PopCap Releases Plants vs Zombies for Xbox Live Arcade: A Frisky Hands-On

Thu, Sep 9, 2010

Casual, Console, PopCap, XBLA

PopCap, known for their popular Bejeweled and Zuma series released a rather stunning gem last year with Plants vs Zombies for Mac/PC and then iPhone and iPad earlier this year. Xbox Live Arcade seemed like the perfect platform to bring the game over to next and it has paid off in what is likely the definitive version so far.

In Plants Vs Zombies, it is your job to defend your home from an invasion of plenty of shambling zombies of all types. You’ve got zombies that are football players, pole vaulters, disco dancers or old zombies that are very defensive of their newspapers. Each of these zombies have their own weakness of sorts in which you’ll need to keep your wits about to catch and counterattack with.

To attack these varied zombies, you’ll need to utilize your assortment of killer plants to vanquish them. However, you will need sun to do so. Sun comes from the sky during daylight or by using Sunflower or Mushroom plants. These plants constantly regenerate a supply of sun that is needed to power the other plants on the yard. The other plants are mainly either used in offense or defense depending. For instance, on offense you’ll have a variety of pea shooters to choose from including a model that can slow down the enemy as well as damage them to a three-headed behemoth that can shoot down three different lanes at once. The larger and more powerful the weapon, the more sun it takes to use it.

At night, all generated sun has to come from the plants, adding a bit more challenge to the game. Gravestones also litter the yard and will allow zombies to pop-up at any moment ready to attack you. During nighttime is also the only time you may use any of your mushroom-like weapons. Mini-games also take place during certain levels that break up the game and make it always seem fresh.

As for what makes the Xbox Live Arcade version special is the addition of new features such as a co-op mode where a local friend can jump in and join your fight against the horde, and could be especially useful if things get too hectic. The versus mode switches up things quite a bit here with one player controlling zombies while the other controls the plants, as normal. Zombie players will need to acquire “brain points” in order to boost their horde and defeat the plants.

Overall, Plants Vs Zombies is a game that just about anyone could enjoy with its superb style and gameplay that manages to stay interesting the whole way through. If you’d like to play the game for yourself, be sure to download it from the Xbox Live Marketplace. A free trial version is also available.

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Talor is a Contributing Editor at Frisky Mongoose focusing on the mobile side of the social gaming world.

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