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Casual? tower defense
May 8, 2009 11:21 AM   Subscribe

Plants vs. Zombies is out. (Mac also). Demo available. $10 on Steam. Adorable promo music video.

It has more minigames than you can shake a stick at including a reskinned bejewelled twist & insaniquarium. (in fact it is by the same designer behind insaniquarium).

Unfortunately in-game music is not as cool as the promo video, but still a darned addictive game overall.
posted by juv3nal (69 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Game aside, if you do not like that music video, you are a big 'ole grouchyface.
posted by juv3nal at 11:22 AM on May 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh hells yes.
posted by chunking express at 11:23 AM on May 8, 2009




I played the demo, and it felt very like insaniquarium.
posted by empath at 11:27 AM on May 8, 2009


People wonder if there’s a rivalry between Wall-Nut and Tall-Nut. Tall-Nut laughs a rich, baritone laugh. “How could there be anything between us? We are brothers. If you knew what Wall-Nut has done for me…” Tall-Nut’s voice trails off and he smiles knowingly.
More gushing about the wonder of Tall-Nut at Rock Paper Shotgun
posted by The Devil Tesla at 11:31 AM on May 8, 2009


Oh it also boasts one of the best help screens ever.
posted by juv3nal at 11:32 AM on May 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


No can do, still stuck in Desktop TD PRO level 23.
posted by Free word order! at 11:32 AM on May 8, 2009


Dissonance: I read "Plants vs. Zombies is out," and thought "Was it ever in? How did I miss that?"
posted by rusty at 11:37 AM on May 8, 2009


Reminds me a bit of Pixeljunk Monsters, only wackier.
posted by HumanComplex at 11:43 AM on May 8, 2009


My entire family has been humming the music from the video for over a month, now, and I picked up the game moments after release on Steam.

No, I cannot stop playing. The zen garden keeps growing, as I have yet to shut the game down since I got it.
posted by thanotopsis at 11:46 AM on May 8, 2009


This just makes me want to dig out my SNES and play Zombies Ate My Neighbors instead.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:06 PM on May 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Interview with the designer in which he reveals that unfortunately they were unable to use one of the original titles for the game: Lawn of the Dead.
posted by juv3nal at 12:12 PM on May 8, 2009 [15 favorites]


juv3nal, you just made me stupidly happy.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 12:17 PM on May 8, 2009


wow, this looks pretty great.
posted by shmegegge at 12:20 PM on May 8, 2009


Started playing this last night and got so hooked I stayed up way too late without noticing. It's incredibly fun. Love the art and the sense of humor.
posted by cmgonzalez at 12:23 PM on May 8, 2009


This just makes me want to dig out my SNES and play Zombies Ate My Neighbors

...and become increasingly jittery and infuriated as my citizens get mauled off-screen where I can't even get to them, as I run out of every ammo except popsicles and footballs or some stupid thing, and as I somehow sputter limpingly through a nearly unwinnable boss fight against a gigantic spider and die in the first few seconds of the next level. God how I loved that game. I will never, ever play it again.
posted by sleevener at 12:27 PM on May 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Do I get a free Pepsi Blue with this?
posted by JeffK at 12:29 PM on May 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for posting. I just bought this over Steam as my 1 hour trial was over in no time but I needed more (braaaaaaains). Not that tower defense games were any new but this is one is designed so lovely and very fun to play.
posted by starzero at 12:38 PM on May 8, 2009


Loved the trial, and I'm getting the full version now. I was skeptical, but it's got that "Tower Defense" feel to it, only with better graphics. Kind of cute, too.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:42 PM on May 8, 2009


My favorite part is that the zombies will eat your plants. Makes for a pleasant change from most tower defense games, where the enemy somehow never realizes if he destroyed your fucking towers he'd be homefree.
posted by Caduceus at 12:46 PM on May 8, 2009


Is it possible for Mac users to buy it for the $10 price from Steam?

