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Plants Vs. Zombies Adventures

It’s (Barely) Alive

Plants Vs. Zombies Adventures shambles more slowly than its undead baddies.

By Samantha Nelson • May 30, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

It’s almost shocking how long it took Plants Vs. Zombies to become a Facebook game, considering it’s already about planting things around your house. But while the transition might seem natural, the result feels like two separate games sloppily cobbled together. In Plants Vs. Zombies Adventures, you plant seeds in planters around your home and wait around for them to grow before harvesting them to use in your fight against hordes of shambling zombies. The undead will periodically attack your home base, so you’ll want to keep some plants there, but the main conflict comes from road trips where you’re defending an RV in levels that play out much like they did in the original Plants Vs. Zombies—comical zombies shuffle toward the RV; you plant sentient flora to stop them.

In this Facebook incarnation, all of your plants explode when you finish a level. You’re forced to constantly go back home for more planting and harvesting. Or you can try to be as conservative as possible with how many plants you use. Considering how long it takes the better plants to grow, this is a game you’re only going to be able to play in very short bursts unless you’re ponying up real money to accelerate things. Adventures is best if you’ve got some friends who are also playing, since you can switch things up by commanding a zombie assault. You win rewards if your army of the dead is successful. But as relentlessly cheerful and good-humored as it is, there just isn’t enough depth to either the farming of tower-defense sections of this game to make it feel alive.

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10 Responses to “It’s (Barely) Alive”

  1. Aurora Boreanaz says:

    …all of your plants explode when you finish a level, and you have to go plant more?  Uh, no effing thanks.

    • Effigy_Power says:


    • Ian thompson says:

       You did play the original didn’t you?

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        ….apparently it was long enough ago that I forgot.

        But I took it to mean that in the case of this game, if you want to use more Pea Shooters, you would have to grow them social-game-like before playing a level again, rather than having unlimited access to them once unlocked.  THAT sounds annoying…

  2. aklab says:

    Plants vs. Zombies is one of those games that I never really tire of and have purchased multiple times on different platforms. 

    …aaand looks like I’ll be holding out for Plants vs. Zombies 2. 

    • WorldCivilizations says:

      It’s certainly well made, and it’s good fun to try out different combinations of plants. On the other hand, the fun of experimentation is a bit undermined by the fact that practically any strategy works – I think I lost once on my entire first run through the campaign (on the level before the final boss). When I play the game now, I stick to the endless version of the minigame where you send zombies at the plants.

      • aklab says:

        It’s definitely one of those games that doesn’t always require your full attention. I did get a lot of mileage out of the various minigames and challenge levels though. 

        Its other big advantage is that it’s easy enough for my kids to play through the first couple of worlds. So everyone wins!

      • Basement Boy says:

        My go-to for a PVZ fix is endless mode of Vasebreaker… the zombies vs plants one usually leaves me feeling pretty fucked-over…

  3. Mercenary_Security_number_4 says:

    A more classic version of PvZ with facebook integration (if that’s what turns you perverts on) is available through EA-owned

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