Review: Plants vs. Zombies (PC)

Review: Plants vs. Zombies (PC)

Plants. Zombies. Whoever decided to combine the two was either mad or a genius. Perhaps a mad genius.

Lindsey gave us a look into the world of Plants vs. Zombies for Xbox Live Arcade, but not all games translate the same when ported to other gaming devices. So, here I am to present to you, a review and breakdown of the PC version of Plants vs. Zombies.

If you haven’t already heard of the game, let me introduce you: Plants? Zombies? Meet reader. Reader, meet Plants vs. Zombies. There. Now, let’s see how much you two … err … three … get along!

PvZ is a game based around a rather simple concept: don’t let the zombies make it to your brains. Pretty simple, right? Wrong! This game had me sitting on the edge of my chair for the majority of the time!

There are four game types to choose from – Adventure mode, mini-games, Puzzles or Survival mode, as well as a Zen Garden for a zombie-free, calming environment for your plants.

In Adventure mode, you discover different types of plants to combat several different zombies in an attempt to protect your house and brains, progressing through the levels and earning more money. A key note: sunshine is your currency. So, when you can, catch some rays!

If you get bored of that, you can play several mini-games. The games vary with a total of 20 to choose from, ranging from bowling, where the ball is a walnut and your pins are the zombies, to Whack-a-Zombie, which as you can imagine, is similar to Whack-a-Mole, only with zombies.

If you want to try something a little different, you can test your skills on some puzzles. There are two types of puzzles, with 10 puzzles per type. The first type is are 10 vase themed puzzles. Here, you break vases to find either plants or zombies, and use the found plants to defeat the released zombies. Tip: go slow. There’s no time limit, so once you have a ‘gun’ shooting at a zombie, don’t break any more vases until the zombie is dead! Trust me! It works the best! The second puzzle type flips the sides around. Here, you help the zombies get past the plants and on to the brains. You do this by eating flowers, releasing sunshine, purchasing which zombie you’d like to use, and unleashing it on the unsuspecting plants. Each puzzle has different obstacles: some have more or stronger zombies, some have vases that blow up and other have some serious strategy involved!

Next up, you can see how well you’d do in a zombie apocalypse (if plants could kill them) in the Survival mode. There are varying difficulties, lighting effects and locations. Each with their own set of rules and obstacles. Some have stronger zombies, while some plants can only function during day or night, not both.

Now that you know how to play the game, on to the important question: is Plants vs. Zombies a good game? In one word: yes! But, before you just stop there, let me explain why!

The graphics are great; they easily depict what type of plant or zombie you have in front of you, words are legible and no images seem to lag. Along with that, there is some very fitting music. During sunny days, the music is bright and cheery, while in the graveyard, the music is slightly Gothic and Addams Family-esque.

Although the music and graphics are great, that’s not quite what makes this game!

Have you ever played Bejeweled? Peggle? FarmVille? Like you’d admit if you did, anyways! Well, I know you have – or have at least watched someone else play them. You know how you thought “This game looks stupid. There’s no story. No strategy. I’m a hardcore gamer. Get me some guns and more than a mouse to click!” Then, in the privacy of your secluded bedroom, you clicked the link to FarmVille and realised just how addicting casual games are? Well, PvZ is no different!

This game is addicting.

Like crack to that weird twitchy guy on the corner.

When I received Plants vs. Zombies, I turned the computer on, installed the game, and set to launch when complete. Then, I set off to do some errands. Three hours later, I came back to the computer to play it and my Mom had beaten me to it! Now, my Mom is a gamer. God of War, Bejeweled, Final Fantasy – it doesn’t matter. So, I wasn’t surprised she was playing. I was surprised that she was glued to it like a hypnotised … well, zombie. “Mom, how long have you played?” “Oh, only 10 minutes!” “What level are you on?” “I’m not sure.” Then we took a look at her progress – let me say this, I’m not quite sure how long she had played, but I can guarantee you, it wasn’t 10 minutes! Then, I sat down. I promised myself only an hour then off to bed. When 5am rolled around is when I realised I had been playing this game far longer than an hour!

This game is so intriguing. You learn more about the zombies – what works, what doesn’t – and you really can’t stop. You just go on and on. For hours. Without eating. Sleeping. Sometimes, when the zombies starting getting really close to my brain, I think I may have even stopped breathing! One time, I almost fell off my chair in a really intense game of Whack-a-Zombie!

Listen carefully: go buy Plants vs. Zombies. Heck, you can even try the free trial! Then, once you’ve realised you’ve gone eight hours without food or rest, come back here and tell me I was right. It really is THAT good. Seriously.

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