Posted by Jessica Fisher on February 13th, 2015 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The newest update to Popcap’s super popular Plants vs. Zombies 2 is here, and it has brought with it a special holiday surprise. From now until February 14 you can join in on a special “Valenbrainz Hug-a-thon” event. The zombies will be donning their valentine’s best to impress the… plants? Everything will be all lovey dovey; rose petals will be strewn about and your lawn mowers will be painted red.
Download Plants vs. Zombies 2 for free and get bitten by the love bug before time runs out.
Big Wave Beach Part 1 has come to Plants vs. Zombies 2, bringing 16 new levels along with it. The update also adds new zombies (naturally), more plants, a new bowling mini-game, and tides that go in and out as you play. But it’s not just about the beach. Halloween is also drawing near, so (starting on October 24) you can expect Lawn of the Doom Piñata Parties – complete with thematic costumes. You’ll also be able to get your mitts on the premium Ghost Pepper for a limited time. And if that’s not enough, now you can dress up your plants with the Costume Changer.
You can get Plants vs Zombies 2 for free, and the Big Wave Beach update is available now.
At EA’s annual “Naughty & Nice” event in NYC last week, I was able to check out a few interesting mobile titles. I’ve already mentioned SimCity BuildIt, but there are two more up-and-comers worth talking about: Peggle Blast and Rescue Quest.
Peggle Blast is, you guessed it, more Peggle. Specifically it’s more in-line with Peggle 2 as many of the same folks who worked on the console sequel have had their hands in this new mobile release.
Music that changes up to suit the mood (i.e. when you’re running low on shots, etc) has made the transition from the second game. The “Ode to Joy” segment that comes after you clear the final peg has also been dressed up a bit, and now spits out any balls you may have remaining to create some serious bouncy-madness for some extra points. It’s even possible for this celebration to end up clearing the entire board for you. Some memorable Masters are also returning, along with a few new faces that bring a new powers to the table (board?).
Peggle Blast doesn’t have an official release date yet, but it will be coming to the App Store “very soon” for free.
My initial impression of Rescue Quest was of yet another match-3 tile clearing game, similar to that one about the candy. However, while the point is to match like-shapes and clear tiles, the goal isn’t to clear the whole board.
Instead, you’ll need to clear tiles in order to create a path for your character that stretches from the entrance of the level to the exit. You can double-tap to change the route they take (i.e. guide them through a longer stretch with fewer obstacles, take as straight a line as possible, etc) for a little more control as well. And in later levels, you’ll also have enemies to contend with that you can damage by creating matches in the areas they’re standing.
Rescue Quest is also due out sometime this year, and will be free-to-play.
EA has announced that a new Peggle will be making its way onto iOS soon, in the form of Peggle Blast. The game features a more cartoony art style than Peggle Classic, but will still feature all of the skill shots and peg destroying players expect from the series.
This announcement will not be much of a shock to some however, with Peggle Blast likely being the final version of the game currently out in New Zealand – known only as Peggle.
A release date and official pricing are yet to be announced for Peggle Blast, but if the app does indeed follow the same pattern as the similar version currently available in New Zealand it will be free to download.
Posted by Ellis Spice on July 31st, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The second half of the Dark Ages has arrived in an update for Plants vs. Zombies 2, bringing even more medieval defeating of the undead into the game.
Alongside ten new levels, this update also brings a couple of new plants – the Magnet-shroom and the Pea-nut – and two new zombies – the Wizard Zombie, who turns plants into sheep, and the King Zombie, who transforms Peasant Zombies into helmed knights. If players manage to survive the night, a fired-up Zomboss awaits them, with the endless Arthur’s Challenge available to give players a place to test their plant-placing powers.
Plants vs. Zombies 2 is available to shamble onto your iOS device of choice now and is free to download.
Posted by Ellis Spice on June 26th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
An update has arrived for Plants vs Zombies 2, adding the first part of the Dark Ages campaign previously announced at E3. This latest update brings new levels into the game alongside the return of fan-favorite ‘Shroom’ plants – and a new plant, the Sun Beam. The Knight Zombie and Jester Zombie also make their début alongside Medieval Zombies and more, with these new zombies aiming for your brains as always.
