Over the past several years, I’ve wasted invested more time than I care to admit to the slaying of zombie hordes with the help of my plant minions. (Truth be told, PopCap has managed to suck down far more hours of my life than is healthy, what with Bejeweled, Chuzzle, Zuma, Peggle, and other diversions.) I’ve also dabbled in Plants vs. Zombies Adventures on Facebook, but I have to say that the Farmville aspects and general social/free to play features make that far less appealing than the original – I just want to play the game, as much as I want, without having to farm/mine in order to advance; is that so wrong!?

Thankfully, the answer is a resounding “No!”, and PopCap has given fans of the original what they’ve wanted: more Plants vs. Zombies entertainment, more Crazy Dave, and less social/Facebook shenanigans. You can snag the new Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time on the iTunes App Store, and even better: it’s free. And by “free” we mean it’s free to play, with optional micro transactions, and being an iOS exclusive almost certainly involved some money changing hands somewhere. Still, I’ve played a fair amount now and can confirm that purchases will not be required in order to advance – and there’s no farming/waiting required.

If you want to blast through the entire game in one sitting, you’re welcome to do so – PopCap estimates it will take most people around 15 hours to finish the game, which is probably twice as long as the original (or maybe I just don’t want to recall exactly how much time I’ve spent beating and then rebeating the original). The microtransactions come in several varieties: you can buy useful plants, sometimes earlier than you would otherwise get them (I think); you can buy additional coins, which can be used for Plant Food – a one-time power-up you can use on any plant – and other items; or you can unlock additional features like starting with 25 extra sun, another slot for plants, etc.

Reading the reviews, a ton of people are complaining about the cost of in-app purchases, but so far I haven’t encountered a single level where you’ll need more than what you get for free. If you really want to have Snow Pea, yes, it will set you back $3.99 (hello, extortion!), but with plenty of new plants to keep you busy – not to mention the plant food power ups – you only need to spend money if you want a specific plant/feature or if you just want to support PopCap. Of course, maybe I’ll hit a wall at some point and feel the need to spend money to progress, but so far that hasn’t been the case.

The bad news is that currently the game is only available for iOS devices, but presumably Android and Windows (and Facebook) versions are planned for the future. Hopefully this time we won’t get a version on Android that’s limited to select devices and/or requires that you go through the Amazon Store app to purchase and play it. As for me, I’m playing it on a 4th Gen iPod Touch, since that’s the only Apple device I own. It runs well for the most part, but the initial load time can be a bit painful – around 28 seconds to get to the main menu, and 4-5 second delays between many screens. There are also slowdowns on this aging device when you have most locations filled with plants and dozens of zombies on the screen, but it remains playable. Other than the tiny screen and iOS exclusivity, I have no complaints.

You can find more videos and information on the official Plants vs. Zombies 2 page. Now I just need to put the iPod down so I can finish that Acer V7 review….

Source: Plants vs. Zombies 2 Site

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  • steven75 - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    No, the Galaxy series doesn't regularly outsell the iPhone. Actually, you have that backwards.

    "Lacking hard numbers (because Samsung doesn't release them anymore) most analysts assume that the bulk of the Korean manufacturer's mobile sales come from its low-end phones. According to Raymond James' Tavis McCourt, Samsung's high-end Galaxy line outsold the iPhone only once -- in the summer of 2012, when many of Apple's (AAPL) customers were holding out for the iPhone 5."

    Also the Nexus 7 doesn't even outsell Kindle Fires. That thing is basically an unknown to the "regular" people.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    iPhones and iPad are far more numerous than comparable hardware running other mobile operating systems. Larger numbers are the main reason why iOS has better software or gets applications first.

    Obviously there are more Android devices out there but the majority are very low end, not hardware like the GS4 or iPhone. Windows Phone just doesn't have many people using it, high end or low end.
  • hpglow - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Its all a matter of demographic. I work in construction and it is about 50 / 50 iPhone / Android phones. It does tend to lean a little closer to Android lately but the split is still about even. My wife works in government contracting and she sees about 75% iPhone there. The other thing at play is that many developers still report more purchases on the Apple App store than with the Google play store. Let me ask you is someone with a good paying job more likely to buy an app or someone in high school with no job? Is someone with something to loose (a home, car, job and family) going to steal an app, or someone who still thinks theft is cool and anti-establishment?
  • LtGoonRush - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Enix bought Square from EA in 2003, so I think Gyromancer was a Square Enix decision. You are right that I was a bit extreme in my statement, but it's also true that it doesn't matter how many users of a PARTICULAR device there are, only the platform*. Android overtook iOS awhile back, and is currently selling ~6X as many devices per year with ~3X the year-to-year growth as a percentage of sales. Average Revenue per User is lower on Android, but this is made up by volume and probably reflects quality of monetization efforts rather than user willingness to spend money. I think PopCap is big enough that dev resources weren't why they only launched on iOS, and even if iOS would make them more money the other platforms would be ADDITIONAL revenue and not diminishing iOS sales, so this pretty much leaves Apple giving them some nice incentives for exclusivity.

    *=Android fragmentation is a thing people talk about but is not actually a problem. >95% of Android devices are >2.3.3, and while some of those are crap-phones that can't run your game, those cheap devices are also being retired and replaced with capable value phones. At any given moment there is a flood of adequate Android 4.1+ devices being activated.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    As someone that owns Android tablets and ended up purchasing the original PvZ for the platform, this "second class Android citizen status" doesn't surprise me in the least. While PvZ was available through the Play Store in the past, it was pulled (then reintroduced). I tried to buy it just a month or two back only to be told my device didn't meet the requirements, so I had to install the Amazon Store App, purchase it through there, and periodically log in to my Amazon account on the tablet(s) just to play. Oddly enough, one of the tablets had PvZ on it originally, but when I updated to Android 4.0 PvZ stopped working and I couldn't update.

    The point being, apparently Amazon paid EA/PopCap enough to limit availability of PvZ on Android for along time, so having Apple do the same at the launch of PvZ2 is par for the course. Long-term, we'll certainly see PvZ2 on all the major platforms, but when that will be is not yet known. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple paid for anywhere from a one week to a one month (maybe even longer) exclusive. Obviously this is a business decision, and the web is full of talk over the years on EA's business decisions, so again it's basically par for the course.

    I'm just happy I at least have one iOS device that I can use to play the game. Hahaha... but I really wish I could run it on my PC or Android tablet, as the 960x640 native resolution is lacking at best.
  • Impulses - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    The version of PvZ on Android wasn't particularly well optimized anyway... I remember that game pushing my OG EVO hard at a time when games with better graphics were perfectly smooth. PvZ would slow down in busy scenes and occasionally crash out. I don't imagine this will run on an ancient 2nd gen iPod touch will it? :P Doubt I'd bother anyway, I can wait.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    An old iOS resolution from 2010 is lacking, shocking.

    The game looks excellent at 2048x1536, just fyi ;)
  • JarredWalton - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Actually, it's not so much the resolution but the small screen that bothers me. My desktop is a 30" display and has been for about 8 years; playing PvZ on a 3.5" screen or whatever is a major change.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Thursday, August 22, 2013 - link

    Certainly :)

    I don't like playing PvZ on the iPhone but I definitely enjoy playing it on the iPad. iPad is actually my favorite version, and I played the hell out of it on PC for years before the iPad release. I can't wait for the Windows release, either way
  • Wolfpup - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Just FYI regarding Square, EA published Square's games at one point (and Sony at one point before that), but they never owned Square. Square/Enix merged to compete better, self-publish better.

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