Plants Vs ZombiesGawd I hate zombies! Drooling, moaning, shambling, undead brain eating vagrants! Nothing ruins a summer barbecue like an army of zombie freeloaders intent on having your brains for an entree’! You can’t argue with them, reason with them, or toss them out of your yard with a pitch fork. They just keep coming in endless maggoty masses.

No wonder they’re so entertaining 🙂

Pop Cap Games recently released Plants Versus Zombies; the most hilarious, incredibly entertaining game I’ve played in a long time. If you haven’t heard of Pop Cap, the company started in 2000 and is well known for its collection of ‘casual’ games, including Bookworm, Insaniquarium, Zuma, and many other titles. Their most famous title is Bejeweled, released in 2002, which was downloaded 25 million times and generated $100 million dollars in revenues. Unlike video games you buy at a store, casual games are available online and offer players demo versions to ‘try before you buy’. The growth of the casual game market has exploded in the last five years. According to the Casual Games Association, global revenues for casual games in 2007 were $2.25 billion dollars. People can play them on Apple, PC, and mobile devices. They’re also available for video game consoles through XBox Live and the Nintendo Wii.

Most video games featuring zombies go for horror and suspense – but this title is all about humour and nonsense, a commodity sorely lacking in most video games. I mean, how can you take a zombie bobsled team seriously?

In a nutshell (or walnut shell), this game is about holding off the zombie hordes from eating your brains by defending your house with an army of powerful plants. You collect sunlight with sunflowers and choose from a wide variety of packaged plant seeds that you grow and use against the zombies. The way you collect seed packets reminds me very much of fantasy card games like Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon.  The battle rages from the front yard to the backyard. Even your pool isn’t safe! In a clever twist, the game shifts between day and night. Plants that work in sunlight don’t always prove effective in moonlight. By the way, these zombies may be thicker than mud, but they’re not completely brainless – they scraped up enough living neurons to develop their own rancid arsenal. I mean, when is the last time you saw a zombie in a wetsuit riding an undead dolphin? Or a zombie driving a ‘Zomboni’ across your yard?

Plants Versus Zombies features a slew of dastardly clever mini-games, a puzzle mode, a survival mode, and even a ‘Zen Garden’ you grow by collecting plants that appear during play. There’s also a fiendishly fun puzzle called ‘I, Zombie’ where the tables are turned – the player commands the zombie horde.  ‘Crazy Dave’ offers up items and unusual advice about dealing with the undead.

Need one more reason to play Plants Versus Zombies? Check out this very funny music video:

Braaaiinnnnnsss! Need I say more?

Doctor ArkanoidDoctor Arkanoid