Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time is the sequel to the hugely popular horticultural-based tower defense game.
Zombies with a time-travel twist
The idea of the game is to zap zombies through strategic gardening throughout different lands across the ages. There are three different worlds in total, including Ancient Egypt, Pirate's Booty and Big Bad Butte (a Wild West-themed world), giving Plants vs. Zombies 2 lots of variety and helping to make it look and feel distinct from the first game.
There are several levels within each world, which you play through in order. You have the opportunity to unlock new levels within each world through in-app purchases. You need to collect stars by achieving objectives, which you'll need in order to unlock each world.
The gameplay of Plants vs. Zombies 2 is more or less exactly the same as the previous version. You have a collection of plants at your disposal which you need to use to prevent the zombies reaching your house. Sunflowers provide sun, which is the currency you need to use plants.
Many of the plants in Plants vs. Zombies 2 will be recognizable to you if you've played the first version (pea shooters, cabbage throwers, exploding potatoes are some of the old favorites included in this sequel). However, there are a few new types of plant in Plants vs. Zombies 2 to look out for, such as iceberg lettuces that freeze zombies, Bonk Choy that punches zombies, and Bloomerangm which fires petals at the enemy.
Although planting is at the heart of the gameplay in Plants vs. Zombies 2, there are a couple of new additions to help in your zombie-crushing arsenal. The first is the availability of plant food, which you can give to a particular plant to beef up it's impact for a few seconds. For example, pea shooters will fire like machine guns, cabbages will go off like bombs and, handily, sunflowers will spit out lots of suns when you add plant food to them. Plant food is available by shooting specific zombies or by purchasing with game coins.
The other new innovation is power-ups. These are always available at the bottom of the screen for when times get tough, allowing you to obliterate zombies by pinching them to death, throwing them off the screen, or electrocuting them. It's a fun twist on the gameplay, though each power-up will cost you a lot of coins, so be sparing with them!
On the zombie front, the undead are as mean and moody as ever. The great thing about Plants vs. Zombies 2 is that there are specific zombies for each level (e.g. mummified zombies for the Ancient Egypt level, and pirate zombies for the Pirate's Booty level). There's plenty of variety among the behavior of the zombies, so you'll need to learn the best way to deal with each one.
Obliterating the undead
Anyone who played the first Plants vs. Zombies 2 should be able to pick up and play Plants vs Zombies 2 without having to relearn how it works. A tutorial level is available to walk you through the basics, but luckily you can skip this if you don't want to go through it.
Whenever a new gameplay element is introduced (plant food or power-ups, for example) you play through an interactive tutorial to get used to the controls. In the case of power-ups, controls are based around touch gestures, which are great fun. You can pinch zombies to squish them, hold and drag to throw them, or tap on them to frazzle them with electricity.
Well manicured graphics
Plants vs. Zombies 2 looks more polished than the first version of the game, and both the animation and the detail of the plants and zombies sprites have been shined. Its endearing comedic charm hasn't disappeared though and there's lots of hilarity to look out for in terms of the way zombies look and act and the humorous cut scenes that feature a running dialog between Crazy Dave and a time travelling caravan called Penny (don't ask, just play the game and find out!)
The soundtrack to Plants vs. Zombies 2 is also an improvement on the first game. The classic theme tune remains, but it has an orchestral score, where the tune varies slightly between levels.
Although the gameplay hasn't been radically overhauled in Plants vs. Zombies 2, the overall experience is more polished and more varied than the first game. It's the most enjoyable tower defense game for Android that you'll play!
Clicking the Download link will take you to a page on the Google Play site, from where you can download and install the game (only available in Australia and New Zealand at the time of writing the review).