Platform: PC or Mac
Number of Players: 1
Publisher: PopCap Games
Release Date: 05/05/2009
Basic Idea as I See it: How to keep brains inside one’s own skull: gather power from the sun and/or sunflowers to grow a botanical infantry strong in both offense and defense to slay zombies and prevent them from entering the house to dine on brains a la mode.
Plant, gather sun, plant more, gather more sun, plant more, destroy zombies, gather, plant, destroy, and occasionally coins will appear that will allow visits to Crazy Dave’s trunk shop for more helpful plants and abilities to plant, gather, and destroy the zombies. The variety of zombies is pretty vast, so it is important to learn them as they come along and choose plant troops accordingly. There is an Almanac that conveniently stores all information about unlocked zombies and plants available for review in times of forgetfulness.
Graphics:: The graphics show true to the whole crazy idea of this game. It’s like a cartoon, colorful, and fun. The variety in “characters” on both sides is pretty astonishing. More importantly for me is the accuracy. The plants go into the desired place, no surprises. There are a few interesting details to look at such as the name of the seed company, the red jalapeno’s eyes, garlic and tall nut’s tears, potato mine’s buck teeth, mini brain food, garlic taste faces, and zombie arms falling off.
Sounds:: The music is simple and noninvasive… actually quite pleasant, considering the task at hand. The cues help quite a bit, with obvious sounds when the zombies are approaching by land or air, when tougher zombies start coming in, who is about to get in the pool, and when they have finished eating a “wall nut” and are about to devour something else. The actual sounds of battle are hilarious, starting with the most basic peas hitting zombies all the way to the watermelons breaking, the imps flying through the air, and the munching (which is accommodatingly different when Zombies are eating walnuts vs. eating active plants – or brains, of course). My favorite is when the Zombies get a taste of garlic.
“The Zombies are coming… brains.”
Controls: Mouse controlled. Click to gather. Click to plant. Click to carry. Click to dig. Again, the placement is pretty accurate.
Flow: Starting off in adventure mode, players learn the plants and zombies a few at a time as the levels get more complicated. Breaks are offered by mini games that pop in every now and again, taking away some of the burden of decision making before ramping up the intensity a notch. The flow is so effortless that hours inadvertently vanish from the day while the player’s game is uninterrupted mentally as much as actually.
Fun Factor:: SO much fun. Unbelievable amounts of fun from the buttery heads to the jumbled mumbling of Crazy Dave that makes me want to jump back on the roof this very minute. I especially like the throwbacks to popular PopCap favorites with titles like Beghouled and Zombiquarium. I will admit that, when I heard the title of this game, I was absolutely certain that it wasn’t for me (of course this was before the music video). I can now say that I have never been more wrong. From the crazy sounds to the possibility of stars filling the screen, taking out the zombies in all directions, Plants vs. Zombies oozes fun from its undead core.
Female Aspect: The Zombies are all male. There are a few obvious female plants, including the sunflower, which produces the sun, the garden currency that affords all types of plants (how nurturing). At the same time, the players are themselves, even though when the Zombies inevitably make their way through the cracks in the lawn defense and past the mowers, the voice that comes from the soon to be brain devoured homeowner is male. Having said all that, Plants vs. Zombies is a truly universally likable tower defense game
(ha!). Honestly, everyone should be pelting Zombies with peas all aflame.
Replay Value: I have a 5 year infantry building plan. Seriously. Then I think I will take about 5 more to test and perfect, defending as many flags as possible along the way. There are heaps of replay hours in Plants vs. Zombies, not only in the mini-games, puzzles, and endless survival games, but also in adventure mode, which is usually saved for learning the game well enough to play the others. The second time through adventure mode, Crazy Dave does some of the plant picking, adding new creativity challenge to the original strategy skill set picked up the first time around. Play on with those green thumbs!
Rating Halos: 9.5/10
Final Thoughts: Run, don’t walk to PopCap.com and buy this game today! I mean it, right now. Plants vs. Zombies is a refreshingly hilarious place to get lost for a few minutes in the Zen Garden or for hours in the fog. It makes me dream of the life in which livings are made by grumbling the word “brains” in as many Zombie voices as occur to me…
Thanks for reading!
I’m awesome… my golden flower told me so.