986893_largerThere were a heck of a lot of games released this week, but EA and PopCap's Plants vs. Zombies 2 [Free] is the clear stand-out. As we mention in our five star review, not only is the game a fabulous sequel that takes the original Plants vs. Zombies [$0.99 / $0.99 (HD)] but the game's free to play payment model is structured in a way that it's actually free to play. In fact, actually unlocking things and progressing through the game without paying is so much fun that when it launched in the US, I deleted my New Zealand copy and started all over again... And I'm still having a blast.

If you originally dismissed the game because you've been burnt by abusive IAP which has turned you off free to play, I highly recommend giving PvZ 2 a chance. If you need some additional convincing on that, pop in to our forum thread.

Seriously, don't miss this game.

  • EscortGamer

    One of the best strategy games. It's like zombieless 2D Kingdom Rush.

    • Smartbomb

      Zombieless?

    • shadax

      There's a zombie or two in Plants vs Zombies.

      • Jake7905

        I think he meant, "a Zombified Kingdom Rush"

  • Garzhod

    More like game of the year. Iv missed it.

    • TTotully

      It's my mobile game of the year so far for sure! Just a great game!

      • rewyan

        Definitely mine, although I doubt Apple would praise as much as they did the original, because it may seem like they are subjective to certain games and developers. Apple wants to share the spotlight and "showcase a variety," so I don't think they would name this game of the year. It would look bad.

        Definitely my nominee for GOTY. It's even better than the original, taking a Super Mario format, and doing freemuim the right way. I commend PopCap for doing it unselfishly, even under EA, and continuing the epic battle of plants and zombies.

  • wigzisonfire

    My faith has been restored in humanity. A free to play game that doesn't force you to cough up cash for an inadequate gaming experience. This truly has set the benchmark for how to create free to play and still satisfy all gaming camps!

    I still would pay a premium price for a game without any IAPs any day over free to play. But this game is different, I almost felt like I had stolen something when playing this game, I felt bad for having such a great time for free, it feels wrong lol!!!

    • Gabriel.Voyager

      Just buy 100$ of consumable IAP...

  • Galenmereth

    Might be a generous IAP f2p model right now, but I don't trust EA at all anymore. I don't like them and their way of dealing with their devs and fans. I'm sticking to my ideals and haven't downloaded it. And I won't. I will not get another EA product ever again - unless some truly big changes to the corp take place, of course; everyone can change. But it's doubtful.

    • benjitek

      Thanks for sharing, we were all so curious as to what your thoughts were... lol

    • themostunclean

      They're a massive company so of course their duplicitous and greedy but so are ALL corporations. There are plenty of others that have done worse, in the video-game/tech industry alone I can list several. Microsoft alone is responsible for many more heinous actions than EA. They gave the government access to our private data for Christ's Sake!

      If they don't make anything you like then fine, but actively boycotting them and denying yourself a pleasant experience is a waste. EA won't be affected but the studio under them, whose employees have no say in policy and just want to make games, may.

      • themostunclean

        Google "why do people hate ea" for a really good IGN article about this.

      • Benjamin Rodriguez

        yeah, that's why EA wins back to back worst company of the year awards

      • andrew9oh7

        Only cause a bunch of 12year olds vote on it,there is SO many worse companies its not even funny.if only people cared about real issues like video games......

      • themostunclean

        Thank you! So tired of the EA sniping.

      • andrew9oh7

        Yea it gets old,and thank you so mentioning that article! I checked it out and it's spot on

      • Galenmereth

        It's not a waste, it's a statement I make with my most precious resource; my time. There are so many games I'd like to play, missing out on EA's means nothing. I don't expect people to agree, but I feel like sharing my standpoint nonetheless. We all have companies we like and dislike for various, often personal, reasons.

        And for the record, I voted Monsanto as worst company, not EA ; )

    • rewyan

      Popcap seems to have a stronger hold and stronger decision in their games than the Firemonkeys with Real Racing 3 do, and other developers that EA bought. I believe that Popcap is strong enough to not let EA force them to go tougher on the freemium-style. However, if they do, Im through with both of em.

  • KOMODO

    NOT HAPPY. ID RATE FIRST P V Z 10/10. THIS ONE LOCKED UP AFTER PIRATE DAY ONE AND IS STUCK THERE. SEVERAL GLICHES. VERY COOL THEMES AND SOME NEW PLANTS GREAT GRAPHICS AND HUMOR BUT OVERALL USELESS SINCE I CAN'T PLAY IT. LIKED EASE OF FIRST GAME WITH SOME HARDER MINIGAMES. THIS ONES HARDER WITH A LOT OF REPETITION TO GET STARS. ALSO RATHER PAY $3 OR $6 OR WHATEVER FOR GAME OUTRIGHT AND LOSE ALL THE "BUY ME" CRAP. AFTER ONE MONTH DELAY AND IN USE IN AUSTRAILIA THERE SHOULD BE NO MAJOR GLICHES ESPECIALLY FROM POPCAP AND EA. SO FAR 5/10.

