Reviews: Plants Vs Zombies

Plants versus zombies

You know what you're going to get with Popcap. A game that's very easy to pick up and play, even if you're not a real gamer, and very hard to put down and stop. You grow plants, and use the to fight off zombies, in standard tower defence fashion, except that the whole path-forming aspect has been stripped out and instead you get a fantastic variety of weaponry, each one with its own strengths and weakness, to combat a plethora of zombie varieties. For me it's the best Popcap has to offer, avoiding the overdepedence on luck that Peggle and Bejeweled have.

But what for me stands out is that, for a so-called "casual" game, it's actually quite deep. Nearly every plant is useful depending on the scenario, and every one is priced at the right amount of sun (the currency with which you deploy units), and as such I found myself mixing it up all the time, making no two levels the same. If you play far enough your choice of plants will eventually be restricted so you'll end up trying everything eventually even if you'd rather stick with the same weapons.

The minigames are also a hoot. There are loads of them, some maintaining the tower defence mechanics but plenty doing different things. There are minigames which are nods to other Popcap classics like Bejeweled and Insaniquarium, there's a level where you play as the zombies and have to kill the plants. And in spite of the gameplay roulette, somehow every single minigame feels fully at home in Plants versus Zombies. The fact that they feature plants and zombies is really all that is necessary.

Going quickly through the other positives: the game has a great humour; the plants and the zombies have excellent designs; the music is catchy as hell even though it's not necessarily as cheerful as you might expect; stuff like the achievements and the Zen garden will keep you playing for a long time after you've completed the campaign and the minigames; and the ending song - well, much like the rest of the game, it's cutesy, it's surreal and it flat-out rocks.

Don't play PVZ 2 though. If there was a ever a game ruined by micropayments, that was it.

Just... One... More... Wave...

Plants Vs Zombies is... a unique game, from Pop Cap Games, the people who brought us such things as Bejeweled and Peggle.) As the games ending sequence states, there are zombies on the lawn. We don't want zombies on the lawn. And we get to use peashooters, butter-lobbing catapults and plants that you can plant plants in (HAS YOUR MIND EXPLODED YET?) to stop them.

The game is standard tower defense fare, with a bit of a twist on the game field layout, rather than a windy path that enemies go through, and you set your "towers" on the side of, the field is simply a... lawn. Zombies will try to eat your plants to get through to your home and eat your brains (Which are quite rich in cholesterol). You have five lawnmowers that give you a sort of "extra life" whenever zombies break through your defenses.

The gameplay is solid, fast-paced (for a tower defense game.) and polished. I encountered exactly zero bugs. (Though, there isn't much room for bugs in a tower defense game, I suppose.) And it is bloody addictive. I pretty much spent the entirety of Christmas weekend playing the game.

The game also has quite a few mini-games and "puzzles" (Which are just another type of mini-game) to keep you occupied if you get bored of the standard levels (Which isn't very likely.) It also has a "Zen Garden" pet sim... thing.

Overall, the game is quirky, fun, and addictive. I'd definitely recommend anyone with a spare nineteen dollars pick it up. (Especially since the disk contains both Peggle and Zuma as well, so in the unlikely event you don't enjoy Pv Z, you at least have two other games to try out.)