PopCap, developers and publishers of some of the most fun and addictive games today — especially when we’re talking about casual games — have released something that is destined as an instant cult classic. This time, they’ve given a new spin on the “Tower Defense” concept, where Zombies are on their way to invade your home, and all you have is a piece of lawn and some plants to defend your house. And what plants they are!
The gameplay is simple: place different types of plants — each with their strength and weaknesses — on the lawn (and back lawn, mind you) and try to stop the invading zombies. However, there are different zombies as well, for instance, some can pole vault over your defenses, while others can dig underground as well. Some can even raise dead zombies from the ground, so it’s always a challenge, and forces the player to mix it up. At the start of each game, you pick your seeds for the plants you want — but you have to chose wisely, as there are only a limited amount of slots, meaning a limited amount of plants you can use on a given level. As you progress, new plants are made available, each with their own special offensive and defensive capabilities, and there are 48 different plants in all.
Despite it being a cheap casual game, there are 50 levels in the game, and as you complete the levels, you get new features unlocked. As far as the enemies go, there are 26 types of zombies, which will give you plenty of challenge. On top of this, there are different modes as well, all in all, there’s more playing time to be had here than in most AAA titles. Granted, the few first levels in the game, actually, quite a few levels in the beginning are fairly easy, and some players might misunderstand the game as being too casual at this point. But keep playing, the challenging levels lie ahead, and they’re even more fun than the easy ones.
Technically, the game feels and looks like an advanced Flash game, but there’s nothing wrong with that, especially since Plants vs. Zombies is only priced at $10. The visuals are cute and suit the nature of the game, the sound effects are fun and the music is very moody and suitable for the game. However, as cute as the graphics are, they are not advanced by any means. For instance, you cannot get a higher resolution beyond 800×600, which is kind of a shame, really. But other than that, the game is smooth and bug free.
All in all, Plants Vs. Zombies is PopCap at its best. If you thought Peggle was addictive, this is a whole new level, and it’s gonna keep you playing for a long time. Definitely recommended to casual and hardcore gamers (who could probably use a little break from all the serious fragging — I sure could).
Lots of replay value
Easy to get into
First half isn’t challenging
Only 800×600 resolution
Overall score: 9/10