This month we saw the release of the much awaited sequel to the Plants vs Zombies game. Popcap Studio certainly nailed the right feel with their latest edition of Plants vs Zombies 2. Whether you are an expert or you are beginning this game as a newcomer, PVZ ensures that you are guided through a nice learning curve before you jump into some serious action. In this review I am going to explain what makes Plants vs Zombies 2 one of the best iPad games in 2013 and also describe the game from a fresh perspective rather than comparing with its first edition.
The Basic Concept
Plants vs Zombies 2 takes an out of the box approach for killing and defeating zombies. In a world where most of the popular game development companies concentrate in creating the most graphic intensive bloody accurate zombie experiences, the developers at Popcap decided that killing zombies need not be all gory and intense. So, they came up with a concept of a chessboard (kind of) game where your weapon to defeat these monsters are a series of organic plants and vegetables. In each level you will face a series of zombies strolling towards your house or lawns using any of the 6 given lanes. Your objective is to use the plants strategically and defend your post. The concept might sound a bit weird but it’s the joy of strategizing every move added with a wide variety of possibilities that makes Plants vs Zombies an astounding success. You also have access to a series of special powerups that you can use to defeat a large chunk of incoming zombies.
In Plants vs Zombies 2 you are transported back into the Egyptian civilization and are faced with a series of levels that you need to clear in order to get back in time. I am going to talk a lot more about levels, your weapons and the wide variety of zombies in the gameplay section below.
You start small in the beginning where you need to manage three rows of incoming zombies. The way you plant different plants is by using your sun points. Although the game spawns sun points at regular intervals but you need to plant a few sunflowers in order to accelerate the process. Sunflowers are the key to survival in Plants vs Zombies 2. Each sunflower acts as a sun mining machine allowing you to accumulate enough points to purchase cool new plants. While you start off with the simple peashooter that fires peas straight at the monsters, you soon find yourself managing between cabbage-pult, jalapenoes, bonk choy, Wall-nut, potato mines etc. to name a few. Each unique plant has their unique set of strength and weaknesses. For example the potato mine is used for destroying anything that sets foot in the tile where it’s planted. Although the mine can be really effective in destroying powerful zombies you need to wait for a long time before you can use the next mine. On the other hand Wall-nuts are effective in stopping zombies advancing towards you. As you progress through different stages you will unlock more plants before you have a wide range of weapons in your arsenal and you can choose any six of them prior to starting a level.
Now that I have talked a lot about how your plants can act as a savior during the apocalyptic ontarage let’s take a closer look at the zombies themselves. Each level starts off slow with one or two zombies trolling their way towards you. While the initial wave is easy to counter things get a lot intense at the end of every level with the so called “Final Wave”. You will get a notification on your screen saying that “A huge wave of zombies are planning to attack” in order to prepare you for the final battle. You need to think fast and act quickly before the zombies start closing in on you. My recommendation would be to bolster your defense with a wall of Wall-nuts allowing you to get enough time to collect suns and deploy more powerful plants. Not all zombies are the same and there are these crazy looking pharaohs that suck your hard earned suns. At times you will find zombies wearing protective metal hats and you need to use substantial firepower in order to defeat them. My personal favorites are the glowing monsters that allow you to collect powerup points. These powerups can be trigged onto any plant to make that use their “special ability and maximize your killstreak. You should always use your powerups wisely because you only get 1-2 in each level.
The powerups act differently on various plants. For example, when you trigger it on a cabbage-pult, it throws super gigantic sized cabbages at multiple enemies. When used on the peashooter it shoots a burst of peas destroying and devastating any zombies in the line of action. Powerups are great and increasingly satisfying when you use them productively. There is nothing better in this world than to see zombies smashed with organic materials. The gameplay is so addictive that you are gonna want more action every time you complete a stage.
Once you successfully complete a few levels you will soon encounter a star based challenge systems giving each level an excellent replay value. Starts are required to open a particular stargate and move to a brand new set of levels. Plants vs Zombies 2 improves upon its original game in every way possible with new mechanics, plants and a wide range of monsters keeping you busy.
Freemium Model just works perfectly
Plants vs Zombies is a free game. At least that’s what you will first think when downloading the app on your iPad. However, in order to enjoy each and every feature you need to dive deep into its freemium system and ensure that you spend a healthy chunk of money in order to satisfy your zombie-destructo hunger. This is one of those games that nestles the freemium concept so brilliantly that you just can’t resist but use your credit card all the time. Don’t worry through! You can still play over 80 percent of the game without spending a dime.
In case you do decide to take action you can fast forward to 2 new level sets, new types of plants and even consider in-game improvements like buying coins & powerups. The entire game puts you through a detour of choosing the long hard earned route or spending real cash to skip to the next level. I recommend that you buy the starter pack instead of picking individual elements.
Plants Vs Zombies 2 comes packed with crisp graphics that pops every element as 3D figures on a 2D like camera angle. The zombies are quite distinctive from one another and you can clearly make out who is more powerful with just a glimpse. The plants have their unique identity and small little details ensure that they all cheer up together on screen. Last but not the least I was particularly impressed by their main screen level layout and how they rolled the carpet when you moved from one stage to another.
Now that I have talked a lot about Plants vs Zombies 2 I think that it’s one of the best iPad games I have played in 2013. It’s got everything you know, the ever satisfying combat, the diversified plants, the freedom to strategize every level exactly the way you want to play it. You can either be an aggressor or use defenses to crush your enemies. The freemium elements are implemented with a lot of perfection as well. I highly recommend Plants vs Zombies 2 to anyone looking for nice time. Whether you are at work or want a 30 minute break from your studies this is the game one should have on their devices.