Finally, after a three-year wait, Plants vs. Zombies 2 has landed on the iOS platform, albeit in freemium form. Needless to say, as a longtime fan of the series, I woke up at the crack of dawn and got stuck in, and I am happy to report that I was not disappointed. In fact, the game has even exceeded my (very high) expectations!
For those of you who have seemingly been living under a rock for the past half-decade, Plants vs. Zombies is a tower defence game in which you must protect your home from a zombie invasion using nothing but, erm, plants. Intrigued? Hit the jump to find out more!
Plants vs. Zombies 2 revolves around Crazy Dave, a slightly mouldy-looking taco, and Penny, the time-traveling RV. According to Dave, the taco tasted so darn delicious that he, with the help of Penny, would like to travel back in time to eat it all over again. Unfortunately, Penny accidentally traveled back to Ancient Egypt instead, approximately 2,000 years B.T. (before taco), and this, dear reader, is where you come in.
Help Crazy Dave travel back to the exact moment he devoured the taco by building a large arsenal of plants, slaying zombies, and trying to stay alive. Are you up for the challenge?
There’s a Zombie on Your Lawn
Like Plants vs. Zombies, the sequel takes place on a 9 x 5 grid, but in a totally different location. Instead of the green, green grass of home, you are transported to Ancient Egypt, the Seven Seas, and the Wild West, where you are faced with mummy, pirate, and cowboy zombies, all set to eat your brainzzzz and destroy humanity.
Plants must be strategically placed on the grid to thwart each invasion, with a lawn mower acting as the last line of defence. Each plant can only defend the lane in which it is placed, therefore you must ensure that every single lane is occupied by at least one plant, otherwise you might as well kiss goodbye to your brain.
There are 12 brand spankin’ new plants available in Plants vs. Zombies 2, each one with its own special power to defeat the undead. Don’t worry, almost all of your favorites fruit and vegetables from the original game are present, too — for a price!
Plants can be fed plant food to make them more powerful, which is obtained by slaying glowing green zombies that appear on the board every so often. This will temporarily turn each plant into a lean, mean, zombie-killing machine on steroids, annihilating anything that dares cross its path.
Tall, Dark, and Dead
Basic, Conehead, Buckethead, and Flag Zombie are the only undead to return to Plants vs. Zombies 2, however, Dr. Zomboss does indeed make a cameo at one point in the game, and there are a handful of zombies modelled on Imp.
Instead, PopCap has introduced a whole host of new walkers, each one corresponding with the location in which it is found. Travel to Ancient Egypt and you will discover blood-thirsty mummies and pharaohs, while sailing the Seven Seas, you will encounter pirates in search of brainzzzz rather than booty, and even a zombie parrot!
A Helping Hand
Introducing Power Ups, a helping hand for getting out of sticky situations. Power Ups are bought using Coins and can be used to kill large groups of zombies in one fell swoop.
There are three different types of Power Ups: Power Pinch, in which you must pinch the screen to squash the zombies; Power Toss, where you simply pick up a zombie and toss it away; and Power Zap, my favorite! Power Zap is used to electrocute all on-screen zombies by prodding them with your finger. Ingenious, no?
PopCap has adopted the freemium revenue model this time around, much to the dismay of some, making Plants vs. Zombies 2 accessible to all. Thankfully, this doesn’t really have a negative effect on the actual gameplay, and you can easily complete Plants vs. Zombies 2 without spending a dime.
Plants such as Jalapeño, Snow Pea, and Squash are now only available via an in-app purchase, with prices starting from $2.99. Additionally, Coins can also be bought, which in turn may be used to buy Power Ups to mass slaughter the undead.
Shiny and New
As you may have noticed, Plants vs. Zombies 2 has had a facelift, making the game look indefinitely more polished than its predecessor. Other small differences include a game board which is used to travel from level to level, and the ability for zombies to steal your sun, although you can reclaim a small portion of it back once you defeat the culprit.
Worth the Wait?
Yes, definitely! I can honestly say that Plants vs. Zombies 2 is an excellent addition to the series, and wholeheartedly recommend the game for both fans of the original Plants vs. Zombies and newcomers alike.
Although I was somewhat dubious at first, the freemium revenue model actually works surprisingly well, and I like the fact that the game is accessible to all, whatever their budget, as a lot of people simply cannot justify paying over $5 for an iPad app.
Overall, Plants vs. Zombies 2 is a highly addictive game that is sure to please the majority of its players, although I do hope that we don’t have to wait another three years for the next instalment!