Plants vs. Zombies Review

The App Store is full of tower defence games, with a recent expansion into the genre. Poor attempts have made the genre seem unattractive and boring, but the latest from PopCap Games is an exception. From the makers of Peggle, comes Plants vs Zombies, which stands out from the crowd and is amongst the best games on the App Store. It’s got lots of personality and charm, with the game an addictive experience that makes it great value for money as you won’t be able to put it down.

In the game, zombies creep up on your lawn, and our garden including all your plants is the last line of defence, before they reach your house and it is game over. There are lots of planets to use at your disposal, with a unique design and some inventive ideas. These include pea shooters, that shoot green balls to stop the zombies and Venuz Zombie Traps to consume the dead. Each plant is different, and fun, as it is challenging to get the right set up so that you can stop the zombies. Everything can be placed in different locations, with each plant assigned a different value.

The game has a unique approach to the genre, with the zombies walking towards the house in one of six rows instead of following a set path. This adds something different, as you need to cover every possible route, instead of just one path. Things are mixed up, with zombies using all of the rows, and sometimes you can get multiple zombies in the same row, providing a real challenge. At first, it may seem easier than similar games, but the sheer variety keeps you playing. In total, there are 48 different kinds of plants, and 26 types of zombies to keep you entertained. These are unlocked as you progress through the game, and the constant stream of unlocks keeps you playing as you just want to complete the game. A simple idea has involved into one of the most in-depth games in the App Store.

In the beginning, you pick which seeds to start with. You can only start with a limited amount, but over time this increases. With such a variety, of both different weapon abilities, and the zombies skills, half of the battle is just making the right choices. However, you also have to pick the right locations to place your plants, otherwise one of the zombies will get through. The game be completed in many different ways, which means that even after your first play-through, it’s possible to play again and have a completely different experience.

With a wide variety of gameplay styles, PopCap Games have added an extra dimension to the genre. This includes different levels, including some that take place during the day, and others during the night. This has a large effect on how you use your resources, such as sunlight, environmental obstacles and the range of plants that are on offer. For even more variety, added amongst the standard selection of levels are more arcade like variations on the tower defence formula. In these, you lose the ability to pick plants, and instead have to use the plants that are given to you. This is another challenge, and adds more variety, and a such a low price is great value. After you have completed the level, you can replay it in quick play mode.

Along with the plants on offer it the amazing amount of zombies on offer. These are also really creative, such as more traditional zombies to aquatic zombies that come in riding dolphins. This provides lots of laughs, and the animation is fantastic. Combined with some fantastic music, it feels like the zombies are dancing along, with the music becoming more intense as the game progress, matching the increase in difficulty. There is also some voice acting which provides some laughs, as the undead start to grunt and moan.

The interface is also brilliant, and works really well on the touch screen. It is easy to use, and you can quickly access the simple menus to get to what you want. This is the key, as it can become quite frantic as the zombies start to take over. You can access the plants of the left hand side, and plant them by simply taping the desired location.

At such a low cost, this game is brilliant. The addictive nature of the game, as you simply want to reach the end, and the reward of unlocking a new plant is worth it. With the huge range of plants and zombies on offer, each play-through is unique, making the game worth much more than the low price tag. Many games on the App Store are overpriced, but this is an exception at such a fantastic price.

Overall, this is a brilliant game, and amongst the best on the App Store. It has everything, from fun and humour to lighten up your day. Every detail has been covered, from the superb animation to the slick and colourful graphics. In a flooded App Store, this really stands out from the crowd, and shows the tremendous potential of the iPhone as handheld gaming device.

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