Plants Vs. Zombies
: PopCap Games
: PopCap Games
: Puzzle & Strategy
: Nintendo DS
: January 18, 2011
It seems the success of PopCap Games, makers of puzzle games such as Peggle and Bejeweled, popular entry, Plants vs. Zombies couldn't be kept away from making its way to the Nintendo DS. The game's success with mobile devices and consoles just keeps proving you can't keep a good game down. The Nintendo DS edition of Plants vs. Zombies sells for $19.99, and is quite the bargain.
Plants vs. Zombies doesn't really run on a story, but it's actually as simple as Mario saving Princess Peach, or as simple as Sonic foiling Dr. Robotnik's plans. Here, the name of the game is literally the name of the game, which is to stop those brain hungry zombies from invading your home sweet home. So how do you do that? Well, that's where the plants come in. Before the zombies can reach your house, they'll have to go through your lawn first. It's up to your gardening skills to prevent the zombies from getting what they want: your brain!
The previous versions of Plants vs. Zombies handled easily and smoothly, even for the diverse gaming peripherals, and the Nintendo DS is no exception. You'll be using the DS's stylus for the majority of the gameplay. It's up to you to do everything possible to keep the zombies from making it inside your house. All the materials you need are easy to access, these materials are mainly seed packets. Each packet is capable of growing a certain plant, so before you start a level, choose the plants you wish to play with and get ready to defend your home from the zombie hoard.
Plants vs. Zombies features some of the most humerous sound effects in its gameplay, as with other cartoonesque video games. Each plant you place in the soil cues the grinding sounds of dirt, but it's really the zombies who have some of the funniest sound effects in the game. When they come to attack your home, don't fear, the zombies won't come rushing at you without warning. In fact, they're decent enough to let you know they're ready to come eat your brain by saying: "We're coming..." and begin their march to your front door.
The game does a good job of making the plants (good guys) have their own appealing and pleasant sounds while the zombies (bad guys) have their own "icky" sound effects when your plants defeat them. The game also features some catchy background music while you're playing. The theme song, for example, is so catchy that you'll find yourself singing, humming, or whistling, even when you're not playing it.
The game's graphical format is similar to the other peripheral's though not as vibrant as the higher definition output of the iPhone, iPod, and console counterparts. Still, graphics aren't everything, right? That's right. The point is, the graphical output of the game is colorful and brings out the playful nature of the game, especially in the plants and zombies. Both the plants and zombies come in a wide variety of size, shapes, and colors. PopCap was sure not to just drop in identical plants and zombies but with a different color, they took time to make each character as unique as possible. Just take a look at the game's box art for some wacky zombies.
Plants vs. Zombies is a puzzle/strategy game, so you're going to have to use that precious brain of yours to keep those zombies from invading your home. Choose your plants wisely, because if you don't, those zombies have every right to eat that brain of yours. It's simple, grow plants, lots of them. The most important plant you'll be using is the sunflowers. Sunflowers are capable of generating sunlight. These sunlight units act as expendable points to "buy" other plants you can use. Remember, the more sunflowers you have planted, the more sunlight you'll get. The more sunlight you gather, the more plants you can plant.
Watch out though, each plant has its own timed bar. What I mean by that is that once you spend sunlight on a plant, you'll have to wait a certain amount of time before you can get another. There are many plants the player has at their disposal, such as Pea Shooters, which can fire peas at the zombies, an offensive type of plant. Then there are walnuts that act as zombie distractors. Zombies will stop in front of these and proceed to eat them, buying you some time to follow up with more attacks of your own. When zombies come in hoards, that's when you can turn to the Cherry Bomb. Dropping one of these in front of a group of zombies will cause it to explode, taking out a group of zombies with it. As the player progresses through the game they'll have the option of using different upgraded plants as they become available, like the Pea Shooters firing as many as two or three peas at a time. There are dozens of plants, each with their own ability.
Though you may mix it up with your plants, that doesn't mean the zombies don't. Just as the plants come in different varieties, so do the zombies. Aside from your regular zombie, you also have zombies with traffic cones on their heads, armored zombies such as the football zombie, dancing zombies, and even zombies that attempt to catapult themselves over your plants. This is where thinking wisely really matters. You'll have to adjust your planting skills to meet the attacks of the zombies, some will be harder to take out than others. Set up your defenses early on and you should be able to keep that brain of yours zombie free.
The learning curve for Plants vs. Zombies isn't too broad and it isn't too narrow either. This makes it challenging, yet capable to play for even non-gamers. Players will find themselves returning to the frantic gameplay with as many as 50 levels waiting to challenge their skills. Other features included in the game are five game modes: Adventure, Survival (hold out as long as you can from the zombie attacks), Puzzle (brain challenging puzzles that take more critical thinking), Mini-Games (an assortment of various activities), and Zen Garden (tend to your plants, take care of your pet snail, and reinvest in your home).
The Nintendo DS's wi-fi can be used to play with friends. You can use a single game card or multi-card play. Friends can go head to head in battle, one plays as plants and the other plays as the zombies.
Plants vs. Zombies is a fantastic strategy based game that anyone can enjoy. The arrival of the game on the Nintendo DS is perfect for those who don't use smart phones, iPods, or the home consoles. This is also a plus for gamers on the go, not to mention the great price tag. I highly suggest picking up this edition of Plants vs. Zombies if you don't currently own it. So don't be a lifeless zombie, go to your nearest retailer and pick up your copy now!