|The PvZ cover-art|
Plants Vs Zombies is essentially a tower-defense game (or flower-defense as it's become affectionately known), which sees your home under siege by an army of the living dead. Your last line of defense is your front-garden and the huge variety of killer vegetation that inhabits it.
There are over 50 types of plant, each with its own unique ability. Peashooters fire projectiles, Cherry Bombs explode taking down multiple foes while 'Wall-Nuts' (Walnuts) create a barricade to keep those pesky Zombies at bay. Plant types are limited to begin with but players unlock a new plant at the end of each level.
Like most Real-Time Strategy games, farming resources is key to building a successful empire. In this case the currency for purchasing plants is sunlight, which can be collected whenever it falls from the sky or by planting Sunflowers. The more sun you have banked, the more defenses you can grow.
However, like all good tower-defense games, PvZ has excellent balance with multiple Zombie types with various strengths and weaknesses. There are Zombies wearing buckets and traffic cones on their heads for protection, Zombies that can pole-vault over your Wall-Nuts and even a Zombie resembling Michael Jackson that can summon back-up dancers. This is a tongue in cheek nod to the Thriller video and a prime example of the style of humor in PvZ.
Added challenge comes from later levels which take place at night. This introduces new varieties of flora (mainly mushroom variants) but also drastically inhibits the amount of sunlight available. This is just one example of the ever changing environment which keeps each of the 50 levels feeling fresh and a constant challenge.
|Brains are off the menu|
The iPad's added touch functionality adds to the fun and simplifies the experience but aside from that there are no major differences between this and the Xbox version.
Blending what is essentially simulated farming like Harvest Moon or Farmville with a Zombie apocalypse is genius and developers Popcap have done a wonderful job in creating a fun, challenging, well balanced game. PvZ is beautifully rendered and features a unique, jaunty soundtrack that compliments the mood perfectly. A must have for Zombie-lovers and Botanists alike. You'll really 'dig' it.
My top tip: Sunflowers are key to victory. Build up a sizable patch that is well protected from attack and watch the sunshine-credits roll in.
My Score: 9/10
Game Reviewed On: iPad