Dec 15 2009

Unreal Game Review: Plants vs. Zombies

Published by at 3:00 pm under Reviews

plants-vs.jpg

So I don’t think that it’s worth it to write a full review on a game this casual (though lord knows I have before), but my friend brought his laptop over yesterday and said, “You have to play this game, I’m obsessed with it.” Five hours later when his battery died, here we are.

Plants vs. Zombies is a variant of a tower defense game in the sense that you building things that try to stop enemies from getting from point A to point B. The things you build here are plants, and the enemies you’re trying to stop are zombies. The board is arranged all in rows, rather than a twisty path you build things on the side of, and most notably, your plants will get eaten by any zombies who get too close.

The game is addicting enough to make my friend spring for the full $20 version about halfway through our playing session when we started unlocking plants we couldn’t use because of the game’s restrictions. We plugged his laptop into my TV, and using a wireless mouse it felt like we were playing a rather good $20 Xbox Live Arcade game.

plants-vs2.jpg

What does the game do right? It has a great visual style to it, as it’s one of the cheeriest tower defense games I’ve ever played. It also sets itself apart from the pack with a zllion different plant and enemy types, as well as differing types of level formations and the switch between day and night that makes you change your strategy drastically. Also, it makes the player click to get money that’s produced by sun-gathering plants, meaning the player has to be on their toes 100% of the the time.

What’s wrong with it?  Well, the sheer amount of plants you can build is almost overwhelming, and most you will use once and then never again as they’re only to combat a very specific type of zombie. The ability to only select 8 or 9 towers at a time forces you to come up with a “core” group of about 7, with the last two depending on which zombie variants pop up next.

Lastly, the game is one of the easiest tower defense games I’ve ever played. In five hours we let ONE zombie get through, and that was only because we didn’t understand how to kill a zombie on a pogo stick yet. With the way the game is set up, you get a last ditch save in each row, so essentially you only have to stop two zombies total from getting through in EACH row. This is exceptionally easy, and the game only gets easier as you go. In later levels I was literally just collecting money to sit on it as I had taken up way more room than I needed to and all of the approaching zombies were being massacred like it was Dawn of the Dead.

It’s a very fun game, and probably worth $20, but it’s a bit too easy for my hardcore tower defense tastes. I haven’t played around with all the modes yet, but it’s clear this is a casual game with a serious amount of work put into it.

Go play for yourself here.





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