Plants Vs. Zombies is back! The original was released in 2009, and after a long, long wait the hit franchise is back, time traveling into the past, into some of the craziest periods and the craziest places, but more about that later.
Weirdly, unlike the original PvZ, this instalment’s plot forms a mildly important part of the game itself. It’s the stupidest plot I’ve ever seen, but I feel that’s what gives the game a really funny twist.
THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING!
The main reason behind the plants travelling so far away AND breaking the time- space barrier is –believe me –a taco. Remember Crazy Dave, the guy with the maniacal eyes, at his “Twiddydinkies” stall and his really lame, really funny introductions to levels and mini- games in the original game? Well, this guy eats a TACO and loves it so much that he gobbles it up real fast. In fact, he likes it so much that he decides to “engineer” a time machine to go to the exact time when he had eaten the taco in the past. But something goes TERRIBLY wrong, and he ends up in some worlds – and times – he never even dreamt of going to. Thankfully, he also takes his faithful pea- shooting, bursting plants with him in case of any unseen dangers. Dangers?
PopCap has changed and improved many aspects and has added quite a lot of new stuff along the way. But the basic tower-defense style game-play and controls remain the same. Like in the original, you just have to keep zombies away from your house so that they don’t eat your brains, by planting some offensive/ defensive plants on tiles on the ground. These plants can range from pea- shooting Peashooters to zombie- punching Bonk Choys to bursting Cherry Bombs!
There are lots of ways which make it easier to kill dead people now. For instance, there’s Plant Food, especially, which multiplies their attack/ defence capabilities hugely for a short time. Stuff like this now comes in handy, as the game has become much tougher.
The mini-games are super too. Shooting hordes of zombies with cannonball- sized coconuts to rack up better combos then your time machine friend, or protecting your fellow sunflowers is a great way to pass time.
Also, the game provides relief from the sea of brainless games on the app store.
This is a game where you have to use your brain and plot every move you make, so that the zombies don’t EAT your brains!
However, advancing in the game is now much more time-taking, if not tough, due to the constant need for keys and stars in the game. You need to collect enough stars to unlock any of the other worlds and you can get them only by meeting some criteria in each level in one world. It takes a lot of time to replay levels and get enough stars to unlock new worlds, and I ended up losing a bit of my patience trying to get from the first world (Ancient Egypt), to the other world (The Pirate Seas) and then the other (The Wild West).Also, you need keys to unlock doors in the Worlds, and there isn’t even any sure shot way to get keys in the game! Unfortunately, this is based on luck. You only get them when a random zombie drops one when killed, or the elusive Yeti Zombie drops its “Lunch Box” when killed. To add to this, there isn’t even surety on whether you’ll find a key in the box, or a diamond which amounts to a lot of money, which is pretty useless, except to buy some power-ups which you will hardly ever need unless you are a true beginner, so that makes going forward luck-based. I feel that game ‘goals’ should be reach-able through skill and not luck – so that’s a big ‘minus’ from me for PvZ-2.
One of the saddest things in this game is that not all plants can be obtained by completion of levels. You have to BUY them with real money! You can get some more stuff with IAPs but it will just be like cheating anyway. I always hated the concept of IAPs, but the issue in this game takes my hatred to a whole new level!
The game looks great, and the graphics are a little more cartoonish than the last one, but that isn’t bad. In fact, it makes the game look even better. The sound effects, like the faint plop heard when a peashooter shoots a “deadly” pea, and the creepy zombie war cry, “THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING”, have also been meticulously created. The level menus have also been turned into real- looking maps of the three worlds (namely, Ancient Egypt, The Pirate Seas and The Wild West). Levels in each of these worlds look drastically different from each other. The zombies and plants have also been colorfully designed. The sandstorms, splashes of water, etc. have been created with only fun in mind.
Plants Vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time is a rollicking ride into the darkest ages of zombie rule. Great graphics, some brain- using, addictive gameplay – they will surely make this truly crazy time- machine ride with a truly crazy man a worthwhile, immersive experience!
If not for the IAP craze and exceedingly long time taken to take just a step forward, I can give it a 8 on 10.
The Good: Cute graphics, nice mini- games, innovative array of plants and zombies, lush (!) landscapes
The Bad: Excruciatingly long gap between points, IAPs, largely luck-based.