The iPad's bigger screen real estate has held some of the biggest promise for fans of tower defense games, and iPhone and iPod Touch best-seller Plants vs. Zombies from PopCap could be one of the best early examples.
However, the iPad-optimized version brings the game nearly up to parity with the versions found on PC and Mac computers, which cost twice as much. This includes the proper top placement (instead of the side) of all the weapons and resources you must work with to defeat your zombie foes, as well as survival mode, which lets players try to stay alive for as long as possible. For many of those who have finished the game's campaign, this is the mode of choice, and something that was sorely missing from the iPhone version.
iPad users also get a new (and exclusive) mini-game mode called "buttered popcorn," which makes use of the iPad's multitouch display. As PopCap explains it:
Players attack zombies by first "buttering" them up before firing corn-cob cannons at them. To defeat the growing hordes of zombies, players can touch them to place butter on their heads. With the multitouch user interface, players can select up to 11 zombies at a time, targeted for 'buttering' by the powerful cob cannons.
Presumably, by selecting "11 at a time," PopCap means players are expected to use their nose, or the help of a friend, to select the extra zombie beyond their own 10 digits.
PopCap says it's sold 650,000 copies of the title for the iPhone and iPod. Users who have already paid for that version will, of course, still be able to play it on the iPad, but will need to buy a copy of the HD version if they want to take advantage of all the new features and extra screen real estate.
More screens after the break. Click on any shot to see it in its native iPad resolution.