The $19.95 price on the Mac page is a little more than I'd want to pay for it, but $10 sounds pretty good.
posted by Fleebnork at 1:16 PM on May 8, 2009


The $19.95 price on the Mac page is a little more than I'd want to pay for it, but $10 sounds pretty good.

Would "pole-vaulting zombies" sweeten the deal?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:23 PM on May 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is it possible for Mac users to buy it for the $10 price from Steam?

Not without using some kind of program that lets you run windows like parallels.

The 10 dollar thing is kind of a weird result of the fact that the people who use Steam are the kind of people who probably wouldn't buy PvZ for more than 10 bucks, while the people who would buy directly from PopCap, especially mac users, probably are more in the 20 buck crowd. They are maximizing profit this way. It kind of sucks if you don't already use Steam all the time, but at least it means it's available for 10 bucks somewhere.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 1:43 PM on May 8, 2009


People who have macs that don't run them as PCs to play games are just weird.
posted by Artw at 2:37 PM on May 8, 2009


Why should I have to download a PC version of the game, then reboot my OS into windows in order to play a game that has a Mac version?
posted by Fleebnork at 2:52 PM on May 8, 2009


'cos that's what you do with every other game, assuming you don't just use an X-box instead?
posted by Artw at 2:57 PM on May 8, 2009


Game aside, if you do not like that music video, you are a big 'ole grouchyface.

The game's pretty cool. Simple but evolves a little, and adds in enough variation to keep you interested. As for the video, it seems to have done it's job admirably, but I thought they could have made it far funnier (the lyrics were really pretty lame) and probably an awful lot catchier.

But, like you say, I suspect it's less that I'm over-analyzing it (though I only do that 'cause it seems to have caught on like the geek-internet's new Susan fucking Boyle) but because (I know) I am a big 'ole grouchyface.
posted by opsin at 2:58 PM on May 8, 2009


'cos that's what you do with every other game, assuming you don't just use an X-box instead?

Or y'know... games with Mac versions.

I don't own a console or any PC games. This is a casual game, much like the flash games that get posted on Mefi all the time. Which is why I'm not interested in paying $20 for it or rebooting into Windows for the sole purpose of playing this single game.
posted by Fleebnork at 3:05 PM on May 8, 2009


The $19.95 price on the Mac page is a little more than I'd want to pay for it, but $10 sounds pretty good.

Would "pole-vaulting zombies" sweeten the deal?


Or Michael Jackson Thriller zombies, perhaps?
posted by danny the boy at 3:15 PM on May 8, 2009


Quit it!
posted by Fleebnork at 3:21 PM on May 8, 2009


Just get the torrent, Fleebnork.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:28 PM on May 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Defense Grid: The Awakening is a tower defense game that's currently $5.00 on Steam, and more fun than Plants vs Zombies IMHO. There's a demo, screenshots, etc. at the link.
posted by L. Ron McKenzie at 3:28 PM on May 8, 2009


DG:TA does look awesome, but I don't think it's fair to compare it to PvZ. They're apples and oranges, really. Even the strategy looks different apart from the general tower defense genre.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:33 PM on May 8, 2009


You could come to Australia Fleebnork, where all steam games are more expensive (including a $19.95 plants vs. zombies) despite the prices still all being in US dollars and the goddamn thing being an electronic transfer.

You will be comforted by the common Australian feeling of being fucked with software price no matter what you do.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 4:05 PM on May 8, 2009


I'd say it's worth $20, but I generally feel good about paying for games, especially given all the uh... 'extended evaluation periods' I took advantage of when I was younger and poorer. And if you think about it, what are you really going to do with the $10 you saved?

Alternately, getting steam up and running on your Mac is probably worth it, if you like to play less 'casual' games.

But yeah, booting into windows for a popcap game is kind of silly.
posted by danny the boy at 4:05 PM on May 8, 2009


I've been waiting for this game since I first heard about it, and the trailer has cheered me up on several occasions.

The game itself is great, definitely worth the money! The Michael Jackson Thriller zombies are fantastic!
posted by gemmy at 4:11 PM on May 8, 2009


Defense Grid: The Awakening is a tower defense game that's currently $5.00 on Steam, and more fun than Plants vs Zombies IMHO.

