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An addicting strategy-action game where you use plants to fight off hordes of the undead

An addicting strategy-action game where you use plants to fight off hordes of the undead

Vote: (3,721 votes)

Program license: Paid

Program by: PopCap Games, Inc.

Version: 3.2.1

Works under: Windows

Vote:

Program license

(3,721 votes)

Paid

Program by

Version

PopCap Games, Inc.

3.2.1

Works under:

Windows

Plants Vs. Zombies was one of the earliest mobile games to become an international sensation, but its addictive evolution of tower defense fundamentals and lack of a pay to win model gives it a level of timelessness that few other mobile games of the era can offer. Two big changes fundamentally change the rhythm you'd expect in a tower defense game. The first is the grid based structure that limits the amount of plants you can expose while also creating individual lanes that you have to defend. The other is the fact that you need to plant specific generators to gather new energy. The result is a more frenetic experience where resource management takes center stage and players are frequently forced to take a hands on approach and actively replace plants in the heat of battle.

And the amount of variety with the characters here is truly massive. There are dozens of plants to choose from, and their coverage of the grid lends them a greater amount of synergy between characters. Filling the board with the highest damage dealing plants simply isn't enough. Instead, you'll need to make smart use of healers, buffers, debuffers, and damage dealers to properly take on the hordes of zombies that come at you.

That's because the zombie characters are equally as diverse as the plants at your disposal. You'll find pole vaulters that can breach right past your defenses, kamikazes that need to be picked off quick or necessitate a whole lot of replanting, and buffers that strengthen the melee and long distance units in the zombie horde. That's just scratching the surface of enemies you'll be fighting, and it doesn't even factor in the environmental complications.

Yes, the levels themselves come with some unique complications that set them apart. Each has a major theme, and while it lends a sense of variety to the aesthetics, it also necessitates a different approach to how you play. From pool levels that minimize the amount of space available to you and introduce unit types to nighttime levels that drastically reduce the amount of resources available to you, Plants vs. Zombies will constantly keep you on your toes and necessitate the use of some varied strategies.

Just because this was originally a mobile game doesn't mean that it's going to feel lightweight if you choose to play it on Windows. The core gameplay from the mobile version has a lot to work with to start with. Most players will focus their attention on Adventure Mode - an approach to tower defense that has you gather money over time that you can then spend on new soldiers and boosts. Fortunately, you can acquire everything you need without having to spend a single penny of real money. But the Windows port also comes with a whole host of new modes that will keep you coming back on a regular basis. A puzzle mode strips out the resource management level and instead gives you a set amount of sunlight and tasks you with finding a way to overcome a very specific wave of enemies. There are multiple unique choices here that mix up the formula and even give you the opportunity to trade out your plant soldiers for zombie units. Then there's a survival mode which tasks you with overcoming waves of increasingly stronger enemies to see exactly how long you can survive. It amps up the arcade gameplay in the same way that puzzle mode amps up the strategy. In addition, there are a ton of smaller modes that give more legs to the game. These include a whole slew of mini-games and a Zen Garden that provides a small level of idle resource management and better strengthens out your army of plants.

Plants vs. Zombies may be old, but it's such a classic that it will continue to be a lot of fun into perpetuity. While other games have taken the innovations of this game and run with it, Popcap's game is still worth the time of any puzzle and tower defense fans.

Pros:

  • Surprisingly deep tower defense gameplay
  • Tons of different modes to choose from
  • Bright and funny artistic style

Cons:

  • Core features are no longer innovative

A war has started between plants and zombies where you try to fend off the undead creatures using the plants growing in your garden.

There is a swarm of zombies trying to take over your town. Fortunately, you have something in your yard that can be used to get rid of them. There are several types of zombies that try to make their way inside your home, but if you use the plants in your garden, then you can keep them away. You have a few weapons that can be used with the plants, which you'll discover that you need because there is an assortment of zombies instead of just the typical undead creature. They include ball players, dancers, and zombies that sometimes care more about what they look like than killing.

After a few levels, you can play mini-games where you can earn items to help in your battle. An example is a bowling game where the zombies are the pins. Once you have earned enough points, you can begin getting new types of plants that are taller and stronger. When you play Survival mode, you are challenged to see how long you can last by fending off zombies as they continue to come at you. Zen Garden is a mode where you can relax a bit more and provide care for your plants with only a few zombies trying to attack. Each type of plant does something different to the zombies, such as nuts that slow them down and shooting flowers that knock the zombies out. The sounds associated with the game are of a decent quality. However, the movements tend to lag and can be a bit robotic at times, making it hard to get into a good position to defend your home.

Pros

  • Fun challenges
  • Multiple modes of play

Cons

  • Movements are odd
  • Can't really change the sounds