PopCap Games partook in Operation Supply Drop’s end of the year 8-Bit Salute fundraiser by donating a large amount of game codes and swag for the military gaming charity, reaching over $100,000. Its donation consisted of 100 codes that unlocked every game PopCap has ever made, which is well over 60, including games like Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled. All of the donations gathered for 8-Bit Salute are being sent to soldiers currently deployed in combat zones, as well as those who are recovering in military hospitals.
There is a dirty little secret that some are too busy worrying about Plants vs. Zombies 2’s microtransactions to acknowledge: It can be played for free, FOREVER. In the final installment of our pro-tips series we will discuss exactly how to do so. Penny pinching has never been so simple.
Free-to-Play or Free Forever?
Yes, there are certainly more than a few opportunities to shell out real cash monies to the talented folks at PopCap Games. It could even be argued that a few of the purchase exclusive items might be of benefit to the player; but they are far from critical. In fact, later on in the base campaign these seeds could prove to be weaker than the core suite of spores unlocked through the game’s natural progression.
Another major complaint is the fact that players must spend earned in-game currency in order to utilize one-time-use power-ups, much like the ones we discussed yesterday. The fact of the matter is that while the currency can be refilled using actual dollars, it’s just as easy to replay/grind early stages again in order to earn cash. Could this be considered tedious? Probably. But if it were easy, why would anyone ever trade real cash for “funny money?”
Unlocking worlds utilizes a similar concept of iterating on a stage several times, only with a different gameplay wrinkle for each session. These stars are then used to turn around and unlock new worlds. The base set of worlds were easy to reveal, as long as the player has enough patience to play through stages a couple of times. Honestly, what fan of the series wouldn’t be doing this already? Each world had a low enough bar of entry that the minimal star counts were trivial at worst. Hopefully PopCap will continue with that trend in whatever additional content that awaits players in the pipeline.
At the end of the day PopCap may have made their game almost too devoid of the necessity to spend money. Plants vs. Zombies 2 may not be a free will offering, but with the way it’s designed it might as well be. For this reason it is worth imploring players to actually consider buying an item or two, all in the name of supporting a developer that consistently gives fans more game for next to nothing in return. Remember, just because you can always play for free doesn’t necessarily make it the right thing to do. With great replayability comes a great responsibility.
So for the last time, never forget that there is no shame in having a green thumb if keeps the blood off of your hands! Thanks for a fantastic week and please continue to return to 148Apps for all of mobile gaming needs.
Pull up a chair and listen to the tale of a Plants vs. Zombies 2 round gone horribly awry. Not only can this happen to anybody, but there is little that can be done once the cogs of fate have started rolling against the player. Unless, of course, there are a few power-ups left in the satchel. Then all bets are off.
Power to the Plants
There comes a time in every player’s game when they decide whether to pack it in and take a loss or dig deep and try for a miracle win. For the non-wussies in the population there are power-ups, which help to level the playing field – for a cost. These specific perks take four different forms and can vary in levels of usefulness.
As far as generic pay-per-use perks go, there are three different ways to dispatch undead using gestural controls: pinching, flicking, or sliding. The one thousand coin lightning bolt is used by sliding a finger between zombie adversaries, which links them in a chain of electric obliteration. A throw costs a bit more, clocking in at twelve hundred, and consists of a flick of the finger that will send the troops reeling. Arguably the most viscerally appealing is the pinch, which simply pops the head off of every reanimated abomination and oddly happens to be the cheapest at only eight hundred coppers.
The last, and easily most useful of the quintet of amplifications, would be the overcharge leaf. This game-changer allows any one plant to cause an absurdly augmented amount of destruction. Every plant is effected by this item differently, but the result is always the same: tons of re-dead corpses. While these normally cost a thousand apiece to unlock, frequently they can be collected off of dispatched plants.
But when are these items right to use? Most times they should be saved for the last or middle wave of zombies, unless the fate of a mower is in question. If a match can be won using less than three perks, then it’s normally worth it. The reason for this is that between two to three uneventful stages, these losses can be recouped without necessitating the spending of a penny of actual cash.
Most critical of the decisions is which power-up will be most effective for a given scenario. As far as bang for the buck goes, the pinch is the most effective in clearing a map while not draining the bank. If undead are bunched together, a couple of double flicks can go a long way towards cleaning house. Heavily armored brutes are best to be left for the electric bolt. They may not end up completely drained by the end of the attack, but all of the weaker enemies in the area will be singed beyond repair, leaving all the defenses with a single target.
It may seem like a no-brainer to purchase as many overcharge leafs as possible, but they’re abundant enough through death drops that it should almost never need to be done. This power will be the one that is used the most abundantly, but should also be reserved for worst case scenarios. Juicing up a Bloomerang may be the very best use in early worlds, simply due to its combined horizontal and vertical attack, but be sure to experiment with each plant when the stakes are lower.
