Just as addicting as the first

Plants vs. Zombies launched in 2009 on the PC & absolutely changed the face of tower defense games. It was a cultural phenomenon, inspiring even the most infrequent of gamers to lớn play for hours on end, popping off one zombie’s head after another with reckless abandon.

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But the original trò chơi was also a premium purchase, và with $20, you got every bit of nội dung right away. The sequel, Plants vs. Zombies 2, offers up a very different approach — it’s free-to-play only, and, at first, it’s launching exclusively on ios devices.

Everything about this approach has disaster written all over it, but somehow, Plants vs. Zombies 2 actually pulls through mostly unscathed.

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Actually playing the trò chơi is just as easy as the first, simply collecting sun to lớn pay for và place towers (plants). In addition lớn the same tried-and-true strategies of the original (placing sun-producing Sunflowers in the back, with Peashooters in the middle to fend off zombies), you’ll encounter a ton of fresh faces, like theBonk Choy, a melee fighter that can’t shoot projectiles, but packs a huge punch if properly protected, or the Spring Bean, a unit that can launch zombies into the water for an instant kill.

You’ll traverse across three worlds in the launch edition of the game, including Ancient Egypt, the Pirate Seas, & the Wild West. Each realm has specially themed zombies, like a Pharaoh-suit zombie that uses the staff of Ra to lớn steal sun, & so on. But different shades of zombie aren’t the only variants in these new levels, as there are also chất lượng mechanics like limited space và planks in the Pirate world, và maneuverable mine carts in the Wild West.

You can buy every cấp độ outright with an in-app-purchase, or you can just go through the trò chơi in a linear fashion. Thankfully, I didn’t encounter paywalls of any kind that were progress related, so it is definitely possible to lớn clear Plants vs. Zombies 2 without buying stages. Unfortunately the mini-game selection is pretty skimpy and you’ll only get to lớn occasionally experience a fresh gametype, which is a big step down from thecavalcade of diversions in the original.

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Knowing when lớn use these abilities (and on what plants) is key lớn your success in Plants vs. Zombies 2, and it kept me a bit more engaged in some of the later levels. Plant food isn’t an IAP-only item, either — throughout each map, defeating glowing zombies will earn you single-use packets of plant food. You can also restock plant food or use powers by spending in-game gold (which I’ll get khổng lồ later).

As you may have noticed from the info box above, the trò chơi is không tính phí — so it has terrible microtransactions, right? Well, surprisingly, not really! At least, not yet it doesn’t. The only nội dung that’s walled off is a small selection of plants for $3 each — mostly legacy plants from the first trò chơi (the Squash, Imitator, Snow Pea, Jalapeno, Torchwood, and the power nguồn Lily) that won’t make or break your enjoyment in the slightest.

Of course, it’s always possible that EA will địa chỉ “freemium” unlocks for other worlds và crucial plants down the line, as the trò chơi is already hinting at future updates. As it stands I’m actually quite surprised at how well IAPs have been handled in Plants vs. Zombies 2, especially given the fact that it’s free.

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There are other microtransactions available in the khung of boosts (like starting with more sun), and the ability to lớn straight-up purchase gold. Again, these IAPs vày not break the game, as you can still very much complete the entire experience without them. Having said that, they’re basically cheats you can pay for, & the gold costs are so high that it’s very unlikely you’ll be able khổng lồ use them consistently without paying real money, if that matters lớn you.

Launching Plants vs. Zombies 2 exclusively on game ios platforms first is a really odd choice for a trò chơi that was originally a big-hitter for the PC, but it may very well pay off — especially given the fact that the trò chơi is actually good. So long as EA và PopCap don’t eventually ruin the trò chơi through greedy in-app purchases, the base game at launch is a treat, & worth a download from every quả táo owner out there. What you’re getting is basically more of that classic Plants vs. Zombie experience, with just enough tweaks to lớn keep it interesting — và that’s more than enough for me.