Take up Gardening Plants vs. Zombies Style
Chances are if you have ever been on Facebook, or held a mobile phone, you have seen Bejeweled, the flagship title from PopCap Games. The company’s mandate is “to create fun games that literally everyone can enjoy,” and as their website points out, this means a lot of simple games that are easy to learn but hard to master. A winning combination, but in the realm of puzzle games what comes next? Enter their latest hit – Plants vs. Zombies.
If the name itself didn’t already make you grin just a little, then perhaps the quirky humour of this game is not your bag. The plot revolves around protecting your house from various waves of zombies which want to eat your brains. As the undead shamble across the yard, you must plant vegetables and other flora to guard your home. It combines all aspects of PopCap’s fun, simple, and terribly addictive mandate with the increased popularity of your (to use a cute pun from the game) ‘garden-variety zombie.’ Only this time, instead of the bright, seamless grid-based point accumulation of Bejeweled, PopCap has also brought along a writer.
His name is George Fan, and he is a principle agent in making Plants vs. Zombies the hilarious romp that it is. Due to Fan’s oddball sense of humor, you can fill your garden with everything from Pea Shooters (living pods that shoot peas at invaders), Wall-nuts (walnuts that act as sturdy lane shields), and Cabbage-pults (cabbage catapults!). You even get a selection of fungi for night time attacks. The zombies are even more ridiculous: Pylon Zombies attack with an orange pylon on their heads for protection, Aqua-Zombies float through your pool by way of inflatable rubber ducky, and zombie zamboni drivers (called Zombonis, naturally) ice a path for your brains. There are even Michael Jackson zombies that summon backup dancers.
The only issue with Plants vs. Zombies is that it could be so much more. PopCap prides itself on its social networking popularity, so it is strange that this game cannot connect players online. Head-to-head matches could get really intense and a lot of gardeners would enjoy sharing their defensive strategies and challenging for survival records. Another problem is that the characters are so much fun – the zombies are particularly adorable – that you’ll want to make your own in an editor that does not exist.
The game includes more than 50 levels and a variety of mini games, and is available to buyon Steam, though the full version is available for online gameplay on PopCap’s site. Not everyone has dreams of co-opting vegetation to defeat the grisly undead, but those who do should be playing this right now. After all, it’s free. There is nothing to lose!*
* But yowr brainz – Zombies.