Be sure to keep it locked here for tomorrow’s final lesson: How to play Plants vs. Zombies 2 forever, without spending a dime. Rest assured, it is not to be missed. So until next time, remember that there is no shame in having a green thumb if keeps the blood off of your hands!
Another day, another sweet dose of high fructose Plants vs. Zombies 2 tippage. In today’s lesson, the goal is to make stage replays as painless as possible. So sit back and relax while we let the knowledge flow.
Déjà Vu All Over Again
Once a stage has been cleared as part of the main campaign, players have only seen the proverbial tip of the iceberg when it comes to what it has to offer. In order to clear whole worlds, they’ll need to re-visit any given area as many as three more times, all in the name of grinding out stars.
One type of mission that’s used heavily early on is the limitation of how many plants can be in used at one time. Thankfully there are seeds that are destructible! Be sure to make heavy use of the potato bombs, and this will help keep the plant count down while still maintaining a high level of protection. Additionally, it is also extremely useful to combine cocoanuts, placed as far to the right of the map as possible, with an evolved Peashooter or Bloomerang behind it. The nut will eventually be gnawed through, but not before heavy damage has been unloaded on the troops barricaded behind it.
Another pesky permutation are the “non-trample” assignments, where a line of moss will exist somewhere on the map and the player’s job is to prevent the hallowed ground from being decimated by undead feet. Once again, the cocoanut is the player’s best friend when laid two rows in front of the “no-step zone.” Behind the roadblock, plant some Bonk Chow. This will help deliver a strong one-two punch, as the strikes can hammer away on any zombie feasting on a nut. Thankfully this method will also allow for quick plant replacement should the brain munchers manage to breach the perimeter.
Probably the most irritating of all the challenges involves use of a sun power cap and plant limit, simultaneously. Right out of the gate the key should be using as few sunflowers as possible to race to the power cap, while making use of the low cost bombs as a cheap form of early defense. Once the sun cap has been reached destroy all of the sunflowers, because they are no longer useful and take away from the plants available for productive use. Next is to focus on collections of Bonk Choy, backed by Bloomerangs. This combination will help to pick away at the defense long before the troops ever reach the front lines. Bonks are more than up to the task of cleaning up the riff-raff.
Also, don’t be afraid to make use of a power-up in a pinch. The trick is to pick the correct time to deploy these special abilities. Tune in tomorrow to see just what scenarios best necessitate paying for a little help from the deities of the greenhouse. Until then, remember that there is no shame in having a green thumb if keeps blood off of your hands!
A new week is finally upon us, which can only mean one thing: a fresh new dose of Plants vs. Zombies 2 pro-tips. So without further ado, it is time to ring the bell and start class. Everyone, please take your seats.
Seed Selecting Secrets
As players venture deeper into the fertile soils of Plants vs. Zombies 2, it becomes immediately evident that there are WAY too many different seed varieties! Unfortunately, there is also a fairly limited number of active seed slots available per round. This makes the selection of the proper plant varieties absolutely critical. Here are some helpful hints to fend off even the hungriest of zombies.
The main factor to consider are a stage’s hindrances. If this is the first time through a stage, most likely the player will only be dealing with varying waves of outbreak management. For this scenario, be sure to refer to last week’s hint for successfully starting a match. To utilize this strategy, add at least a standard sunflower and pea-shooter (or their upgraded states which are unlocked later), along with a land mine. Additionally, a strong hand-to-hand plant like Bonk Choy will be more than enough to make a significant dent on the front lines, while the pea-shooters chip away at the horde from a distance.
If a stage has obstacles in the way, this is where stratagems become a bit more subjective. In the case of tombstones that appear in a region like Egypt or their numerous facsimiles in other worlds, it is critical to choose between either avoiding the objects altogether or blowing them to kingdom come. Most times, the latter of these options will prove to be more effective. In this circumstance the Bloomerang is by far the player’s best friend. Not only will it chew through multiple obstacles at one time thanks to its multiple projectiles, but also debilitate enemies as well. Nesting these seeds in between a back row of sunflowers and the melee focused Bonk Choys will help ensure their survival and as well as a steady flow of graves being demolished.
Last and certainly not least, NEVER underestimate the value of delay tactics. Having a cocoanut in the arsenal is an extremely effective way to bide time, especially when there is not enough sunshine in the bank to produce a more powerful offensive unit. It may not be the most glamorous slot in the utility belt, but there are times when its quick deploy time and thick skin can genuinely make a difference when an unprotected lawn mower is in the balance.