I played both and liked both, so yea, I can't decide which one is better. How about you guys buy both :).
posted by The Devil Tesla at 4:21 PM on May 8, 2009


I wasn't hugely impressed with the DG:TA demo but I could see how it is probably deeper than PvZ strategically. Still, I picked it up because, hey, 5 bucks. Not even going to look at it until I'm done with PvZ though.
posted by juv3nal at 5:29 PM on May 8, 2009


Did I really just play that for an hour?
posted by ColdChef at 7:42 PM on May 8, 2009


Bought it after trying the early access demo on the 4th. The game's true glory really shines in Survivor mode, and I still lose about a third of the time. All it takes is one stupid move or a random zombie curveball to make you scramble.

By the way, if PvZ were Dune II, the plants would be House Harkonen. That's all I'm saying.
posted by Decimask at 7:56 PM on May 8, 2009


Oh, and it has 'taters. "Imitaters", to be precise.
posted by Decimask at 7:58 PM on May 8, 2009


$20 bucks on pop-cap for the mac version versus $10 bucks on steam? Really? I was considering an impulse buy, but weighing between starting up Boot Camp versus an extra 10 bucks, Desktop Tower Defense wins.

(On reread - what every other person on this post said).
posted by phyrewerx at 8:29 PM on May 8, 2009


Whee! 22 flags on Survivor: Endless.
posted by Decimask at 9:54 AM on May 9, 2009


Don't look now, but there's a new Protector TD!
posted by juv3nal at 10:52 AM on May 9, 2009


Yeah, I downloaded this from Steam before I realized that it's PC only. Guess I've gotten used to sites checking for your OS.
posted by gallois at 3:26 PM on May 9, 2009


For all you Mac users: I can attest that PvZ runs perfectly in Wine. If Wine runs on Macs as reliably as it does on a Debian-based distro, then you should have no problem.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:51 PM on May 9, 2009


Bear in mind the version that you get direct from popcap is DRM-free, whereas the steam version is restricted to one user at a time, and tied to the 'net (i.e. the account logged in). If you've two people who want to play at the same time, or play it on a pc without easy net access you can do that with the direct download version.
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:19 AM on May 10, 2009


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing, did you have to do anything special to get it to work in wine? On my system, Ubuntu Jaunty with Wine 1.21 I got no graphics. The into music played, and eventually the popcap logo showed in the bottom corner, but nothing else.
posted by mad bomber what bombs at midnight at 11:52 AM on May 10, 2009


did you have to do anything special to get it to work in wine?

I installed it to the Program Files directory of my /.wine directory. It wasn't running in my usual games directory.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:55 AM on May 10, 2009


Dear dolphin zombies,

I hate you.

Sincerely,

erik
posted by flaterik at 12:16 AM on May 11, 2009


for dolphin zombies:
1) tangle kelp
2) pad with squash/chomper on it
3) pad with nut on it in front of some damage dealers

1 & 2 are band aid solutions, good in a bind but not useful against a bunch in succession because of recharge times
3 is what you want to set up if at all possible
posted by juv3nal at 12:28 AM on May 11, 2009


(3) should ideally be 3-4 cattails behind a pumpkin-ed tall nut per row if you can manage it.

If you haven't bought them yet, cat tails are just generally great. they don't do a whole lot of damage, but they hit anywhere on the board and kill balloons. Makes me sad for levels where you don't have a pool to work with.

Anyone have any tips for bobsled bonanza?

I know the spikey ground things will take out the zambonis and the jalapenos will melt the ice, but it's still giving me trouble. Do I need the imitater (which I don't have yet) so I can jalapeno twice as often or is this doable without that?
posted by juv3nal at 10:24 AM on May 11, 2009


Anyone have any tips for bobsled bonanza?

