Three months ago EA released Plants vs Zombies 2 exclusively on the iOS platform, Android users were left in the dark. The game was supposed to launch at the same time, but that obviously didn’t happen for reasons known only to Apple (and EA). Well, the wait is over Plants vs Zombies 2 – It’s about time – has been released on the Play Store for everyone, without regional restrictions or other nonsenses.
The art of storytelling
Crazy Dave obviously had some hidden potential as he somehow succeeded transforming his van into a talking time machine. Why? Because HE’S CRAAAAAAAZY! As you hold the ground around your house, a bottle of hot sauce drops from one of the zombies. That’s when Dave comes in play, holding a taco that he was saving for later and he really likes to use the sauce. The taco was so delicious that Dave decides to travel back in time, just a few minutes back, and eat it again. Of course, something goes wrong and you all end up in ancient Egypt.
On to the new stuff already
Right, right. Plants vs Zombies 2 follows the very same recipe that made the first game so popular, but adds couple of improvements as well. Gone are the days when you defended your house against the zombie invasion. You are in Egypt now and since you don’t really have anything to defend, you decide to go on full offense and purge the path ahead. Instead levels and sub-levels, you now move through the region by following the path on the world map, ala Super Mario style.
As you progress through the game, you keep unlocking additional plants and start collecting coins. Sadly, Dave’s car-shop was left behind and coins are now exclusively used to buy instant power-ups, that should help you beat some of the more difficult levels. The first power-up is the “plant food” that you can simply throw on any plant to make it go berserk and unleash huge volley of “shells” on top of the unsuspecting zombies, or you can use it to produce more suns instantly. The plant-food is the only power-up that can be recharged for free from the glowing green zombies that spawn occasionally. You have 3 slots that you can fill with plant-foot right from the beginning, with one more unlockable on later levels. The 5th slot can be bought from the store for real money. The other 3 power-ups will cost you 800, 1000 and 1200 coins respectively (per use) and all of them are direct attack abilities. The first one allows you to “pinch” zombie heads for a short period of time, the second one will do the same, except you “swipe” to kill the zombies and the third one will allow you to electrocute the zombies directly simply by “tapping” and dragging your finger across the horde.
When you finish the main course of Egypt, you discover a gate that blocks your way to the next world. This “star-gate” can be unlocked by either paying couple of bucks, or spending stars that you earn by completing “star challenges” from previous stages. To actually get the stars, you have to complete the challenges by following various objectives. This is when power-ups truly come in play as some of those challenges are insanely difficult to complete and will put your skills to the test.
Keys, keys keys, YETI!
The star-gate isn’t the only gate that needs to be unlocked. There are multiple paths straining away from the main course, containing more levels, mini games and plants you need to unlock, that happen to be blocked as well. The keys needed to open those gates are randomly dropped by zombies in ridiculously low amounts. There is another way, however, the Treasure Yeti. He spawns once per day on a random level and drops his “lunch box” containing couple of keys and one diamond when killed. If you decide to go for it, simply start playing the level where he spawns and wait for the “Huge wave of zombies” part. One “plant-food” barrage from the pea shooter kills him, so make sure you have some reserves.
So, how “Free” is it?
Unlocking gates is not the only way to spend your hard earned cash. You can also buy more coins, power-ups, bundles or even some plants from the previous game that can’t be unlocked by playing. However, none of those IAPs are mandatory and you can definitely finish the game without spending a dime, but having the “Snow Pea” or the “Jalapeno” in your inventory can surely make your life easier, especially when it comes to completing some of the later star-challenges.
Yay or nay?
Well….. yay! Plants vs Zombies 2 is extremely forgiving towards those wiling to spend hours inside the game. All the upgrades you can buy are optional and won’t make or break the game for you, unless you want to experience absolutely everything. The core gameplay model remains intact. Sure, there are couple of new plants to choose from, new obstacles and new zombies, but PvZ2 feels and plays like the original, no question about it. Thanks to the new world map, you can now examine each level thoroughly and go back and forth as you please. EA decided to go down the freemium road and there is no turning back. Speaking from my point of view, I would rather pay $15.0 upfront and be done with it, but not everyone shares the same opinion. Anyway, in order to run the game you need at least 1.0 Ghz CPU, 1 Gb of RAM (tested on 768, works fine not.ed.) and device capable of running Android 2.33 (Gingerbread) or later. Have fun.
By Dejan B.
North American version
Rest of the world