Now get out there and start making smart lineup decisions! Tune in again tomorrow when we talk about conquering stages for stars and how to tackle their assorted nightmarish objectives. And as always, remember, there is no shame in having a green thumb if keeps blood off of your hands!
On the heels of Plants vs. Zombies 2’s release for iOS, we decided it might be fun to pass along a few tips and tricks we’ve learned over the last month; starting with some helpful strategies for setting up a solid foundation. Keep an eye out all next week for even more zombie-stopping strategies!
Start With Sun and Spuds
Anyone worth their salt knows that nothing happens in the conflict between zombie and zucchini without the assistance of plenty of sunlight. This is why it is key to make planting sunflowers the early emphasis of almost every match. But that’s a no-brainer, right? What might not be so obvious is how easy it can be to get an entire row of sun production in the ground before ever needing to plant a single pea shooter.
But what about the zombies bent on munching the marigolds? It turns out that the lowly land mine, which is available from the start, can prove to be crucial in tackling the issue while simultaneously helping a player lay the groundwork for victory.
At the start of every match begin by planting sunflower seeds across the entire back row as quickly as possible. On most maps, by the time the second plant has sprouted the first zombie will begin meandering down the aisle. Carefully note the location of the creature and plant a land mine in that row, the third column from the rear. The standard walkers that start nearly every match will take long enough to saunter that the entire back row of sunflowers should be able to be seeded before the first brain-chomper goes boom.
Follow suit for the second critter that appears, making sure to observer the same buffer of two squares from the back. This buys time that can be used to either plant an entire second row of sunflowers (my personal preference) or layout the first layers of protection. After the first two to three undead, this will have allowed for a free chance to stockpile energy or shore up defenses for whatever onslaught the hoard has in store. Fortunately this setup will work in almost every scenario and can help set the stage for a swift conquest.
Be sure to let us know in the comments if you have any Plants vs. Zombies 2 topics you would like to hear about. We will be taking requests all next week. And remember, there is no shame in having a green thumb if keeps blood off of your hands!
New details and a trailer have been released for the upcoming tower defense title, Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time. Pocket Gamer reports that the game will initially be available to download exclusively on the App Store beginning July 18th and will also be available as a free-to-play title. While you wait for the PvZ 2 action, check out the new trailer below.
I profess I tend to spend a decent amount of time playing virtual solitaire these days, mostly thanks to some ridiculously early commutes. So it’s a game I’m quite familiar with, although I haven’t come anywhere close to mastering it. Why is this significant? Because Popcap is bringing their popular Facebook adaptation, Solitaire Blitz to iOS and I’m expecting to have a grand old time with it.
The rules of Solitaire Blitz are both familiar and totally new. Players still have to empty their cards into piles by following a particular sequence, but suits and linear progression don’t matter anymore. A King can be tossed on a Queen, to be followed by another Queen, then a Jack. Or it could go 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, Ace. But while this might sound like the challenge has been sucked out of the classic solo card game, the fact of the matter is it still makes for an intense game. Mostly thanks to the never pausing 60-second time limit and slots (up to four) for placing cards that have to be unlocked.
It makes for some rather frantic card shuffling as you attempt to spot anything and everything that can get tossed on a pile, attempt to plan ahead to avoid getting stuck, and search out any cards featuring a key icon that will unlock those essential extra card slots. All of this while the clock keeps ticking down. No specifics have been given regarding price yet but we can all look forward to one of the most intense games of solitaire ever this November.
It’s been a long time coming. At least, it probably seems like a long time to all those disgruntled iOS users. Anyway, at long last, Plants vs. Zombies has gotten a major update that includes a number of features that many have been missing (i.e. taking issue with their absence). Read on for the nitty-gritty.
More mini-games are being added to the already robust list, including the Zombiquarium, Portal Combat and Beghouled Twist. Anyone unfamiliar with these mini-titles should know that they’re all interesting and fun in their own ways. Especially Beghouled Twist, with its hybrid of classic zombie-on-plant carnage and match-three puzzles. Of course, Portal Combat is interesting, too. The addition of reality-bending gateways that let plants fire across multiple rows (careful that the zombies don’t use them to get closer!) make for some cool overkill moments.
A new puzzle game has also been included in addition to I, Zombie (which itself has received an Endless Mode). Vase Breaker is now a particular favorite of mine as it takes the random “card” distribution used in many other extra modes and hides it underneath a grid of unmarked vases. Some may contain plants, some may contain zombies. Players have to play conservatively and smart if they’re going to have any chance of making it to the end. And yes dear iPad users, at long last the Zen Garden has also been included. Raising oddball plants like our PC counterparts is finally, blessedly, an option.