    • andrew9oh7

      WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT US,KINDA RUDE MATE.PLEASE CALM DOWN. Thank you :)

    • ttocs

      Haven't had any of the issues you refer to. Maybe you are just in a really old device without much memory? Try restarting device. You seem to be the only one with issues.

      And how is it that a game is free yet people are complaining that it should cost 3 or 6 bucks. Are you nuts?

  • babeve

    I see this idea from somewhere:
    If someone passed a level with super powers or so many plants foods,pvz2 will give him star in other color.
    Wanna popcap use it next update. : P

  • YMCMBRules

    People actually like this trash? I'm surprised.

    • brickwalker0

      I am extremely surprised so many people are liking it. Loved PvZ1 but I dont see how others arent annoyed by the constant begging the game does for money. Even then, the touch controls with the powers are quite clunky and not fun. I can see this being more fun on iPad but my experience on iPhone is awful.

      • themostunclean

        It informs you of purchasable items once as they arise in the game and that's it. It also lets you know you can pay to access areas, but only when you try and open a door without keys, thats hardly begging.

        There are no pop ups, no prompts for the store and no load screen ads. Compare this to the majority of freemium games and how they TRULY beg for your cash before making inaccurate comments like this.

        On my phone I've had no problem with the powers (and I'm 6'5" with huge hands) although I almost never had to use them. They're not an essential part of the game at all and really only there for novices who need a crutch. Complaining about them is like bitching about the parsley by your sandwich being too dry.

      • iamheffe

        A bunch of times I've received a full screen IAP popup for the fire pepper being on sale which is only a minor annoyance. Other than that I have no issues at all with how the IAP was handled by Popcap.

      • rewyan

        What begging? It's pretty lenient, in my opinion

      • ttocs

        Begging? There is no begging. They just offer ways for people to spend money if they want to. If you don't want to, no worries, the game is completely playable without spending a dime

    • ttocs

      It's an amazing game. What's not to like?

    • Benjamin Rodriguez

      Agreed. Looking at the first couple comments and the article, I'm baffled at why people love this cash cow, maybe the reminiscing feelings of the original PvZ game? Original was a classic, but the fact that we have to pay for plants that were standard in 1, in this new version is bull. But that's what you get with EA.

  • Jake7905

    IAP is not evil, it's mere presence doesn't ruin a game or signify a developer's intentions (a.k.a. greed). It's all about how a developer implements IAP into a game; is it required to beat (or enjoy) the game? Does it create a paywall?

    I'm sure most people see the words, "EA" and "free" and post negative comments along with 1 star reviews. With no required IAP and no paywall, it's safe to assume that's the source of their critique. But once you get past the negativity (which, frankly, EA has earned) you'll find a premium Popcap game and a superior sequel for the price of $0.

    Game of the Week? No contest

  • BulkSlash

    The thing that worries me about PvZ2 is whether EA is going to tolerate the free-to-play game they've spent two years paying to develop actually being free. Looking at the "Top Grossing" chart, PvZ2 is down at 62 (I'm in the UK so it may be different elsewhere), which is way lower than Real Racing 3 and that came out ages ago.

    Will EA demand a re-tune to make the game bring in more cash? Or are they perhaps being more insidious, making the early levels easy enough (to avoid the stigma surrounding RR3) but will release new levels in the future that will need cash to beat?

    I do wonder if PvZ creator George Fan was fired from PopCap around the same time it was decided the game would be F2P...

    • Galenmereth

      Oh wow, I didn't consider that insidious strategy... It sounds plausible, though!

  • LearnIIBurn

    Just keep helping that crazy Dave guy get his taco.

  • Flare_TM

    This game is too easy, want the winning tactic?

    Place double sunflower, place mine for 1st zombie, place 2nd double sunflower, place 2nd mine for 2nd zombie, use the freeze plant to delay zombies while your 2 double sunflowers rack up loads of sun, use the corn/butter throwing plant to slow zombies...unbeatable, but boring.

    Admittedly the only way to keep the game fresh for me is to intentionally not use this tactic and try other plants out even though there's more chance of losing it makes it more fun and engaging.

    Albeit the additional challenge from some of the extra star levels do add some depth like limiting sun and not planting on specific areas but for all the stock levels the above tactic wins out all the time.

  • PsyberRaven

    Why are people so obsessed with not spending any money. If you like it, then buy something and support the developer!

    • bluspacecow

      I agree. People let their hatred of IAP paint every game with it on it as automatically evil. They let it blind them and let it deny them a potentially good game.

      P V Z 2 is a good game. Just replace the IAP with snuggle berries.

      • YMCMBRules

        Maybe because the game freezes, or stuff like that. But I wouldn't waste any money on PvZ2 because it crashes every once in a while, and never actually got me interested in it, but I still can't believe people enjoy this without iAP purchases.