Plants vs. Zombies
Marc "DjinniMan" Allie
PopCap Games- PC
Plants Vs. Zombies is a deceptive game. The cutesy characters and cartoony art style, plus the PopCap games pedigree, suggest the game is best suited for the casual gamer only. But after you get past the first few levels, the game's strategy and depth become apparent, and you'll be totally addicted.
As you might suspect, Plants Vs. Zombies features warfare between the undead and various flora. It seems everyone but you and a crazy neighbor has been turned into a zombie, and these poor departed folks are hungry for your brains! Being a good suburbanite, you have a nice lawn you can fill with plants to defend yourself. What follows is a bizarre spin on the tower defense genre.
There are dozens and dozens of plants eventually available, most unlocked by finding a seed packet at the end of a level. The currency in the game is sunlight, which falls naturally during the day and is also produced by sunflowers, naturally. The variety of plants available is mind boggling, ranging from gunlike peashooters to shielding walnuts to zombie eating venus flytraps. Each new plant adds to the strategic options available to you, often combining in very effective ways. Torchwoods turn peas into flaming bullets, and wallnuts and pumpkins hold off zombies while the rest of your army finishes them off. You'll find yourself playing "just one more level" to see what you unlock next.
It's a good thing there are plenty of plants, for sure, since the zombies aren't exactly boring themselves. Bungee jumping zombies, zombies with bucket and traffic cone helmets, zombies wielding ladders, screen doors, and even catapults are all anxious to eat your brain. My favorite is the dancing zombie, who pulls off moves straight out of "Thriller" and summons more undead. (As I write this, the news of Michael Jackson's death has just been released; no disrespect to the King of Pop is intended.) If the zombies make it through your lawn, you must restart the level.
Plants Vs. Zombies is a real treat to play. The game is oozing character, and there are all sorts of strategies that add to the game's replay value. Level design is fairly simple, but nice twists like pool levels with scuba zombies, roof levels with cabbage-pults, a zen garden, mini-games, puzzle mode keep it interesting. Plants Vs. Zombies is a fine game, and worthy of a look, even for the most hardcore gamer