It’s not all mini-games, however. Popcap has also included support for several languages (Spanish, French, etc), as well as some new items in Crazy Dave’s shop and the expected Game Center achievements. Take note: some of the extra stuff such as bonus I, Zombie levels and the like are gated behind purchases via in-game coins. These coins are earned fairly regularly through simply playing the various modes so it’s not a big problem, but players should know that they won’t be able to jump right in to all the new stuff immediately. Worst case scenario; they get to sample the first level of a given mode or game type, then spend a few rounds of doing whatever to earn enough cash to unlock more stages.
Once this update goes live tomorrow (4/19), the iOS version of Plants vs. Zombies will finally be comparable to its PC counterpart. Both for the iPhone and the iPad. Rejoice, fellow iOS users! Rejoice and stop all the bellyaching!
When it comes to organizations that are making a big difference in the lives of children strikened with life threatening diseases, the Make-A-Wish Foundation is among the very best. So when they heard the sad story of nine year old Owain Weinert, who has been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, they reached out to see how they might make his life a little brighter. In this case, instead of asking to meet a famous athlete or rock star, Owain stated that he wanted to design his own video game.
Upon reaching out to the great folks over at PopCap Games, Make-A-Wish enlisted the talented development team to help bring the child’s game design to life, in the form of the upcoming iOS title, ‘Allied Star Police.’ According to TouchArcade, the is described as “a sci-fi real-time strategy game where you play as a base commander who must deploy ‘automated battle machines’ and ‘targeted ballistic ordnance’ in an effort to fight of a race of aliens known as the Flamions.” Owain has been credited as the app Lead Designer and has made trips out to PopCap on a weekly basis to assess the game’s progress through the development cycle, providing his own input every step of the way.
Fox’s Q13 News just ran a great segment on this uplifting story, which you can enjoy below.
It will still probably be quite some time before ‘Allied Star Police’ makes its debut in the App Store, but when it does PopCap has already said that 100% of the proceeds will be going towards the continuing efforts of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
When you hear stories like this, it highlights how many amazing people there are hard at work in the game industry. Here is to hoping that the game is successful in launching Owain into the pantheon of amazing game designers. Watch your back Cliffy B, you are going to have lots of competition incoming soon!
We all love PopCap Games and their latest critically claimed tower defense game Plants vs. Zombies. You may remember that we reviewed the game recently, and we knew it was going to be popular. Exactly how popular in as far as sales though remained a mystery … until today. The company has announced that within the first 9 days of the game being available on the App Store, Plants vs. Zombies saw a staggering 300,000 downloads, placing the title right up there with Bejeweled® 2, another of PopCap’s well-loved smash hit iPhone games.
What’s even more staggering though, is the amount the company have managed to gross from the iPhone flavor of the game. In an official press release issued today, the company announced Plants vs Zombies for iPhone (and iPod touch) had already grossed above 1 Million US dollars. Alongside this announcement, PopCap was also quick to reveal that its flagship product Bejeweled® 2, adored by Facebook users and iPhone lovers across the world, is officially now the first ever paid application to have reached 3 Million unit downloads on the App Store.
It also notes that despite huge success of its other App Store titles, this hasn’t affected sales of its other apps, stating Bookworm™ and Chuzzle™ two other PopCap branded titles, consistently remaining in the top 100 paid applications on the store.
Popcap Games is known all over the world for a wide array of flash-based games. From the incredibly successful colorful match-em’ Bejeweled, to the marble-smashing Zuma, Rocket Mania and Bookworm. Their portfolio of games is, all in all, quite impressive. Today though, Popcap Games announced via their Twitter stream that their well-loved plant-munching, zombie-infested tower defense title Plants Vs Zombies, which is available for both PC and Mac, is coming to iPhone February 15th.
The game involves using a variety of plants including potato mines, peashooters, cattails and hypno-shrooms (to name just a few), to repel an army of zombies led by “Doctor Zomboss”, a giant machine with zombie commanding it. The homeowner, along with a neighbor (called Crazy Dave), must defend the homeowner’s house during day or night, in the front yard, the backyard, and even on the roof!
“Several plants are nocturnal, like mushrooms, having a lower sunlight cost and are ideal for nighttime levels, but will remain asleep during daytime levels unless startled by a coffee bean. In the “back yard” levels that includes a swimming pool, seeds must be planted atop lily pads on water spaces, while on the roof levels, all seeds must be planted in clay pots. The various plant abilities range from firing projectiles at zombies, turning zombies against each other, quickly exploding and wiping out an area of zombies, and slowing down zombies through a high defensive value. Certain plants are highly effective against specific types of zombies, such as a magnet-shroom that can remove a bucket or another obstacle being used for defense from a zombie’s head.”