Popcap is one of those companies that can take a crazy concept and turn it into a goldmine, causing customers to throw money at them to be able to play the game. Who else can combine zombies and plants into a work of art? Who else can build up enough marketing hype through a single, viral song that everyone wants the game? Only Popcap (and maybe Blizzard)! I have already purchased this game on the Macintosh when it was first released and I am salivating at the proposition that the game will hit my iPhone. So, how is the game? The short answer: Worth every penny!
Test Equipment: iPhone 3GS
So, you more than likely are asking yourself what this game is composed of, right? Throw in a house, add in a lot of sunshine, lots of fungus, lots of seed packets, dancing, catchy music, zombies, and a homeless guy and you kind of have an idea of what the game is like. The player takes the role of a hapless homeowner, who happens to have a brain, and is in the path of a colorful zombie horde, who want said brain. Luckily, the player has a green thumb and is able to harness the power of the sunlight to grow plants for defense. Starting out with a single lane to help the player become accustomed to the game, the playing field quickly expands to five lanes, forcing the player to make more strategic choices in where to invest the available sun power.
The zombie rush begins with just a trickle and then the zombies attack in earnest. Everything from angry old zombies reading newspapers to a zombie bobsled team assault your fortifications. While you are madly tapping on the screen collecting resources, and planting your flora, you will have to adjust to a plethora of different zombie types attempting to eat your brains. The landscape itself will change as you go from the front yard to the back yard and then to the roof.
Not only are the zombies rather varied, but your own plants aren’t genetically homogenous. You start off with a sunflower and a peashooter and are slowly given more and more options as the game unfolds. Everything from mutant two-headed sunflowers to gatling gun pea shooters. What adds a certain amount of strategy to the game is that the player has only a limited amount of slots to fill up with plant seeds, so depending on what you are up against, choosing the correct plants and fungi will make a huge difference.
Throughout the game, the game will have different special missions available, like wall-nut bowling, whack-a-mole, and explosive wall-nut bowling to name a few. Throughout the game, you will not only collect sun to power your army, but you will also collect coins that allow you to purchase upgrades and extra lanes of defense. About halfway through the game, you will find Crazy Dave’s car key and you can get your shop on.