Version Reviewed: 2.01
Device Reviewed On: new iPad
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Zombie Farm 2 places players in the role of a farmer who plants crops of plants AND zombies in a clever social game that riffs on Farmville. Players begin with a small two by 3 plot, walk through a short tutorial that has them harvesting a zombie and invading Old McDonnell's farm. It's a short affair, and not too different from the first Zombie Farm game. In fact, when the game first starts up, in imports user accounts from the first game. Win!
So, what's new in this sequel? Well, there's no more withering, for one thing. The mechanic to replace this is a freshness rating. If a player harvests their crops right away, they'll sell for full price. If the crops wait for a while, the price drops. This is a great new feature, as it makes progressing through the game just a little less frustrating if players can't get to the crops before they wither.
The game has also done away with life force stats. Decorations, which used to provide more life force for the army of zombies, now just add to accumulated XP and general aesthetics. In addition, zombie hunger, which used to affect their effectiveness during an invasion, no longer exists. Instead, they have a focus stat, which can be improved with a Concentration bonus. Zombies are a distractible lot, thinking of rainbows, butterflies, and cupcakes while invading a neighboring farm. A higher Focus stat, then, which can be boosted with a Concentration bonus, will keep the zombies paying attention to the task at hand: eating the brains of the other farmers.
The other big addition is the zombie mutation pot, which allows players to mix and match different zombie traits and get new oddball combinations. Players can now combine a tomato head zombie with a turnip arm zombie to get a tomato-head-turnip armed zombie, which, you know, is super cool. Plus, mutated zombies can be planted and harvested directly, now.
The graphics are a mix of upgrades and seemingly older assets. That there are pixellation issues at all is rather inexcusable for a sequel. The new backgrounds and user interface elements are crisp and clean-looking, while the little brain and distraction icons seem to be the exact same assets from the previous game. This feels a little like being cheated.
The only other issue I have here is the similarity to the first game. It'd be nice to invade Facebook friends' farms rather than just visit them. It'd be nice to have some new mini-games or gameplay mechanics to help things feel more like a sequel and less like an update. Overall, though, this is a solid farming game with loads of humor, just like the first one. I look forward to playing this for a good long while.