Plants vs Zombies is the latest game from Popcap, famous for making games more addictive than your choice of illegal narcotic. It’s similar to a tower defense game, but instead of a succession of samey adversaries, you have a selection of increasingly wacky zombies, and instead of towers with guns, you have a selection of increasingly silly plants. The idea is there are five rows (or six in the area with the pool), and you have to place your plants strategically to keep the zombie hordes from marching across the garden, into the house and eating your brains.
There’s a little more too it than that, obviously. To place the plants you need a certain amount of sunlight, which is generated by sunflowers and sun-shrooms. The more efficacious the plants are, the more sunlight they will cost. Beyond the sun givers, which should generally be placed at the back, there are shooty ones, which should be placed in front of the sun-givers (some shoot peas, some spores, some spikes, etc) and then in front of them the defensive ones, which should be placed closer to the front. These ones are essentially very tough, and keep the zombies away from the more vulnerable shooty plants, while the shooty plants turn their zombie faces into Swiss zombie cheese.
It is, like so many of Popcap’s games, simple, but wildly addictive. It sounds as though it might get repetetive, but they inject so much variety, with minigames and challenges which include playing as the zombies, fighting zombies with plant heads, bowling with plants, and all manner of other tomfoolery. The game is so much fun, and has such attention to detail, for instance, the Bookworm Adventures bookworm turns up in Crazy Dave’s Shop (Crazy Dave being your lunatic neighbour who sells you things), or the fact that the ‘help’ button displays a hand-written note which says ‘The objective of the game is to let the zombies get to the house. from The Zombies’ (there are actually quite a lot of those notes from zombies throught the game).
Overall, I can’t think of anything I didn’t like about Plants vs Zombies. The graphics weren’t ‘next-gen’ but they weren’t meant to be. Cartoony silliness is great in this sort of game. Plants vs Zombies really is stupendous, and if you enjoy games at all, you really have no excuse for not having bought this on Steam yet.