Plants vs. Zombies
I’ve played many tower defense games, but I was unprepared for how both simple and complex this game turned out to be. You’re only tasked with managing five rows, but the sheer amount of different zombies that the game throws at you can be overwhelming if you aren’t familiar with your towers…erm…plants. This game turned out to be extremely popular…popular enough that Blizzard featured it in World of Warcraft as a mini-game. You’ve got plants and you’ve got zombies…what makes this game so special?
Plants vs. Zombies starts the player off with only a plant or two and slowly introduces more into the fold with every level. The game does an excellent job in introducing you to the new plants…mainly by introducing you to a new zombie that is vulnerable to the new plant you just unlocked. Your main source of “money” to fund your efforts comes in the form of “sun”, which drops from the sky during the day. Your sunflower plants also provide a source of sun, but again, only during the day. You quickly learn on the first set of stages that you should try to place your sunflower plants behind your peashooters, throwing up other defenses as necessary.
All of that changes on the second set of levels, which takes place at night. All of the plants you got used to using are unavailable and you are quickly introduced to new plants that work in different ways. Without “sun” falling from the sky, you’ll be forced to adapt to stop the zombies from making their way across the lawn. Later missions take place on water and even on rooftops…it can be pretty challenging. Still, the progression of the difficulty ramps up nicely. You will have access to an almanac which reminds you on how your plants function, which I needed to use more than once. I’m glad that they included that feature, seeing as how you’ll have a lot of plants to choose from in the later levels.
While I do like how many plants there are, I found myself being drawn to the same ones each and every time. When I got tired of the main game, I played one of the mini-games that were available…both my son and I got a kick out of the bowling mini-game. You’re given walnuts and you can roll them down rows, knocking zombies around and trying to prevent them from reaching the other side. It’s stupid silly, but still fun nonetheless. You’ll be able to unlock this mini-game and other modes like it as you advance in adventure mode.
Do other tower defense games offer more than Plants vs. Zombies? Yes…but the game still manages to be addicting. What I personally like is how short each stage is…if I’m in a hurry, I’ll play a stage or two and quit without losing my progress in adventure mode. I own both the PC and Nintendo DS version and they both serve me well when I need to fill time or have a tower defense itch to scratch. It’s the kind of fun one can have without having to think TOO much, but just enough to where you won’t get bored. Plants vs. Zombies keeps a casual feel while still having a fair amount of depth…perhaps this is why this game appeals to such a wide audience and is therefore so popular. There are demos scattered about on the Internet…I recommend that you try it if you haven’t already.
Final Verdict: 8/10
You can check out video play sessions here: