Review: Plants vs. Zombies, Game of the Year Edition
I've written in the past [see My Favorite iPhone Games] about Plants vs. Zombies, an entertaining puzzle game where you have an ever-increasing variety of plants, pea shooters, etc., that are your only defense against swarms of staggering zombies. It could have been potentially gory, but fortunately it's all cartoon images and there's a sense of zany fun to the game that makes it compelling.
It's also widely available, on Mac, PC, iPhones, iPads, etc. In fact, it's the iPad version that was sufficiently compelling that I actually played through the entire game and finished it up, then went back and tried to optimize my approach on some of the hardest levels.
Just in time for the holidays, PopCap has released a new "Game of the Year" edition of Plants vs. Zombies. Is it worth buying if you already have PvZ?
Similar to movies, lots of computer and video games now spawn increasingly banal sequels that miss the fun or novelty of the original title and just add more levels, maps, opponents, or tracks. Nothing new, just more of the same.
Still, at least it's a sequel and if you're really into Halo, then surely you'll like Halo 2, and so on, right?
Unfortunately, Plants vs. Zombies Game of the Year (I'll abbreviate this GotY from now on) isn't a sequel at all. There are no new zombies, no new plants, no new levels. Instead it feels more like a series of bug fixes, including a curious change where the dancing zombies have been replaced by disco zombies "per the request from the Michael Jackson estate" the PopCap folk inform me. Uhm, I guess the dance from Thriller was protected intellectual property?
The most interesting addition is a character builder that lets you create zombies of your own called the Zombatar!. If you're used face builders or character builders in other games, you already know the identikit format:
You can see my Zombatar zombie coming to life, uhm, coming together in the above screen capture. The color of the elements, however, are too muted and at first glance I thought it was all grayed out and unavailable. I get the "zombie" theme but this could be a lot easier to see. Also note the bug: while the Zombatar lets you pick different clothes, they don't actually get applied to the icon, nor do they apply when the Zombatar shows up in the game itself.
It's undeniably fun to use these character creator tools and I have watched my kids spend hours building "Mii" avatars for their friends on our Nintendo Wii, and to have these custom zombies show up in the game? Definitely fun, as you can see here:
Still, is this enough to justify buying the game if you already have Plants vs. Zombies? I don't think so. Fun though the game is, the GotY edition is only Mac or PC and it's so incredibly much better on a touch screen that I'd definitely encourage you to check out the iPad version instead, Zombatar or not. If you've never played, however, and like puzzle games, you've been warned. It's pretty darn addictive!
Plants vs. Zombies, Game of the Year edition, available for Mac and PC. $19.99. Purchase online at Popcap.com.
Disclaimer: Popcap comp'd me the license for this game. After I'd bought the version for my iPad and played it incessantly. :-)
Update: Since it's also from Popcap, I thought it's worth mentioning that they just released Bejeweled 3 for the Mac and PC. It's a game I still enjoy, and they've added some nifty levels and of course, after playing Bejeweled 2 on the iPhone incessantly too, it's fun to see the far more sophisticated graphics on the Mac. I'm waiting for an iPhone / iPad release of this simple, compelling puzzle game (my kids all love it too, even my 6yo), but if you're really into Bejeweled, I suspect you'll enjoy Bejeweled 3. Check it out!
More Useful Articles and Reviews Articles:
✔ Review: Verticus for iPad
iOS gamers everywhere are familiar with the genre of infinite forward progress apps - Mega Jump, Canabalt, and a host of other run/jump/fly-until-you-die...✔ Review: Clear Spot Voyager 4G wifi hotspot
Clear Voyager 4g HotspotI'm constantly on the go and with just about every site I visit available via secure SSL connection, I typically...✔ Review: Dropcam HD wifi video camera
Whether you're security paranoid, want to keep an eye on the nanny, have a summer or winter home you'd like to peek in...✔ Audiovox Car Connection Review
I have the smartest house on the block with a wifi-enabled thermostat and garage door opener, along with a complex web of wireless...✔ Review: Slingbox 500
I should start with a candid admission: I'm not a huge television watcher. I catch soccer matches on Fox Soccer Channel, and watch...
Let's stay in touch!
Sign up for my weekly AskDaveTaylor Newsletter and you'll receive even more tech and gadget help right to your inbox, along with exclusive news and industry updates. It's good stuff. I promise!
I do have a comment, now that you mention it!
Check This Out Too...
Look for Answers
All Our Categories
Apple iPad Help
Articles and Reviews
Auctions and Online Shopping
Blogs and Blogging
Building Web Site Traffic
Business and Management
Computer and Internet Basics
d) None of the Above
Google Gmail Help
Google Plus Help
Industry News and Trade Shows
iPhone and Cell Phone Help
iPod, Sony PSP and MP3 Player Help
Kindle Fire Help
Mac OS X Help
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Shell Script Programming
Tech Support Video Help
The Writing Business
Twitter, LinkedIn and Social Network Help
Unix and Linux Help
Video Game Tips and Help
Windows PC Help
Find Me on Google+
ADT on G+