The world of iOS gaming moves fast. Games come out, generate hype, and are forgotten all in a matter of a couple of days. On consoles, gamers will stick with a game longer, but with the low-cost of games on iOS, gamers are always looking to move on to the next big thing. When a game is able to stand the test of time and remain popular long after its release, it deserves to be praised, because very few iOS games are able to make this happen. Plants vs. Zombies ($0.99) is an example of one of these games.
Plants vs Zombies stands among some elite company in terms of iOS games. Only games like Angry Birds are able to stay relevant so long after release. I started playing Plants vs. Zombies on my iPhone and iPad right when it came out, and I still go back to it regularly. There is just something about the addictive gameplay and overall charm that it brings to the table that keeps me wanting more. If you’ve never played PVZ, seriously, download it, and it you will be one happy iOS gamer.
Plants vs Zombies is similar to tower defense, but it plays in a straight line. You place plants with various abilities on the level with the goal of stopping the zombies from getting to your house. To place plants, you need resources, which in this case is sun. The level drops sun automatically and you also place sunflowers that produce additional sun.
As you progress through the game, the zombies become more advanced. Some zombies will fly on balloons, some will have protective items on their heads and so on. The levels also evolve. Some will become dark, others will have fog, and you will even end up on a sloped roof late in the game. Each of these level types force you to use different types of plants to stop the zombie horde.
Playing the actual game is simple, and the controls are well-suited to a touch interface. You simply tap the sun to collect it, and click the plant you would like to place and tap a section of the yard to drop it. In early levels, it’s a pretty passive experience, but as you progress, you will almost constantly be doing something to keep the zombies at bay.
Towards the end, you will find yourself having to think incredibly strategically to make it through the levels. It finds a perfect balance of adding challenge without being difficult enough to scare away more casual players.
Graphics & Sound
Plants vs Zombies looks great. Even though it’s a game about zombies, which are generally portrayed as scary, the zombies here have a cute aesthetic to them that makes this game perfect for any age group. From a pure art style standpoint, PVZ looks great. Popcap nailed it, whether you are playing on a newer device with a Retina display or not.
The music and sound effects are also fantastic. The sound is quite important in a game like this because some of the levels can take a while. You will be listening to the same music and sounds of your plants shooting for quite a while, so it better be enjoyable. Every little jingle and sound effect in PVZ seems to have been crafted with care, and that’s something you don’t see often enough in video games.
There is so much gameplay to be had in Plants vs Zombies. Between the incredibly long Adventure mode and all the minigames tucked away, there is potential to play this game for hours on end. As I said in the introduction, I have been coming back to PVZ since it came out, and that is something I cannot say for most games on iOS.
For gamers looking for some more challenge, some of the minigames are brutally hard, so if you felt like the main game was a little too easy, the harder minigames should keep you quite satisfied.
If you are looking for a game you can play in short bursts or for long periods of time, Plants vs. Zombies (priced $0.99) is perfect for you. It’s one of the best games available on iOS, and it’s one every single person who owns an iOS device should have installed. Between the endless gameplay, easy to use controls and fantastic sound and visuals, it’s easy for me to recommend PVZ to iOS gamers of all ages and tastes.