Aug 5, 2009

[Games] Plants vs. Zombies

Plants vs. Zombies


Computer game development has become the kind of thing that nearly anyone with a great idea and programming skills (or at least friends who have those skills) can easily get into. In line with the Dot Com book where software development became the big thing of the 90's, so has the possibility of creating some great games that you don't have to market directly in retail stores. More and more people tend to focus on advertising their products online by offering free versions of their games online or as iPhone Apps and then charging for full downloads later on.

It's hard to track when this began exactly but I think it's safe to say that a large factor in the rise of such games is partnerships like Yahoo! Games, MSN Games and more recently Facebook that allowed developers to get their games featured under larger brand name banners. Over time, I have to admit I've become quite the fan of a particular company known as PopCap Games, who have created amazing games like Bejeweled and Feeding Frenzy.

Today we're talking about the insanely addicting Plants vs. Zombies, a definitely unusual spin on the Tower Defense genre of gaming. In this game the goal is pretty straightforward (as always with such games) - Zombies are trying to invade your home and eat the brains of your family. In order to stop their advance, you have the gift of a variety of plants that can attack the zombies and thwart their plans. These range from Pea Shooters that fire peas as basic projectiles to Sunflowers that produce extra "suns" that is the main form of currency in the game.

Zombies are all the rage these days it seems, and for good reason. There's just something about them that tickles the mind and gets everyone in a particular mind set that many, many zombie movies have conditioned. Combining that concept with the tower defense idea was just sheer genius and has resulted in a very entertaining game.

I was surprised by the fact that it hasn't become overly repetitive yet - the developers really put some careful thought into this game in order to ensure that it had great balance and increasing levels of difficulty that are challenging yet still achievable. The variety of plant-based weapons can get pretty nutty over time but that just goes to show how creative the game makers were. Better yet is the fact that they limit how many plants you can bring with you at the start of each level and thus you need to plan ahead in terms of how you'll deal with the assortment of zombies being sent against you.

And there's certainly no lack of humor in the zombie department either! You will find yourself starting out with the basic zombie but then eventually facing zombies with football gear as protection of those hanging from bungee cords who will try to steal your plants! The variety of zombies can get really silly, but it's all part of the brand of humor the game is trying to put forward.

I totally love this game and can't wait to see what's waiting for me in the next level. Not to mention the increasing number of mini-games, puzzles and side venture you can toy with such as the Zen Garden.

Plants vs. Zombies gets a full 5 lawnmowers out of a possible 5.


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1 comment:

Pinoy Gay Guy Confidential said...

I so love this game as well.

I agree that it doesn't feel repetitve and I am looking forward to different kinds of zombies they have created on the next levels ahead.

:D

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