Plants vs. Zombies

pvz
What we liked:
- Fresh spin on an old idea
- Genuinely funny
- Lots of variety
What we didn't like:
- It looks like a PopCap game
- No Zombie Pirates!
Rating
8.5
DEVELOPER: PopCap   |   PUBLISHER: PopCap   |   RELEASE: 05/05/2009

It must be something in the soil.

It’s my favourite holiday of the year, the one where I get to dress up like a monster and steal bags of candy from hard working little kids! So I thought, what better then to use my fancy new Steam Press Account (Thanks a Ton Valve) to review a game that our site never got a chance to play, oh and it has something to do with Halloween, but that was just luck. Our title this day is from the same evil people who brought us Bejewelled, Zuma, and PEGGLE! Yes that means I must be talking about Plants Vs Zombies and seeing as I have my P.H.D. in Zombiology and since I’ve seen every good zombie film ever made I was more than excited to play this unique defence puzzler.

Editors Note* If you want to have a zombie fest for Halloween this year these are the titles to watch.


  • Original Dawn of the Dead

  • New Dawn of the Dead

  • Shaun of the Dead

  • 28 Days Later

  • REC (Not the stupid English one Quarantine)

  • PontyPool

The general concept of Plants Vs Zombie is an easy one to grasp, the game is fundamentally a tower defence game, but instead of lining a path with your towers to kill the hordes as they walk by, you instead block their way with your garden of death. As the levels go on you get to use a larger and larger array of plants, forcing you to choose which roster will be good for a certain level because as your variety of plants grows, so does the types of zombies that will shamble towards your quant suburban paradise.

One of the real brilliant ideas in Plants Vs Zombies is that the game will throw different variations of defending your lawn at you every so often. This helps to make sure that the game doesn’t become a grind. Two great examples of these include you using giant nuts to bowl over incoming zombies, while another randomly gives you seeds to plant that you must use to push back the villainous horde. However I have to say the best part of these little side levels is the introducer of them, he is a downright nut job who lives next door and every time he comes over with his pot for a hat and starts spouting his complete gibberish I always burst out laughing.

The cast of zombies is also one of the real treats of the game, since some of them are actually funny to watch. Out of the entire lineup, my favourite is the one I like to call the Grandpa zombie, he pretty much makes his way down your lawn with a paper in his hand, as he gets hit, the paper falls away and when he drops it, he becomes enraged that you’ve taken it from him, inspiring him to move with a purpose towards your adorable plant defenders. Others zombie types include ones with pylons or pots on their heads, while others are in full track uniform and pole vault over your first line of plants, I still laugh every time, when they jump over my first plant into the hungry mouth of one of my Venus fly trap like plants, watching them be slowly eaten is always a giggle.

The game is visually nice, it has the same level of polish as any of the other big pop cap games, but don’t expect bloom effects, HDR lighting, and 16x AA. But the lovable art style and the terrific sound and music make sure that the game is a treat on all levels.

I know for most of you, you’ve either picked up Plants Vs Zombies or you decided that a Pop Cap game just wasn’t hardcore enough for you, but it is the holidays and you should give PvZ another go. I am confident you’ll find a game that has the depth and challenge that we hardcore’s like, while also being easy enough to grasp that you can get the parents or your significant other in on the zombie killing fun.