Developer: PAN Vision
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPod Touch

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then the Angry Birds should be positively blushing right now. Pirates vs Ninjas vs Zombies vs Pandas cribs so heavily from Rovio’s physics-based puzzle game you can be forgiven if, upon first booting it up, you think it’s just a reskinned expansion. In spite of drawing rather heavy “inspiration” from Angry Birds, the awkwardly abbreviated PvNvZvP still manages to be fun, even if you’ve seen it all before.

Much like the game it seeks to imitate, PvNvZvP is all about attacking structures in order to cause enough mayhem and destruction to thwart the enemies hiding inside. Players aim the cannon and then let fly, and are scored at the end of each round on a scale of one to three stars based on accuracy, effectiveness and general destruction caused. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Of course the various characters used also have power ups which can be activated by, you guessed it, tapping on the screen. there’s a bomb-dropping zombie and a mach-speed ninja which can be used to cause a ruckus, in addition to other characters like the fire-spreading pirate and farting panda. The less we say about the farting panda the better actually.

Where this game is different from Angry Birds is in how the levels are set up and how players can attack the situation. For one, in PvNvZvP players are allowed to choose which of their characters they want to fire next, so if you need a ninja right now but don’t want to burn through two zombies to get to him then you can just tap and swap which character fires next. Also, many levels have friendly characters stationed amongst the enemies, so rather than going for wanton destruction many stages call for controlled demolition. It won’t please those gamers who merely want to destroy everything and leave forts in a pile of rubble, but players looking for a little more strategy will be pleased.

PvNvZvP is a bit of a polarizing game because even though it can be rather entertaining, it’s also basically plagiarizing a more popular game. It’s one thing to copy another title’s mechanics and add your own flavor, but it’s a fine line and this is a title which doesn’t walk it very well. Still, if you’re into the genre and don’t mind playing a copycat then you might want to check this one out; it’s not bad at all, just totally unoriginal.

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