Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
Graphics / Sound Rating:
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Plants vs. Zombies has a lot to answer for. Tower Defense games have been around for a very long time but they seem to have gone through a renaissance period since the zombies tried to defeat the plants. This isn't strictly a bad thing considering how enjoyable the genre is, but PetsWar does feel very familiar to Plants vs. Zombies.
It's not as clearly described as the PopCap classic, annoyingly. While there's a steady supply of new characters to use and they are explained in a vague sort of way, it's not quite as obvious what they do until you try yourself. As you have to use up precious corn (the currency in PetsWar) to discover this, it can get expensive. Unlike Plants vs. Zombies, there's more variety and even more personality. There's 28 pets in all, each with their own powers to attempt to stop the onslaught of evil. Each pet is pretty quirky with their own advantages and disadvantages such as the Scaredy Cat who, while cheap to buy, is predictably scared by the impending hordes if they get too close and give up attacking. Some 'pets' such as pigs and roosters also play an important role here. Variety is certainly satisfying here and once you've unlocked more of them via the in-game shop, the game really comes into its own.
Besides the different pet types, you can collect up magical power which can then be unleashed in the form of numerous different spells. There's a shield move, a water attack, a lightning attack that moves the enemies backwards and a slow down move. Each of these are worth saving for when things get a bit nasty and you're worried about being overwhelmed. They really do turn the battle around.
There's a fair amount to do here with 30 levels in all, although unfortunately there's no Endless mode which feels like a missed opportunity for longevity. At least, once the game gets going, action gets quite intense.
PetsWar is very similar to other Tower Defense games but it's still enjoyable in its own right. It's cutesy and charming in appearance and the variety of different pets to use does add a more tactical element to things than you'd expect. You can take the time to work out the best strategy for your playstyle and approach each stage differently. If only little things like the descriptions for the characters were more obvious. Currently on sale for $0.99, it's a hard one to turn down. At $2.99 though, it does go into direct competition with the master of Tower Defense: Plants vs. Zombies, which makes it a little harder to recommend.