We are happy to be back defending our back yard from the likes of the colorful zombies. The first game was a beautiful reinvention of tower defense with a twist I don’t think anyone expected; I know when the zombie apocalypse comes I wont be lining up pea plants and sunflowers to defend my house from a zombie hoard, but then again I am not crazy Dave. His mutant plants are back, and so is his craziness, his RV, and his beloved Taco.
The game takes on an interesting twist with the fact that Crazy Dave’s genius has led to another invention, his time machine / RV named Penny; my favorite part about Penny is that she has a funny Nightrider aspect to her, with a personality all of her own and a robot voice to compliment Dave’s garbled talk. Penny isn’t just for show though, she adds an interesting aspect to the game leading you to different periods in time where you find new zombies and plants to mix up environments. I appreciated the attention to detail in the various zombies the game throws at you in these different time periods; the first time jump leads you to ancient Egypt where the zombies are mummies with different levels of Egyptian dress, and your lawnmowers are given a special pyramid makeover.
Another big change is the animation. All aspects of the game have been given a serious makeover; both plants and zombies are way more animated and the lines and colors are a bit softer than the first game. To be honest it actually threw me off a bit and made me wonder if this was really the official game or not, it does look like plants vs zombies for sure, but it feels a bit different.
They also optimized the layout for tablets and smart phones lining the plants on the left bar instead of on the top. I did find though that this layout change made it so I was holding my tablet in a way that made it slightly more difficult to grab the sunlight as it fell from the top of the screen. With the first game you usually held the tablet/smartphone in one hand and then poked the different aspects of the game with your other hand, in the new layout you are using your thumb from your left hand and poking with your right hand, at points it can seem a bit cumbersome.
Another big change is that the game is free to play, with in app purchases. Now the game is essentially all there when you download it, but a lot of the things that you could buy with coins and other things in the first game Pop Cap is now asking real money for. So unless you are in dire need of certain upgrades, just wait till you can afford them with the in game currency. The game is tons of fun without having to spend any money at all. Internationally the game launched in various countries a couple of weeks ago, and many of those countries have been upset with this micro-transaction model of the game.
Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time launched last night worldwide on iOS, Android and the Computer.
Plants vs Zombies is a beautiful sequel to the beloved game IP. It has some excellent animation and a fun twist through the time traveling. Its real detriment is that not everything can be accessed without having to spend some real money, Pop Cap should have stuck with it’s original model of selling us whole games without trying to jump onto the micro-transaction bandwagon.