Quick Hits: Plants vs. Zombies

(Editor’s Note:  BRAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIINNNNNNS!)

I have made no apologies for my life long infatuation with zombies.  It started with Night of the Living Dead, continued through the Resident Evil games, reached its peak with The Walking Dead comic book and finally died with the TV show.  However, like the zombies themselves, I’m sure that it will rise again from the grave to haunt me and attempt to devour my brain.  In that case, this past week might represent the part in the movie where the hand shoots out of the earth and the ominous music plays.

Okay, guys, will you now admit that I'm the best at hide and seek?
Okay, guys, will you now admit that I’m the best at hide and seek?

Somehow, through all of the movies (hell, I even enjoyed Warm Bodies), comic books (Marvel Zombies was a favorite along with The Walking Dead), and games (Dead Rising become more fun than the Resident Evil series), I missed Plants vs. Zombies.  I knew about the game, of course, but never played it.  I played a version of it as a quest in World of Warcraft for a battle pet (at the time just a vanity pet) but never the actual game.  Like Candy Crush, the game just never registered as one I’d enjoy.

Blizzard, your undisputed champions at making money off of other people's ideas.
Blizzard, your undisputed champions at making money off of other people’s ideas.

I got introduced to Candy Crush finally through my kids and Mother-in-Law.  She was stuck on a level and I played through to help get her to the next level.  It wasn’t long until I downloaded the game on my own tablet and now I’m up to level 152.  A former student told me about the daily spin to keep me logging in every day and I’ve even spent some money on the game buying a couple of the weekend deals.

My introduction to Plants vs. Zombies was not as gradual.  After not having played the game, I got the urge to download and install it on my tablet.  I think that part of the reason that I never played it was that I only owned phones and don’t like the overall experience of gaming on phones.  I have had the tablet for a few months, now, so that doesn’t explain the sudden interest in this particular game.  Well, whatever the reason, I’ve found a new mobile obsession to play while waiting for my lives to regenerate in Candy Crush.

My thoughts:

  • The game isn’t all that hard.  Most of the time, a row of sunflowers behind two rows of the pea shooters is sufficient to clear the level.
  • Even so, the game play and zombies are varied enough that you occasionally have to change your strategy to account for the different attacks.
  • The mini games and puzzles are different enough to break up the monotony of the main game.  It’s just too bad that there are so few of them.
  • I have never been able to play other zombie games around the kids, for obvious reasons, but that’s not an issue with this game.
  • As a follow up to that last point, there’s nothing cuter (or weirder) than hearing my 4 year old wail, “Braaaiinnss” because he heard it on the game.
  • Overall, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the game as a good game.  It is a mostly fun game and free (or 2 bucks if you want to get rid of the ads, as I did), so you really can’t lose by trying it out if you have somehow avoided it as long as I have.

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