It sounds like an all too familiar concept: zombies are attacking you and want to eat your brains. But the
kicker is how PopCap made this cliched concept one of the most original games of 2009; your defense is not guns, knives, or explosives: your defense is plants. And lots of them. Witness the birth of easily the most interesting and addictive game of 2009.
Plants vs. Zombies starts your defending cascade at your front lawn, where the zombies will come in six
rows of creeping doom. Your only defense is the plants you are able to grow on your lawn, which range from offense to defense to support; and all of your ability to defend yourself is based on your Sun Count. The amount of Sun is crucial to your success since everything you grow [minus some specific plants] will cost a certain amount of Sun. You can plant sunflowers in order to get more Sun, so these wind up being the most essential item in your inventory. PopCap made sure you would have variety playing their assortments of RTS elements, since there are over 45 plants to bring into battle, each having different status effects and attack power to seperate. Bring in a Peashooter to shoot constant shots at enemies while laying down Walnuts to stop zombies in their tracks like a brick wall, made of walnuts.
While there are many plants to use, there are a ridiculous amount of zombies to deal with as well. You'll
start out with your average zombie trying to breach your defenses, but soon you'll be facing zombies with higher protection and more HP, along with zombies that can take your plants away and many others to fend off. The amount of effort put into these zombies in terms of variety is staggering, so when you have six-seven different categories of zombies, you're real sense of strategy will get pushed to the very limit.
The Adventure Mode spans from different scenarios to different scenery and settings throughout its near
50 level course. Fight in the daytime or in the nighttime while only being about to use certain plants during those times. This helps break up any repetitiveness of the game when you're forced to use a completely different set of plants during those times. With the changes of day also come different settings of the mood as well. In the backyard, you'll be given a row of water to defend as well, and have to use lily pads to place your plants on. During nighttime, a thick fog will reduce your vision of the battlefield, thus causing an almost complete meltdown of relaxation and testing your wit and guessing abilities, which is freakin' amazing.
While you beat every level of the Adventure Mode, you'll unlock either new plants, or indulge in one of the
countless mini-games in Plants vs. Zombies.
Most mini-games in Adventure Mode will start with a hilarious letter given by the zombies themselves. This will start you into either bowling away the zombies with Walnuts, to having a Survival Mode in pitch black with nothing but the lightning to light up the screen. I love how these are implemented in so you get a good piece of the main action while having fun taking out countless zombies in so many interesting ways.
But the biggest part of the game is not Adventure Mode, but what lies past it. There's so much extra
content to play through in Plants vs. Zombies,
it almost trumps the main mode in terms of hours played. With categories of mini-games including a slot machine to receive plants and Sun to defend your lawn; breaking pots to guard your lawn [even if zombies are in those pots!]; and even being the zombies themselves to help them eat people's brains: you could spend days playing through and still not be done.
But the most interesting mode I saw in Plants vs. Zombies was the Zen Garden Mode. The mode
allows you to take care of plants and sell them back for money; but the coolest thing about it is how it makes you want to come back to the game, not even to play the game, but just to keep your garden watered. I've never gone into a game and decided to participate in a secondary part of the game instead of actually playing the game. You receive plants for your Garden by killing certain zombies in mini-games or buying them from the Shop. Selling the plants can get net you some decent profit, which can be put to buying different scenarios for your garden [nighttime, underwater, etc.], or buying various upgrades and brand new plants not unlocked through Adventure Mode.
The graphics and art in Plants vs. Zombies is incredible: cute, quirky designs for the zombies while the
plants are very bright and eye-catching. The game is straight beautiful in every occasion and is a sight
to be seen. Each plant and zombie have a fond amount of detail to them and animate very well, even when there's tons of action going on in the game. I never experienced any slow down during my time as well, which is the biggest plus needed for a fast-paced RTS game.
All-in-All, this is one of the best games I've played in 2009. With extraordinary graphics, fine-tuned
gameplay, and a keen sense of humor; not to mention a ton of extra gameplay: Plants vs. Zombies
goes above and beyond most RTS games of our time, and is surely a game to be remembered in the coming years.
- + Most Original Game Ever
- + Addictive Gameplay
- + Incredibly Detailed Graphics
- + TONS of Mini-Games
- + Zen Garden Mode
- + An Absolute Steal at $10