Plants vs Zombies is pretty simple: You have to to protect your house on the left side with your plants while the Zombies attack from the right side. The garden is like a chest field, and you are able to plant one plant on every square. All of the plants have different abilities, and so it's left to you to find the best combination for your defense. Every plant costs a specific amount of sunlights, which you can produce with sun flowers, and some sunlights also come down from the sky. You are able to pick between numerous plants before every level, which are present in slots on top of the screen. In the beginning you have 7 slots, but further in the game you'll be able to buy more.
The game starts of very, very easy, as it explains it self very well, making it even for total new comers a joy to hop in. The first level shows off what you have to do, and from there on you'll have to use your mind a bit in order to protect your house from the brain-hungry zombies. The game is very well paced, as the difficulty curve is nice and smooth, never throwing one level in your way that might seem to hard for you. Unfortunately, the adventure mode doesn't get all that challenging at all, not even towards the end, and the game ends with a fairly challenging final boss. It's not a big problem, as the adventure mode is still very enjoyable, but especially the some of the earlier levels could have been a little bit more challenging, as the beginning of the game might drag on a bit too much for tower defense veterans.
Except the rather low challenge there is nothing really to complain about the adventure mode, however. It's great how you earn a new plant after almost every level, each with it's own, unique abilities. The plants also look very adorable, and every plant has a fresh, new look to it self, and lots of personality. The Zombies look also pretty neat, and they also are very varied. There aren't quite as much different zombies as there are plants, but the number of different zombies is still impressive.
The action is also pretty good in the game. When having a big army of plants the fights get especially epic, at least then, when the army of zombies is also pretty big. Just watching how your plants beat up the zombies in numerous different ways is plain fun. The graphics support this entertainment as well, as there is never any real framerate problem, even if the action gets really heavy. The visuals also look really good, with a bright, colorful and simply charming art style.
There's also a neat variety to the game. Between all your battles you'll also come across some mini games that play out a bit different. One of the high lights is a level where it's night time and it's raining like crazy. And it's so dark that you can't see anything, except when the lightning comes to action ,which happens every 5 seconds or so. It's one of the most challenging and spectacular levels of the game. Also, the game changes the farther you get into the game. First it's day time, then night time. Than, the next day, your garden has a pool (for which you need specific plants), where your battles also take place during day time and night time. And then the Zombies lead the battle over to the roof, which also has some nice twists since the roof isn't straight. These level changes force you to always look for new strategies, in a great pace, which includes even more entertainment to the game. Plants vs Zombies has 50 levels all in all, and it is also the kind of game where you want to keep going and going under the excuse "only one more level".
Further in the adventure Crazy Dave, your neighbor, who also gives you a few hints and a helping hand for the adventure, opens up a store with lots of different stuff to buy. Like an extra slot for your plants, and much more. Making money isn't hard, you can look out for money during fights and then there's your own Zen garden where you can let your plants that you've won in battles grow by giving them water, food and other stuff that helps your plants grow so that they spit out money. Everything can be bought from Crazy Deaves store.
The adventure mode of the game already has quite a decent length, though not enough to satisfy everyone.
Luckily, the game offers 3 extra modes, mostly after you've beaten the main adventure: survival mode, mini games and puzzles.
Survival mode is kinda like the main adventure, it shares the same kinda concept with the adventure mode. Though this time you fight your way through a huge amount of Zombie waves in a row, and between every one you are able to choose new plants. It's really fun. Of course you can choose here as well between the 3 different locations and between day and night time. At first, there's only a normal difficulty. But after playing through the whole survival mode in normal difficulty, a hard difficulty for the same levels appears. This is where the game gets really challenging. In fact. It's outside of the actual main adventure where the game gets really challenging. The mini games are also pretty challenging, and a few of them are far beyond "pretty challenging". It's really fun to sink your teeth into these challenges, as no challenge is completely impossible or unfair.
Puzzle mode is also challenging. When playing the plant section, it's all about breaking vases that are spread over your lawn. If a plant gets revealed, your lucky, but if a Zombie comes out of these vases you'll have to fast do something for your defense in order to stop that Zombies. These puzzles get challenging very early, for my taste a little to early.
There's also a Zombie section for the puzzle mode where you can play actually with the ZOMBIES! Awesome. Well not THAT awesome, cause playing with the Zombies isn't THAT great. You'll have to make your way through the defense of the plants which are placed always from the beginning on. Every of the 5 rows have a brain behind the dangerous defense of the plants which you have to get. So now it's up to you to find your way through the defense right to the brains. Unfortunately you can't choose your own Zombies before every level, but that would probably make these levels to easy. On a plus side is that these Zombie puzzles have a very good difficulty curve.
Playing with the Zombies is fun for a while, but it's noting great or impressive. Playing with the Zombies in a real battle would have been much better.
Combine these 3 extra modes with the adventure mode and you have an awesome game. It's a unique strategy game with loads of content and addictive gameplay. Then there is the Zen garden and Crazy Daves store which also includes some more length. Especially if you buy another Zen garden for your night active plants for example. Plants Vs Zombies is a big game that ensures you to have fun. The game's presentation is also pretty solid, with nice, vibrant and strong colors and a soundtrack that's kinda catchy, though the soundtrack is only out of a handful of music pieces, and so the soundtrack can get a bit annoying after a while. Still, Plants vs Zombies is a wonderful package with amazing gameplay that every computer owner should own.
+ Strategic gameplay
+ very addictive
+ nice, simple, colorful, charming graphics
+ the plants and zombies look incredibly awesome and have
personalities all for them self
+ survival mode, mini games and puzzles add length to the game
+ little price makes this game an easy buy
- adventure mode isn't all that challenging
- soundtrack has to few music pieces
Review Score: 8.5/10