Plants vs. Zombies

9.0 Overall Score

Written by on September 30, 2010 in

When zombies decide to launch an all out attack on your house and home your brains can rest safe should you have the right plant life protecting you. PopCap’s Plants vs Zombies franchise that made debuts on the PC/Mac, iPhone and iPad, has now sprouted onto the Xbox Live Arcade and brings with it some new additions and some fundamental changes.

The biggest change to PopCap’s opus is the user interface (UI). Players must sacrifice a mouse and keyboard or their touch sensitive screens for an Xbox controller. At first the new UI is a bit like planting a sunflower in a night time survival round. It feels a bit otherworldly and slow to have to navigate the screens with the thumbsticks and switch from plant to plant using the Left and Right bumper buttons. Thankfully the brain rewiring happens quickly and soon players will find themselves readily adapted and ready to face the invading zombie hordes.

The Xbox Live Arcade edition of Plants vs Zombies also brings a little bit of Facebook-styled gaming to the title by introducing a garden virtual shed to the game. In this digital Zen garden, players earn plants in game play and must water, feed, and other forms of helping their garden grow. A properly cared-for plant can be sold for some very decent virtual income when it matures. In addition, there is also a tip & trick tree that can be looked after which doles out strategies, secrets, or tricks to help players in the game and beyond.

Even with the new additions to the game, the heart of Plants vs Zombies remain the popular game play. The game retains its core campaign in which the player must keep invading hordes of zombies from reaching the entrances to player’s humble abode. Players must plant various kinds of plants to prevent zombies from reaching the left side of the screen in a simplified version of tower defense in which the zombies attack in lined rows. As more of the campaign is played it unlocks the other modes of game play for the game which includes various challenges, survival modes, and for the first time co-op and versus matches.

Co-op and Versus matches is yet another mind-bending addition to Plants vs Zombies. Both new modes are in-room play only, no online matches. In Co-op, each player has 5 spots to fill in their inventory. Each player has to retrieve their own sun to be able to purchase or deploy units. In the co-op mode, both players must work together to repulse the zombie attack. Communication becomes key to deciding what and where to deploy units. Co-op is a challenge particularly if players have radically different strategies that may not mesh well with one another.

In Versus mode, one players plays as the plants and the other plays as the zombies. The plant player tries to destroy three zombie targets and the zombie player tries to get inside the house. Versus mode becomes a mad dash to deploy units while trying to also protect lanes that are weakly defended. Both sides are very balanced and each match becomes a very tense back and forth battle.

Plants vs Zombies looks great on the Xbox Live Arcade. PopCap added bushes to the right side of the map which makes the playing field look smaller, but it does add more challenge now that players can’t tell what type of zombie may be attacking. Players are able to tell what lane of the yard will be attacked by looking at the rustling of the bushes.

With the added challenges, the new addition of in-room game play, and even the casual gardening game, the Xbox Live Arcade version of Plants vs Zombies is well-worth a purchase as it will yield many hours of manic playtime.

A download code of Plants vs Zombies was given to The Married Gamers for review and evaluation.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Chris Brown View all posts by

Leave A Response