Whatever fancy-pants seeds I've been getting, I've been having the most success sticking to one basic plan: sunflowers, lillypads, mushrooms, pea shooters, and a few WMDs like the cherry bomb, the crater mushroom, the freezing mushroom and the jalapenos. The balloons annoy me because I need to sacrifice a seed slot for that damned cactus, but this just underlines how important it is to buy new seed slots when you can.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:32 AM on May 11, 2009


You people are making me think I need to shell out for the damned game. Now I just need to find out how well the Windows version runs under Crossover, so I don't have to buy it twice.
posted by djfiander at 11:48 AM on May 11, 2009


oh, i've been playing this on and off since friday.

The mac version is easily worth the $20.
posted by mrzarquon at 12:31 PM on May 12, 2009


> Anyone have any tips for bobsled bonanza?

I use potato mines early on, as the waves have still been one or two zombies at a time, so I can get atleast 8 or 10 sunshine producing units, which gives you a lot of stuff to play with. I then go out and lay the spike treads on the far right of the screen, as they do damage to zombies walking over them, and that along with the snow peas (which slow down the zombies as they stand on the spikes, taking more damage), frees up your defense options significantly, and will keep all the zambonis from showing up. I still haven't had a bobsled team, and I've gotten to the roof levels now.
posted by mrzarquon at 12:37 PM on May 12, 2009


Thanks y'all. I'm past the bobsled bonanza now.


I have to say, this game would be even awesomer with a toggle to play any level at the "Zombie Nimble Zombie Quick" speed.
posted by juv3nal at 3:45 PM on May 12, 2009


I just paid 20$ for it too. Bastards. The game is too damn good. I played that 1 hour trial all in one go, and it was awesome.
posted by chunking express at 6:21 PM on May 12, 2009


I keep screwing up because the YEEEEEEEEHAW! of the bungee zombies sends me into giggle fits.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:27 PM on May 12, 2009


Yeah, great game. The writing is by the guy who does Bob the Angry Flower! As soon as he joined Popcap, they brought out this game and Peggle, both of which star flower characters. I sense an agenda.
posted by painquale at 2:46 AM on May 13, 2009


I've finished the game, but there's still a blank spot for a zombie in my almanac. He's the one right under the dolphin handler, if I remember correctly. Looks like a pretty big guy from his silhouette. Where do you encounter him?
posted by painquale at 2:48 AM on May 13, 2009


Up on the rooftop. Sumbitch roles giant iceballs and fireballs at you.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:54 AM on May 13, 2009


Dear god, now I've gotten into zen gardening and grinding just so I can collect more.

Also, cattails are total win for the pool levels.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:55 AM on May 13, 2009


The game ending is very entertaining. And I see myself playing this many, many times again. Thanks, juv3nal.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:12 PM on May 13, 2009


Are you talking about Dr. Zomboss, Marisa? The big robot thing? That's not the one I mean. I mean whatever zombie is in the almanac underneath the dolphin handler.

I'm also grinding for the zen garden. And the tree of wisdom. I need to own everything! You can just leave the zen garden open with a snail and go do something else... he'll collect thousands for you. Just make sure you feed him some chocolate beforehand or he'll fall asleep.

This game makes me feel like this.
posted by painquale at 12:18 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are you talking about Dr. Zomboss, Marisa? The big robot thing? That's not the one I mean. I mean whatever zombie is in the almanac underneath the dolphin handler.

Well whaddaya know. I went to my Almanak and that indeed is the only one I don't have. Maybe he's in Survival Mode? (Haven't played that one yet so NO SPOILERS PLEASE).
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:22 PM on May 13, 2009


Is it a cry for help that I'm thinking of a way to rsync my data to my home server so it can grind the zen garden when I'm not running it on my laptop?

Also, I want an iPhone minigame that will sync with my main profile.
posted by mrzarquon at 7:43 PM on May 13, 2009


I found the final zombie! I'm not sure if he always appears in the same place. His description can be read as implying that he just shows up rarely from time to time.
posted by painquale at 10:44 PM on May 13, 2009


Apparently that "missing" zombie is a Yeti Zombie.

Also, Bobsled Bonanza is kicking my ass.
posted by hifiparasol at 9:59 PM on May 19, 2009


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