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CNET First Look
Defensive gardening has finally returnedThe sequel to one of the most popular iOS games ever is finally here, and with new power ups and other features, it's bound to be a hit.
The original Plants vs. Zombies was a huge hit when it came out for iOS devices in February 2010. The game quickly became a favorite for its cute but challenging tower defense game play. But today, we finally have the long-awaited sequel, Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time. The object of the game is the same as the original. Plant different types of offensive and defensive plants to try to prevent zombies from making it all the way to the left side of the screen. To grow your plants, you need sun, and sun power is gained through planting sunflowers that generate every few seconds. But where you were defending your house from a zombie attack in the original, Plants vs. Zombies 2 gives you additional settings with the introduction of time travel. Now, you'll travel back in time to new worlds that include an Ancient Egypt and a pirate-themed level called Pirate Seas. There are three worlds to unlock in this first version of the game, but PopCap games promises more new worlds to come. Plants vs. Zombies 2 is very easy to pick up and play for just about anyone, but it can also get extremely challenging. In this sequel, the developers have added new features and give you a few extra options when the big waves of zombies are on the attack. A new Plant Food button lets you supercharge one of your plants to do extra damage when in a pinch. Each plant type reacts differently to plant food, so you'll have to experiment to find the best combinations. There are also new powers you can only use for a short time by spending your earned coins. The Power Pinch lets you pinch to decapitate zombies. The Power Toss lets you launch a group of zombies into the air then fling them off the screen. The Power Zap lets you hold your finger down on zombies to electrocute multiple enemies. These new powers are great for difficult levels, but you have to be careful not to spend too much of your coins. Plants vs. Zombies 2 is a free game in the App Store and PopCap says you can complete the entire game without spending a penny, but about 5% of the content is hidden behind an in-app purchase. As you swipe through the in-game almanac, you'll notice only a couple of the locked plants are for purchase only, while most are unlockable by going to the right location on the map. Upgrades like the power moves I talked about before are mostly unlockable as well, but for an extra boost of sun power for example, you can add an additional 25 sun at the start of the level by purchasing the bonus selection. The other upgrades are set up in the same way. So, really, the stuff behind the paywall is usually for a bonus on top of what you already get, but I have to admit, there are some plants that might be worth spending a little cash on. I'm looking at you, snow peas. Overall, Plants vs. Zombies 2 is a fantastic sequel to an already great title. With new plants, new worlds to explore, and new emergency powers, it will be easy to get suck back into this extremely addictive game. Thanks everyone for watching this first look at Plants vs. Zombies 2. I'm Jason Parker for CNET. See you next time.