Jun, 15 2011

I’m sure many of you folks know just how good Plants vs Zombies is, especially if you were able to get it for free the day it launched courtesy of Amazon. I thought I was exhausted on the defense genre, but the folks at PopCap give a refreshing spin on it. Will it be worth your coinage and roughly 74 MB on your deice’s storage?


Plants vs Zombies combines two of my favorite things: zombies and the task of defending a homefront. (You didn’t think I was a huge fan of plants, did you?) You use various plants and tools to fight off hordes of hungry zombies and you defend your house and everyone in it. Yes, plants. I thought it was whacky when I first heard of it a long while ago, but I gave it a shot and, honestly, I might like plants more than I like guns. You use sunlight, not money, for weapons and ammunition. And you don’t even have to be outside fight the horde off. How awesome is that?


As I touched on before, you use sunlight to “buy” or “grow” plants. You’ll get a small amount of sunlight every now and then from the game, but you can also plant sunflowers (who could have guessed it?) to get more.  Once the zombies come, you have to strategically plant your flora to successfully defend the house behind them. At the end of each level, you may receive a card that’ll unlock a new plant for you to buy.

Some plants sit there and shoot peas out of their mouths, some are used for defending other plants, and some are used for more awesome things like taking out a group of zombies with an explosion that any arsonist would be proud of. The best thing about Plants vs Zombies is that you don’t just go on for levels and levels doing the same thing with enemies getting more numerous and powerful each time.

PopCap switches things up with mini games throughout, such as a game where you go bowling to rid your lawn of the undead. They also add new dynamics to levels, presenting you with swimming zombies that you need to defend an entirely different way. And unlike other defense games, your enemies evolve just as much as your weapons do. As you go along, you’ll encounter smarter enemies like ones that can pole jump over any obstacle you set in front of it, making it necessary for you to change your gameplan up on a whim if a timed bomb or a shield you plant is on the same column as the jumper.

Things can get hectic as time goes on and will intimidate those who aren’t too good at these types of games. You’ll fail a lot as you get further, but patience is your last resort with a game like this. This doesn’t make the game bad, it’s just challenging (and, to be honest, we need more challenging games).

Replay Value

You get 50 levels, encountering mini games and numerous changes to your stable of weapons and the zombies trying to attack you along the way. Through the 50 levels, you’ll defend 5 different areas, including a rooftop, your front lawn, your back lawn with a swimming pool and more. Folks complain that 50 levels is too short, but if you’re a strategical noob like I am, it’ll take quite a while to get through all of them. Unfortunately PopCap has not committed to updates that add new levels, weapons or zombies.


The game looks good. Graphics are 2D, but sprites and levels are high in quality and animation looks good. Despite the fact that the game is 2D, some devices may have trouble running it on higher levels with more plants and zombies. The listing on Amazon has the full list of devicies confirmed to not work well with the title. Sound is good, too, though I would have liked a bit more variation in the zombies’ groans and growls. Music is alright, but I did turn it off after a while.


Plants vs Zombies for Android absolutely is a homerun from PopCap. It translates well from the consoles to the smaller screens and it’s a game that can be a quick pick-up-and-play experience or hours-long brain-craving fests. And for some folks, long sessions won’t be an option as it can quickly get addicting as you make your way from level to level.

As I said, you’ll love the unique curveballs this game throws at you if you like tower defense games. Amazon has the game exclusively for $1.50 and it’s worth every cent of that. But this is a sale price (normal price is $3) so now is the time to jump on it if you weren’t able to get it for free (and yes, that means we totally recommend you download it).

stars Further Reading