Plants vs Zombies 2 is available now and is free-to-play.
At E3 yesterday, EA and PopCap announced all-new content coming to the ever-popular tactical gardening game. Fan favorites like the Sun-shroom and Hypno-shroom are making a return, along with a new plant called the Sun Bean that makes any zombie that eats it toss out sun energy when struck. The Dark Ages update also includes a bunch of new medieval zombies like the Knight and a tricky Jester that actually chucks seeds back at your plants.
The Dark Ages update for Plants vs. Zombies 2 will be available later this summer.
Posted by Stephen Hall on March 28th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The well-reviewed sequel to one of the most well-reviewed mobile games of all time has received a huge content update, packing 24 new levels, 8 new plants, and 10 new zombies for even more lawn-fighting fun. This update to Plants vs. Zombies 2 transports players to the “Far-Future World,” where your lawn isn’t actually a lawn; apparently grass doesn’t exist in the future. And apparently our lawn mowers will look like classic cars.
The new levels in this update are themed to look like a futuristic world, while the update’s new plants have science-fiction names (like Laser Bean, Infi-Nut, and Star-Fruit) and feature science-fiction zombie-fighting capabilities. The new zombies are equally as futuristic, and that makes them just that much more terrifying. Also included in this update is the Zen Garden from the first game, which allows you to power up your plants.
You can get Plants vs. Zombies 2 on the App Store for free.
Posted by Rob Rich on January 24th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Bejeweled Blitz has been around on the App Store for a while now, and in that time players have apparently been making numerous requests for Vaulted Gems. This feature, which was exclusive to the Facebook version for quite some time, will make rare and powerful gems available to really mix things up during a game. In addition, a new rare gems called the Ice Burrrst will also be attainable. Players will also no doubt be happy to know that this update also includes a new Items tab, which will allow them to browse and manage their grants, shares, and gem gifts more easily.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on December 12th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Plants vs. Zombies 2 has been updated with a new layout and navigation setup that makes the three worlds more linear. They’ve eliminated the key gates and star gates which should allow players to make their way through the game more quickly. The update also includes new “Gargantuar” levels to each world where players face zombies from the original Plants vs. Zombies, and there is now a new turbo setting that doubles the gameplay speed while playing.
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.
EA today announced that Peggle 2 is coming “exclusively first” to the Xbox One. To borrow a phrase from the great Mandy Patinkin in Princess Bride “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.” Exclusive means exclusive: only one. But Peggle 2 will not be exclusive to the Xbox One. It will come to other platforms, and we can rest assured that it will come to iOS at some point.
In this instance, Microsoft has made so many mistakes with the Xbox One that they are struggling to get attention back. So they pay EA a bunch of money to make Peggle 2 and other games “exclusive” to the Xbox One – for a short period of time. Maybe even as little as a month. Microsoft thinks they look awesome, then we get Peggle 2 a few weeks later on the only platform that really matters, iOS. The Xbox One sells way fewer consoles than Microsoft expected, and mobile finally starts to get the attention it deserves. Wow, I think I just saw into the future.
I’ll keep going and guess that it will be announced for iOS in January and be released right after that. And it will be free to play – that is almost a guarantee at this point.
So, um, Peggle 2, yeah. From the short demo shown at Gamescom in Germany, it looks like the original Peggle with more sparkles. Just more levels, and something called “Peggle Masters.” Masters are characters in the game that have their own power-ups and abilities. Also included are multiplayer modes. We’ll let you know more once the Microsoft exclusivity runs out. Here are a couple screen grabs of Peggle 2 from the EA press conference.
In an age where developers are micro-transacting their consumers beyond belief, it is refreshing to hear of the occasional development team willing to take a stand against it. In the most recent example, the financial relief comes from the good folks over PopCap Games. Their most substantial iOS offering to date, Plants vs. Zombies 2, made the unexpected move to free-to-play – much to the chagrin of their audience. Oddly enough, that shift may have actually been the best thing to happen to cash-strapped gamers in recent memory. So how can studios go against the monetization grain and still manage to sustain a profit? A simple change of perspective can go a long way.
