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A Review of Plants vs. Zombies

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A screen shot from the daytime survival mode of Plants vs. Zombies

Daytime survival mode of Plants vs. Zombies

Screenshot from Plants vs. Zombies

The Bottom Line

Plants vs. Zombies is a great game for those who like puzzles, action and something a little different. And, if the zombie-factor isn't a deterrent, your whole family might get in on this one. While older kids and parents are tackling zombies, younger ones can tend to the Zen Garden, collecting coins and feeding plants. There is plenty of value here and enough to keep you playing for quite some time.

Pros

  • A variety of levels and minigames keeps you playing
  • Challenging, but not too challenging
  • Goofy humor

Cons

  • A few levels could be very frustrating, especially for kids
  • Far too addictive

Description

  • Plant various plants in your yard to ward off zombies who are trying to enter your house and "eat your brains."
  • Earn coins to buy upgrades.
  • Unlock a variety of zombies, plants, mini games and other surprises.
  • Grow your own Zen Garden full of anti-zombie vegetation.

Guide Review - A Review of Plants vs. Zombies

Plants vs. Zombies is one of those quirky games that you're not so sure about at first, but then you find yourself becoming addicted to. The basic premise is that zombies are trying to attack your house and eat your brains. Yeah, zombies like to eat brains. You have to fend them off with a yard full of anti-zombie plants, such as the Snow Pea, Potato Mine and Cherry Bomb. As the game progresses, the zombies get more creative about their attacks, employing pole vaulters, screen doors and even dolphins in their defense.

A cross between a puzzle and a time management game (it's technically a tower defense game if you're familiar with the genre), Plants vs. Zombies is clever, funny, and challenging. There is a bit of the gruesome in there as the zombies lose their limbs and their heads pop off, but it's no worse than the scenes in some of the old Warner Brother cartoons. The game garners an E10+ rating for the cartoon violence. If you're a parent and concerned about the violence factor, you can always download the demo to try it out. Prepare to become addicted.

Most of the adventure levels of the game follow a basic process. Your house is on the left and zombies enter from the right, crossing your yard/roof on the way to your door/chimney. You place plants strategically around the yard to stop the zombies from reaching their goal. You can only take a limited array of plants with you into each level so you'll want to choose carefully. Once the level begins, collect sunlight and use it to buy plants that will fight off the oncoming zombies. Zombies will eat any plants they come in contact with, though, and the little plants are so cute and full of personality that you'll find yourself trying to protect them just as much as your brains.

The adventure (main) game in itself is a lot of fun and you'll come across a variety of challenges (night, fog, a swimming pool) to keep you on your toes. But as you progress, you'll unlock mini-games and puzzles that are variants on the same theme. Since PopCap has a long history of popular casual games, you may enjoy the homage to such favorites as Bejeweled (a.k.a. Beghouled) and Insaniquarium. With 20 mini-games and 2 different types of puzzles, there is a lot to play around with. You can even grow your own "Zen Garden" full of all of your favorite plants. I won't give away all of the secrets of Plants vs. Zombies, but you'll have fun unlocking surprise after surprise.

  • Publisher: PopCap Games
  • Release Date: May 5, 2009
  • Genre: Action, Puzzle
  • ESRB Rating: E10+
  • Platforms: Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad
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