Plants vs Zombies Review
Plants vs. Zombies reintroduces the tower defense genre by incorporating a hordes of zombies against the defense of plants. However does it succeed in its attempt to make a niche genre accessible for everyone?
The massive horde of the undead looks to be the dominant theme as of late in video games but none of them are as hilarious as the ones in Plants vs. Zombies. The prominent mode of the game is undoubtedly the Adventure, or the story. However the addition of Puzzle, Minigame, Survival, and Zen Garden game modes provide a seemingly endless replay value to the game. From start to finish, there is a wide range of features that compose the overall humor and charm of the game. The basic objective of the game is that you’re given a number of tiles to plant, well…plants against an opposition – against waves of enemies. The placement of your defense and the usage of resources becomes the determining factor of your survival and victory in the game. You, the player, take the role of the plants in the defense of your owner’s home and embark upon different settings of your home – whether it is the front yard, backyard pool, or even the roof - as you progress throughout the game. Each locale offers a varying level of increasing difficulty that is accompanied by an enlarged ‘Waves of Zombies Are Coming’ pop-up that tests your wits and more importantly keeps your fingers on the mouse. This is compounded by the fact that there is a day and night cycle that affects what plants you use.
The plants themselves are enthralling as they are useful. Each plant offers a unique kind of ability that is helpful for lawn defense. The gameplay mechanic incorporates the use of an addictive card collecting feature that allows you to use a specific plant in your deck and over the course of the game you’ll manage to collect most of them. The sun is your primary source of power and collecting these suns are necessary to use these plants. The sunflower produces the sun for your collected energy. The peashooter shoots peas in a row to injure zombies. The wall-nut works as an obstruction against zombies...just don’t neglect it, otherwise it will become sad. The night cycle will also incorporate a different medium of plants that will force different strategies that contrast with the day time plants. Once you realize the traits and abilities of each plant the strategy becomes obvious.
The counterparts to these plants are the ever present antagonists, the zombies. Unlike the nuisance of these frightening undying masses of flesh in other video games, the zombies in this game are intentionally hilarious – read their descriptions in the Almanac! Each zombie will have a different attack and response pattern that makes tact a necessary feature for survival. This is also dependent upon the environment where you will find that zombies will adapt – Track Star Zombie will pole vault over the first plant it encounters - in order to exploit your defenses. However with all of this, the difficulty curve in Plants vs. Zombies is rather easy so that the player will rarely see the infamous ‘The Zombies Ate Your Brains!’ game over screen.
The music is exceptional for a game of a low entry price. The tunes will reflect the mood as well as the setting of each stage and is never an obstruction to your constant need to plant and collect. The Plants vs. Zombies music video is a reflection to the charm and personality that this game emanates. This is also represented in the cheeky humor provided by the text based narrative of Crazy Dave and the horribly written manuscripts left by the zombies at the completion of each stage. This game is recommended to be experienced in short bursts rather than extended plays as the game can get quite monotonous in its stages. However, the addicting nature of slaughtering zombies will undoubtedly keep you coming back for more.
Plants vs. Zombies has all the elements of a PopCap game that is, its addicting, its accessible, and most importantly its fun in its entirety. The game was clearly intended to be enjoyed by everyone who loves to waste their time and thus accomplishes its goal. Just don’t blame me if you experience a loss in productivity.