I have played loads of defend-your-castle style of games. You know, where your castle (sometimes it is your home) is under attack by hordes of nasty things, usually zombies, monsters of some kind or enemy soldiers, and you have lob rocks at them (or shoot them, or fire arrows at them, etc, etc) to prevent them breaking in and killing you.
Classics in this genre include The Last Stand by Con Artist and xGen's Defend your Castle (the game that started the whole genre off). Some developers have tried to spice up the genre by using unconventional themes (Black Sheep Acres, for example, has you killing cute bunnies rather than vile monsters) or adding innovative game play mechanics. In some games, rather than chucking things at the enemy hordes, you might pick them up and throw them away.
More polished offerings also include RPG-style leveling and purchasing systems that allow you to upgrade your weapons or powers after defeating each wave of enemies.
But, largely, all the games in the genre pretty much play the same. There's nothing wrong with that. If it ain't broke, as the tired old cliche goes, don't mend it. Still, it is always refreshing to find a game that takes an established genre and gives it a new twist. That is exactly what Potion Panic 2 has done to the defend-the-castle style of game.
Yes, you still have a castle to defend, yes, you still have a huge enemy horde to ward off and, yes, you still have to kill the monsters by lobbing things at them. But where Potion Panic 2 stands out from the competition is that it has turned the process of choosing a weapon into a mini-game in itself.
Rather than selecting your weapon from a list, as is the standard practice in defend-your-castle games, you create your own weapons - or concoctions - by mixing together ingredients. You see, in Potion Panic 2, you don't kill the enemies using guns or arrows or anything as prosaic as that. No, you kill then using potions that you have created yourself.
You make potions by mixing up to three different ingredients. The effect of a potion changes depending on how much of the three ingredients you put into it. Add two dollops of yellow stuff, one of red and three of blue, and you may end up with a potion that burns its victims. Put in more blue than red, and the potion might infect them with a horrible illness. Other potions might emit noxious gases that suffocate nearby enemies.
Part of the fun of the game is working out what potions are most effectve against the different creatures that are trying to break into your castle. Some potions work particularly well against flying creatures. Others do much more damage to ground-based monsters. But you can't spend too long experimenting with the ingredients, because the whole time your castle is under attack. Spend too long on your potion and you won't have enought time to use it (by firing it out of a cannon at the enemies). But at the same time, if you don't put enough thought into a potion, it might prove to be ineffective and will do little damage to the hordes.
In short, this is a weird fusion of classic defend-your-castle action game and cooking. Perhaps surprisingly, the combination works remarkably well. Happy cooking! Play Potion Panic 2 here.