It’s been a painful wait for Android fans of one of the most popular tower defense games. Not only did Plants vs. Zombies 2 first hit iOS, but then it saw a staggered launch, releasing in China first and then becoming available in Australia and New Zealand. Well, it’s now finally released worldwide. Was it worth the wait? You betcha!
Without any hesitation, I would say that Plants vs. Zombies 2 is the best tower defense game on Android today. It builds upon the successful formula of its predecessor and adds new elements, combining all of which leads to one of the most addictive titles I have played.
So What’s It All About?
Here’s the gist of what you need to know. Zombies are a growing menace and they are looking to get into your house to eat your brains. But you have some magical plants that can keep those undead at bay, provided you sow them in the right spots.
Each level has five paths on which the zombies walk towards your home or base. You have to place your plants on these paths to take them out. If the zombies go past the plants, there is a one-time lawnmower as a backup — but zombies reaching that does mean you lose points.
You have a variety of plants at your disposal. There’s one that shoots peas, a corn husk that chucks kernels and butter (which stops the zombie in his tracks), plants that freeze zombies, and even cannon-pots to blast them away. At the start of each level, depending on the number of slots, you have to select a few from your wide arsenal.
To put a plant on the ground, you need to buy it with sunlight. Sunlight can be collected from the orbs dropping down from the sky or by planting sunflower plants. These have no attack capabilities, but produce additional sunlight that you can use to buy plants.
The placement of the plants is the crux of the game. Place them right and you’ll breeze through the levels. Place them haphazardly and the zombies are going to get your brains as breakfast, lunch and dinner.
That’s Not All…
Besides this, you have a ‘plant food’ power-up. You can store up to three of these at a time in any level, collecting them by killing zombies that are carrying plant food. Drag and drop the plant food onto any plant and it’ll unleash a stronger attack for a limited time — great when you have a horde of incoming zombies.
And there are three new special skills too, which can be activated by spending coins. Coins are dropped by zombies and earned at the end of each level too. You will also pick them up through treasure chests and mini-missions.
Anyway, the special skills! If there are too many zombies on the screen, you can activate a skill — which is on for about 5 seconds — to pop off zombie heads by pinching them with your fingers, lift and blow away zombies by swiping upwards and to the right, and zap them with lightning by tapping them. These skills are great but expensive, so use them wisely!
Travelling Through Time
Plants vs. Zombies 2 has a silly storyline where you have to travel in time. Your neighbour, Crazy Dave, wants to eat the perfect taco and so he has called upon the services of a sentient time machine named Penny. The banter between the two swings between boring and silly fun, but it’s not going to get in the middle of your gameplay, which is the crux of the matter.
The duo is going to take you to ancient Egypt and mummified zombies, the Caribbean in the 1600s to take on pirate zombies and then to the wild, wild west to face down cowboy zombies. Each era has been designed to look and feel authentic. For example, in Egypt, the yard is replaced by stones used for building pyramids, while in the Caribbean, you fight on the decks of ships.
The plants also change in the different ages. For example, in the Caribbean, you will get a plant that can throw a zombie back into the sea, or another one that can break barrels being rolled over it.
Freemium Strikes Again
But time travel ain’t cheap. To go from one time zone to the other, you need to have enough stars, which you either earn by playing levels again or by buying them in the store. Indeed, you can buy a lot of things in the store, including new types of plants. And man, these aren’t cheap, going anywhere from $2.99 and upwards.
But thankfully, the game is such a joy to play that I never did mind replaying levels to earn stars. It’s just a few more minutes of fun, after all. Hey, for all you know, you might come across the elusive Yeti zombie, killing whom gives you a treasure chest full of goodies!
Every aspect that you can buy is something you can unlock through playing the game more and more — the freemium bits are mere shortcuts to get you there faster if you don’t have the patience for it. In Plants vs. Zombies 2, this works because the gameplay is so entertaining and addictive. But I’m not sure it would be fine for most other games.
To Plant Or Not To Plant?
Should you play Plants vs. Zombies 2? Yes! Go grab it right now, you fool! This is possibly the most addictive and fun game to come out this year. While FIFA 14 remains my Game Of The Year for its seamless blend of great graphics and fantastic next-gen gameplay, Plants vs. Zombies 2 is the game I’ll keep going back to.