Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Game: Plants vs Zombies Adventures Beta

Summary: Decently fun but bored after a few levels. I still prefer the original Plants vs Zombies. There are other better tower defense games like Bloons TD.

How I started:
I enjoyed the original Plants vs Zombies on someone else's iPad. I like that it only takes a couple minutes to figure out what is going on and how to play. I took about a day or two to beat the game. I thought this Adventures game would be the same to pass a few minutes of my time, but is actually a different play-style using the same theme.

This is similar to a tower defense game (the original is more like a lane defense game). You plant (ie build) plants along the path. Zombies follow the path towards a house (for brains). The strategy is to plant along the path to prevent the zombies from reaching the house. So far, the game is obvious enough.

There are two modes of play within the game: the adventure and your town. The adventure is more like puzzles to solve. Each puzzle is real-time based. As you progress, you get more money, levels, and at some points new plants.

The second mode is in the town. You pre-build your town to defend against zombie attacks. There are random AI attacks which are very easy but gives you certain money to make upgrades. The other attack is from other players for the brainbowl (which you can also attack other random people's towns) to gain brains. Brainbowls last a week and top five people with the most brains in the group gain another type of money, gems, that can only be gained by paying money. The last part is not essential to playing the adventures.

You need friends who plays to move to the next level. The first 5 levels require two, the last level required three.

My status:
I have reached 6 lots. The adventure was ok but after a while is just tedious to play, especially since you have to build the plants prior to going on adventure so you can only go 2-3 levels at a time.

Brainball is an interesting concept until you have a few people with more lots or more special plants which makes it impossible for you to collect brains and easy for them to get yours.

I may continue with the adventures from time to time to see if it gets more challenging. Overall, I prefer Candy Crush Saga (which is not high on my list either).

My biggest complaint about this game is the amount of memory it uses. It takes at least a minute to load. For brainball, it takes several seconds to load each town. If I am streaming while playing, the streams become extremely choppy. Also because of the slowness of the game play, it makes freezing plants in brainball extremely difficult.

There are quite a few minor glitches which does not really impede game play. The fog icon on the mouse does not change back after a random zombie attack.

  • I had to play around with moving plants to figure out where they can be placed. 
  • Complete paths must be in place to plant. If the path is broken and you accidentally pick up a plant, you cannot drop the plant anywhere. 
  • If zombie debris is behind a plant, it is extremely difficult to cleanup. In most cases, moving the plant is necessary. 
  • The zombie path for paths that are next to each other is not intuitive. 
  • When attacking, lots are highlighted that have brains. There was a player that figured a way to get a brain into a home that had no paths to it.

So far all the side quests have not been worth doing. They cost more zombucks than you gain. You gain experience but there does not seem to be any use to experience in the game.

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