Choose a character as a hero or a villain and try to earn more skills
Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Windows XP
PopCap Games, Inc.
Beneath the silly premise and colorful characters of Plants Vs. Zombies is a surprisingly deep and engaging puzzle game, and the Game of the Year edition ties up everything you could hope out of PopCap Games' hit release with a bow. It's the definitive version of one of the best puzzle games on the market, and it's well worth the investment from anyone who likes some mental stimulation and isn't afraid to test their reflexes.
The concept is simple but nonsensical. Zombies are invading your lawn, and you have to stop them before they reach the house. The way this plays out constitutes a pretty unique spin on the tower defense genre. Five lanes stretch horizontally across the screen, and you have to place weaponized plants at various slots in these lanes to prevent the undead invaders from getting through. Each lane has one final safeguard in the form of a lawnmower that will tear through one row of enemies, but that's not something you can rely on when you're facing off against dozens of zombies at a time.
The currency you use to buy your plants comes in the form of sunlight. While this falls periodically from the sky, most maps will force you to put down some sunflowers which allow you to farm sunlight more reliably. But you have to weigh the costs against the benefits here. The more sunflowers you put down and the quicker you get them there, the more sunlight you'll be able to harvest over the course of each level. But sunflowers cost sunlight and take up valuable space, so a core part of the experience comes down to finding a balancing between production and defense.
When it comes down to defense, there are a lot of tools at your disposal, and each of the plants in your repertoire are creatively designed with distinct personalities and expressive animations. While you start with simple peashooters and sunflowers, you quickly start to develop out a larger collection of plant soldiers that cover everything from defensive nuts to corn cobs that catapult their kernels to fiery stumps that can bring added power to shots fired from behind them. Filling your lanes with complementary plants that play to one another's strengths is immensely satisfying, but it's also a necessity. That's because the zombies themselves are equally diverse. With a range of different special attacks, vulnerabilities, and navigational methods, each map requires you to approach your tactics differently and adjust your strategy to draw in plants you may have never used before.
The Game of the Year Edition packs in a huge selection of minigames and alternate modes that were added to the game over the course of its run, but it also includes exclusives in the form of achievements, original music, and the ability to customize a zombie avatar.