code. I converted the apk to a Java jar using dj2-dex2jar and then tried to decompile it with JD-GUI. JD-GUI errored because it does not support Java 5+ language features. I then tried the opensource procyon. That worked much better, and I found the element names in com.byril.alchemy.objects.ElementName.java and the recipes in com.byril.alchemy.scenes.GameScene.java. After some wrestling with regex patterns on http://regexr.com, I managed to write a scipt to convert the recipes and names to my format.

Alchemy Fusion 2 and Alchemy Classic (same old, same old)

This was basically the same as Doodle Alchemy: decompiling the app into Java source code and then grepping for the names of elements.


I wrote a Python program for easily cheating in element alchemy games. I also included all recipes in JSON. This was a fun exercise, let me know if you want me to reverse another app.