Traditionally in-app purchases within free games were viewed under the microscope of paying a cost in order to either continue playing, or unlock an item that will make an unbeatable adversary more manageable. Essentially it boils down to being a pay-to-win structure. In either scenario there is a wide spread negative connotation associated with purchases, drowning in a bubbling cauldron of frustration and anger. When the main motivation behind opening a wallet is to make something that is undesirable cease happening, it feels more like being held hostage than acquiring something beneficial. It might even be fair to say that this is likely the reason that so many folks look down their nose at free-to-play titles.
While working on Plants vs. Zombies 2, the team over at PopCap hit on the discovery that purchases could actually be driven by positivity instead. For example: certain special crops are made available exclusively for purchase with cash through the in-game store. These seeds may be overpowered for a short period, and slightly flashier in terms of presentation, but over time the items that are unlocked simply by continuing to progress through the campaign will end up being just as useful, if not more so. Also, players have the chance to pay to unlock new worlds if they are uninterested in playing through the additional stage permutations in order to clear obstacles the “good old fashioned way.”
The main differentiation is that these acquisitions are completely unnecessary in order to move through the game. In reality they act as more a shortcut for those that don’t have the fortitude of the multitude. Under most circumstances there are only positive underlying motivations associated these purchases; primarily consisting of the desire to play more of a game that they already love, which most will gladly do with a smile. After all, people are far more willing to part with their precious greenbacks when they feel like there’s a tangible reward on the other side of a transaction.
PopCap, along with a select handful of other developers, may have finally cracked the nut that the industry has been trying to shell for years. Here’s to hoping that more will pay close attention and make efforts to follow suit. Who knew that future of mobile gaming could be forever transformed, all thanks to a slight shift of perspective?
The App Store can be a daunting place. What to try? What to buy? How do you know? Thank goodness the review team at 148Apps is here to save the day. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you’re looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Take a look at what we’ve been up to this week, and find even more in our Reviews Archive.
Game development is a fickle business. One day a studio is the talk of the industry and the next it’s scrambling to save face. Rarely is a team able to attain success and remain a darling of both the press and gamers alike. PopCap is one of the exceptions to the rule that somehow manage to impress, no matter what the obstacle. Their newest offering, Plants vs. Zombies 2, could put all of their hard-earned credibility on the chopping block by opting to implement a free-to-play monetization structure. Does the freemium model suit the franchise, or is this an unnecessary stir of the pot? –Blake Grundman
A new app has landed that is simple yet amazing. Notograph is essentially a way to take notes with photographs. It allows users to capture photos of things that they need to remember, and it stores them in a separate location so users don’t fill up their Camera Roll or Photo Stream with pictures that get in the way of their memories. Every time Notograph is opened, it takes users straight to the live camera. It’s designed for quick captures so there’s no messing around with features that aren’t needed. Just tap on the big yellow button to capture. Next to the capture button, users can turn the flash on or off, alternate between the front and back cameras, and view a list of captured pictures. –Angela LaFollette
There are a lot of good TV shows out there nowadays to keep track of. Sure, there are a lot of terrible TV to keep track of too, and TeeVee 2 doesn’t discriminate. It just wants to serve as a quick way to track TV shows and see when they’re coming on next. Just search for a show in a widely-available database, and it will be added to the list left under three categories: “upcoming” for shows that have scheduled upcoming episodes, “announced” for shows that are still airing but don’t have future episodes scheduled yet, and the “dead” section serves as a painful reminder that America rejected the witty antics of Happy Endings. America, for shame. –Carter Dotson
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Paint and Play HD is a unique and fun coloring book app that helps children explore 2D and 3D animation. An iPhone version of this app is also available. This application consists of the classic Disney characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse who star in three separate areas of this app, each including various objects which can be painted. When this app opens up for the first time, children will notice three rooms from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – starkly white and without color yet nicely decorated with many props and other objects that one would expect from fully furnished rooms as well as an outdoor scene. These areas – the living room, kitchen, and garden – each include many details that one would expect; be it easy chair or shelf, counter or cupboard, trees and flowers – all in need of some creative color. One can even add personal touches to Mickey and Minnie as well – a nice feature that I really enjoy. –Amy Solomon
