The Best Game You Aren't Playing
I love WOW, but it is not the only game I find addicting. For a few weeks last summer I was absolutely enthralled with a game that was very different from my usual favorite genres. I find myself coming back to it occasionally, and I’m surprised by how few people know about it.
Plants vs Zombies is a fantastic Tower Defense game published by PopCap (the makers of the popular Peggle, and Bejeweled). Now I know there are tons of Tower Defense games out there, so you might be reluctant to try another one. I think this one is worth it - it stands out for me from all the others, due to its whimsical nature, and in-depth, polished game-play. Its been well-reviewed by Gamespot, IGN, Kotaku, etc.
This game is jut plain fun. The basic premise is that you are trying to prevent Zombies from getting to your house and eating your brains. You do this by planting various types of plants to defend it. Does that not sound hilarious? It gets better. There are many types of zombies that becoming increasingly more amusing – from Pole Vaulting zombies to the Snorkeler Zombie, to the Wheelchair zombie. The plants are adorable, and watching them annihilate zombies is absolutely priceless. If your defenses are weak, the zombies will start munching on your plants. The zombies also have moaning sound effects as they trudge their way across your screen.
Not only is the game fun, but it is a well designed game in terms of mechanics. It can get quite challenging and will appeal to skilled Tower Defense players as well as newbies. It does ease you in to things a little, but the adventure mode of the game ramps up to be quite difficult. Each level provides you access to more types of plants, and more difficult zombies that behave in unique ways. I believe there are 49 types of plants altogether. You can get very sophisticated with your choice of different plants to fit different scenarios. The settings vary from the backyard, fog, the swimming pool, night, and the rooftop. There are mini-games, a puzzle mode, and a survival mode included as well. The addictiveness of the gameplay is astounding – I played for hours on end, something that I rarely do with puzzle games.
The visuals are also quite appealing – the zombies and plants are well animated, and the scenery is well designed. The interface has a lot of polish, and is very user-friendly. If you’ve ever played any of PopCap’s other games, you know they create quality software.
Another one of my favorite parts of the game is the music/sound effects. The soundtrack is very catchy (I had it stuck in my head for weeks. Actually I think I can still hear it…). Check out this music video for a sample. The sound effects provide easily recognizable audible cues that specific things are happening (such as the Snorkeler zombie splashing through the pool).
I would highly recommend that anyone try this game – from the most casual gamer to the more hardcore, and even to those that normally don’t like puzzle games. The price is incredibly reasonable. You can download the game from PopCap’s website for $19.99, or from Steam for $9.99 (I’m not sure why there is a price difference). Best Buy and other brick-and-mortar retailers also carry a physical copy of it. The best news of all is that it’s a Mac friendly game!
I believe an iPhone version is due to come out shortly (possibly this month?), and an Xbox version is in development.
Has anyone else played this game? Do you have any games to recommend that you wish more people knew about?