Plants v Zombies
The Zombies are coming! shouts the Vincent Price type voice as the undead shamble onto your lawn, intent on reaching your home and making a meal of you. Can you survive the zombie onslaughts? Of course you can!
Armed with a huge variety of mutant plants and mushrooms, and the occasional help from your crazy neighbour, your job is to survive wave after wave of increasingly tricky and bizarre zombies. Fail to keep them outside, and you are rewarded with the crunchy sound of your brains being eaten.
Plants vs Zombies is the latest offering from casual gaming specialists Popcap, who have previously given us such classics as Bejewelled and of course, the Peggle series. Don’t be misled by the casual gaming label though – this game has variety and depth by the bucket load and demands oodles of strategic thinking in the later levels.
Starting with a few straight forward waves of attack in your neatly mown front lawn, you are eased into the game, quickly learning that collecting sunlight is key to planting your defences to halt the invasion. The learning curve is perfect, as you almost don’t realise that you are becoming more adept at picking which plants to use to overcome the conditions, which vary throughout the game.
There are daytime attacks, night attacks, and sometimes the fog moves in, severely restricting your view. Of course, there is a solution to every problem in this game, and while mushrooms and toadstools become your primary weapons in the night levels, there are plants that can blow the fog away, or even illuminate the playing area, at least until they are guzzled by the ravenous corpses.
On the successful completion of each level, the game unlocks new plants, zombies and scenarios – there are ultimately 48 types of plant, and several different scenarios, from the simple front lawn, to the back lawn with pool, and even on the roof of your home, where you have to drop flower pots first before unleashing some serious botanic mayhem on the undead.
The music and sound effects are spot on, giving the game a suitably creepy and comedic atmosphere, which enhances the hilarious onscreen antics of your mutant plants and the zombie hordes.
From lawn mower drivers and ones wearing parking cones or buckets on their heads, to the incredibly frustrating bungee jumping zombies, and of course the moon-walking Michael Jackson ones, there is a huge variety (25 to be precise) of onscreen enemy, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses to the different plants you can use.
The graphics are big, brash and fun, with some delightful animations going on, not that you’ll have much time to notice them in later levels as you will be frantically trying to defend yourself.
If this wasn’t enough, there are also 20 separate mini-games, and 18 puzzles to unlock, as well as a quiet Zen garden, where you can grow plants to earn money to spend at your crazy neighbours shop on power ups and extra equip slots.
Completing the campaign unlocks Survival mode, where the action gets more and more frantic, and is probably the best part of the whole package.
This game is a gem, it has originality, great humour, and simply oozes with great in depth game-play, representing tremendous value at £14.95. Further more, if you pop over to their web site, you can download the free demo and see for yourself.
“Get ready to soil your plants!”