Taking plenty of inspiration from last year’s social gaming phenomenon, Draw Something, ScribbleMix is a fun re-imagining of the popular format with just enough to make it seem different. This time round, players must draw an entire phrase rather than one word. It makes a significant difference, too, both in terms of challenge and in terms of entertainment value. Rather than simply drawing a cheerleader, one might have to draw a cheerleader dancing in the sea for instance. As the Disney name is strongly attached here, there are Disney themed moments, too, such as my favorite: Iron Man bouncing in a desert. Plenty of categories are available so it’s convenient to be able to use some of the in-app currency to either re-spin for another shot, or choose a different category. –Jennifer Allen
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If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:
Sometimes you’ll come across a game that deserves and needs to be looked at differently. To give After the Gods a score out of ten would be missing the point and would stop discussion before it even began. Why is this? Because, quite simply, After the Gods isn’t a particularly good game. It consists of a fairly basic premise that’s easy to achieve. You have to tap on different statues to activate them and then move your camera around to call upon the selected God’s power. Rain, wind and the power over light are all combined to complete a couple of different objectives. For to get flowers to grow, you need it to be raining and sunny. After a couple of these ‘objectives’, the game’s over. 6 out of ten. –Matt Parker
I wanted to start this review by saying how Gurk was an old-school RPG from the olden days, but quick Googling turned up the fact that there was no such thing, and my memory is playing tricks on me. Well, how about that. It’s actually quite a modern-day RPG that was simply made to look like it’s a clone of an old-school game. Still, it doesn’t mean that the game is in any way bad. Conversely, it’s one of the most absorbing role-playing games on the mobiles, and it manages to be like that with only a handful of pixels and colors to spare. In Gurk III, three heroes, a mage, a warrior, and an archer, have to travel across lands and dungeons, eradicating all enemies that are all too eager to munch on their squishy human faces. They are represented by a single icon on the global map, but when encountering an enemy, the map will zoom up on them, and they will fight the enemies in a turn-based battle mode. As in all the other RPGs, there are tons of items to find, and tons of gold to collect. –Tony Kuzmin
There’s a problem with QbQbQb, and so many other puzzle games, from a reviewer’s perspective: they are impossible to describe. They look fine and simple, when I play them, but when I have to put them on paper – it was easier to describe my feelings to a girl I liked in fifth grade, and get a lifetime of shame, than to explain this stuff. Although QbQbQb is difficult to understand from the screenshots, or my ramblings, it’s actually very simple to play. That said, it’s not easy – and it’s a great combination. Simple to learn, impossible to master. The challenge comes from the twisted way the game looks. It’s a Tetris-esque match-something arcade, but instead of giving a traditional flat surface to throw the incoming bricks on, QbQbQb opts for a circular one. To put it simply: there are various shapes, falling onto a planet from all angles, and the player needs to rotate the planet around its axis, to put them in the required places on top of it. The planet only rotates by 30-degree angles, so there are 12 possible positions the pieces are coming from, and can be placed on, which makes it a bit more manageable. But still difficult to wrap the head around, in the heat of the action. –Tony Kuzmin
It’s almost here, again. Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time is set to launch tomorrow, August 15th, after originally being planned for a July 18th release. Mac Rumors reports that PopCap delayed the game to provide improvements and tweaks to its in-app purchase system. I guess that’s what happens when you go the freemium route!
Prepare yourself for all the defensive action tomorrow, and keep an eye out for our review in the morning!
In the sequel to PopCap’s hit lane-based defense game, Plants vs Zombies 2 takes players through three different times and places, including Ancient Egypt, The Wild West, and the Pirate Seas, bringing a whole host of new mechanics to the game, including Plant Food power ups and special destructive power buttons.
You’ll also see a whole new way of seeing your progression in the game with the big over world map, themed per time and world. THe game is looking great, and we got to play through a couple of levels of time-traveling fun.
