It seems like Marketing 101: “Lots of guys like zombies. Lots of girls like plants. Some people like zombies and plants. So how about a game where plants fight zombies?” PopCap has a sense of humor, and knows casual games as well or better than anyone, so it was a fair bet that it could figure out a way to develop a funny, accessible title that combined these concepts together.
That’s what Plants vs. Zombies ($20, Mac/PC) is: a lighthearted game where you’re given strips of grass, each with nine squares, and various types of plants that can fill those squares to fight off hordes of incoming zombies. You need sunlight points to plant new plants, and can use sunflowers to more quickly accumulate sunlight. Most of the plants are offensive peashooters of various sorts, bombs, or landmines; nuts can be placed between your plants and the zombies to give the zombies something to gnaw on while they’re being shot by the peashooters. Virtually every level you survive, you get another item to use against the zombies for the next level.
That’s until you get the note.
Some levels deviate from the formula by spitting out plant after plant in rapid succession to let you knock down even faster-moving zombie armies. This breaks up the standard action—the first such stage is zombie bowling, the next is the all-out assault on your house. Survive that, and you move on to stages in the darkness.
And, of course, PopCap has brought its typically amusing artwork and writing to play here. We’re only 15 levels into the game so far, but enjoying it quite a bit. Could this possibly be coming for the iPhone any time soon? If it does, we think PopCap will have another big hit on its hands.