Plants vs. Zombies 2 for iOS – Probably the best gaming app this year [REVIEW]

By Prarthito Maity , Updated Aug 24, 2013 01:14 PM EDT

To be entirely frank, PopCap's latest offering, Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time is simply epic. This time, however, it's just not about how great the new Plants vs. Zombies game is, but the fact that PopCap hasn't really lost its glamour that it achieved with the series' first game. PopCap isn't one of those companies that gets labeled as a "one hit wonder," offering the latest tower defense title completely free of charge, and we can't help but wonder how a game of such magnitude can be given away so easily.

As promised, Plants vs. Zombies 2 arrives with new breeds of both plants and zombies. New plants such as Bonk Choy, Bloomerang and Lightning Reed make an excellent addition to the already lively additions from the first game. I mean, who knew that you had zombies in ancient Egypt? But not only Egypt, it's a complete history lesson that teaches how there were zombies in the pirate seas as well as in the Wild West. Whichever world it may be, the player is required to think to counter the new clever zombies with their own challenges.

There are also new plant food and power-ups to choose from, intended to push the game further, and even offer a new dimension. The new plant food is intended to supercharge the plants.

If you notice closely, Plants vs. Zombies 2 actually feels like a DLC expansion pack for the original game rather than a new second game. The major difference, however, with the first game in the series is that this time around the player is going on a ride with Crazy Dave in his crazy time-traveling motor home, Dave is attempting to go back in time and eat a taco that he had just eaten...again. Obviously, it was quite the tasty taco.

The worlds in the new game have been divided into a series of individual levels. As expected, completing each level unlocks either a new effective plant or a related perk for the player to add to their arsenal. I have been counting, and it seems like there has to be at least ten base levels in each in-game world that's absolutely free to explore. And once you clear out the main path, the portal to the next world is opened. However, nothing comes free of charge. To move on, you got to earn enough stars to just unlock the portal.

Provided you don't have enough stars to move ahead with your campaign, you can earn them back by re-playing the base levels, and each playthrough will offer a varied set of challenges. Of course, there is the option to throw in some cash to progress, but that won't even come to mind once you engage with the challenges on offer that are fun to play.

Although we can continue to talk about the different unlocks that you will bump into every now and then, it has to be said that the biggest change the devs have made to the game is the inclusion of one-time use power-ups. These power-ups can be purchased using the in-game currency and allows players to electrocute zombie with a single touch, and even flick them off the screen. Although these power-ups are a bit costly, effective and clever use of them can gain you a hard fought victory.

Plants vs. Zombies 2 offers about seven hours of intense gameplay, and although free, has a massive replay value and has all the signs of becoming a heavyweight in this year's mobile offerings, unless something even better comes up. The final verdict for the game: Great stuff and anyone with as iOS device should definitely give it a try. The game should hit Android devices in early fall.

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