It’s been announced that Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time will launch this July, though still no decision on what exact day. Pocket Gamer also mentions, while there isn’t a lot of detail, that Plants vs Zombies 2 will feature a “bevy of new features, settings, and situations” for gamers to experience.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on April 19th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
PopCap Games has released Bookworm Heroes, a free-to-play word game that lets players go head-to-head against Facebook friends or random opponents. Players take turns building words with letter tiles and can use bonuses and scoring boosts to increase their chances of winning.
“We’re ecstatic to introduce the next chapter of Bookworm to iOS users in a new adaptation that brings multiplayer and social gameplay to what’s previously been a solitary player experience,” said Scott Willoughby, Bookworm franchise director at PopCap Games. “Bookworm Heroes adds a new level of fun and challenge among friends, plus a ton of extras that we believe make this the best Bookworm iteration yet.”
Solitaire Blitz was a pretty big hit on Facebook when it debuted there last year. That game is now coming to iOS and is currently live in the Canadian App Store.
Here’s an video of the game being played on the iPad. We play through a couple hands and it is enjoyable though not as good as the similarly-playing Fairway Solitaire from Big Fish Games in the current version.
Solitaire Blitz seems to be set up to be as a free to play game and it’ll be interesting to see how aggressive the monitization of Solitaire Blitz will be. As of now, you can play 5 times for free with one more free game coming every ten minutes.
It should be launched globally soon. We’ll let you know as soon as it’s live.
PopCap’s popular game, Plants vs Zombies, has Trading Cards, and they’re on sale now for a limited time. You can buy them in 4-packs with seven cards in each pack, or the whole shebang with the full retail box, containing all 50 base cards and 10 special cards that include things like stickers and temporary tattoos. The full box also comes with either a signature card or a special sketch card from artist Rich Werner.
The sale ends this Friday, November 30th, so if this interests you, head over to the PopCap store now!
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.
Solitaire Blitz has taken Facebook by storm with vintage Popcap charm and now it’s shuffling its way onto iOS.
After sampling it at Gamescom, I came to a simple conclusion: It’s portable Solitaire Blitz with the ease of touch, and that makes for a dangerously brilliant concoction.
Players are tasked with clearing their screen of cards by putting them into three separate piles, two of which need to be unlocked during play. Power-ups help players along the way and silver is uncovered as their screen starts to empty, adding to their overall points at the end of each hand.
The translation is spot-on. All power-ups are in place including the time boost and bomb. The squeaking worm still shuffles awkwardly when players are about to run out of time. Most importantly, the core gameplay remains as engaging as ever.
It’s simple, fast-paced fun, and a perfect fit for iOS. Solitaire Blitz launches this fall.
Plants vs Zombies: Talking Zombatar
To get us ready for next year’s brain-chomping sequel, Popcap bring us the more light-hearted Talking Zombatar.
The idea is to kit your Zombie out in the most imaginative way possible, be it cool, crazy or flat-out creepy. Beach shorts and shades for the hot weather? Why not. Menacing faces and mutilated bodies? Ripe for a reaping. Over-sized wigs and glittery suits for a night of karaoke? Time to tune up the vocals. Talking Zombatar allows for such stupidity, and even lets players have their favourite phrases repeated in Zombish.
While I only saw a limited range of costumes, I was assured by Popcap that there will be rewards for checking on the app daily and purchasable items that can be paid for with in-game or real currency. Talking Zombatar will be totally free, presenting a new direction for the gaming giant, but this was a lot more fun than I was expecting. It’s out this fall!
I am eager to let readers know about Oceanhouse Media’s annual app sale in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday from Wednesday, February 25 through Monday, March 9. During this time, five of their best-selling Seuss stories will be on sale for $0.99 each, and there will be discounts for other classic Dr. Seuss titles as […]
Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf Complete is now available. It’s a combination of all the previous releases in the series where you get all four acts (Blood on the Snow, Forest Hunt, The Shianti Halls, and Dawn over V’taag) of the gamebook saga for one price. Relive the story of Kai Lord of Sommerlund as he […]