Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Plants vs Zombies is a fun, almost relaxing game that lets you pit your friendly, sun loving plants against waves of incoming zombies. Protect your house from the zombie assault!
The concept is simple. You see the entire board at once - your front lawn. Your house is on the left. The zombie group is approaching from the right. The list of plants you can plant - at the beginning just one seed-shooting plant - is on the top. You choose where to plant each plant in your lawn in order to keep your house safe.
When you survive the first wave, you get a new type of plant. Now you get sunflowers which let you recharge your plants more quickly. Soon you're adding on chomping plants, plants which send out ice seeds, exploding potatoes, and more. Each plant requires a different amount of sun so you have to balance your garden planting carefully. You need to make sure you've got enough sunshine coming in to maintain your wall of protection.
The game does a great job of ramping up the difficulty slowly. Newcomers to gaming will get the hang of what is going on quickly, and even experienced gamers will stay intrigued with the challenge of keeping those zombie monsters at bay.
The game is definitely on the "cute" side. The zombies call out "brains!" every once in a while, and the happy music bobs along while you plant your seeds. Hard core gamers who are out for blood might find this one a little too tame.
However, for gamers who enjoy a fair amount of challenge in short term doses, this game works well. Each wave only lasts for a few minutes, so you can easily pop in, spend 15 times while waiting for the bus to arrive, and then pause the game again when it's time to go. It's a perfect game for laptop play, and it does nicely as a mild stress break on desktops as well.
Any down sides? I suppose if you were very religious that the concept of slaying zombies might bother you. Very young kids might be disturbed by the sight of zombie arms popping off as they are destroyed. Other than that, though, I find this a great game to build up your hand-eye coordination and test your strategic thinking in a fun atmosphere.