A highly-polished, uniquely stylised, 2D tower defence that can offer a startlingly large amount of replayability.
Plants VS Zombies is - safe to say now a decade out from release - a true darling classic of the gaming scene. It remains to this day a leader of the genre, and something of an icon for inspired game design, and for very good reason.
The premise is simple: hordes of the shambling undead slowly march in from the righthand side of the screen towards your abode on the left, in order to stop them from reaching your precious, delicious, brain, you must strategically plant an array of defensive plans along your grid-tile lawn. Completion of each of the progressively-harder fifty-or-so levels in the story mode introduces a new, different type of defensive plant for you to utilise, a new type of monstrous enemy attacker, or a new situational status effect (such as limited resources or reduced visibility) to take into account.
The game’s artstyle remains top-notch even ten years later, holding up so effortlessly due to great design and clean implementation. The fixed semi-isometric display means that all visual assets are 2D sprites with walk-cycles and idle animations, but nevertheless, manage to capture a great deal of unique visual charm.
After having completed the game’s campaign, a whole new layer of content is revealed. There’s a range of additional gamemodes to play through, minigames and side activities which incorporate the preexisting gameplay mechanics to achieve fun and unusual ideas for one-off levels.
The well-crafted tower-defence gameplay loop lends itself to a great deal of replayability, and between the story mode, side activities, unlocking all of the in-game items with the cumulative between-levels currency, and rising to the challenge of all twenty-one Steam Achievements, you will be able to extract a great deal of value and enjoyment from this classic PopCap title.
The simple graphical nature and absolutely minimal requirements mean that practically any PC could run this even when it came out ten years ago, so performance concerns are going to be a complete non-issue for you.
It’s cheap, it’s great fun, it will run well, and it’s got a rad end-credits music video. Recommended with extreme gusto.