To access a new world, you’ll have to collect enough stars to open that portal. These can be achieved by going back over previous levels and completing the challenges offered. The Star Challenges are also very varied, with some requiring a specific set of requirements to be achieved in each level such as only spending a certain amount of sun or defeating a set number of zombies in a time limit.
We’ll admit these levels were rather taxing, but it was refreshing to see that we did fail a fair few times and PopCap hasn’t lower the difficulty settings at all.
There are also world-specific keys to collect along the way. These are fairly hard to come by, spontaneously spawning in levels, which will unlock the side missions off the main story arc. The keys will get you access to new plants or upgrades like an additional plant slot.
One of the interesting additions to Plants vs Zombies 2 is the change to the free-to-play pricing structure.
Thankfully, the option to make purchases in real world currency aren’t shoved in your face as you play, nor does the game penalise you for not spending any money.
You can buy in-game coins, plants and other perks to use in the game, but we had dozens of hours of fun playing through the main storyline, Star Challenges and side quests without spending a penny, nor wishing to.
Unfortunately, one of the products of the free-to-play structure are the Power Ups. Accessed using in-game coin or real money, the Power Ups allow you to dispatch a group of zombies with a rather overpowered attack. They are essentially a way to buy yourself to victory.
However, it is completely possible to entirely ignore these power-ups entirely, unless you’re prone to getting frustrated by defeat.
The new Star Challenges offer a huge amount of replayability for Plants vs Zombies 2. While the game isn’t as huge and long as the original game is right now, PopCap will introduce additional worlds in the future. There’s certainly enough there to be getting on with until then.
If you were a fan of the original game I’d get downloading Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time as soon as humanly possible. It’s a free download that will keep you coming back to it for weeks on end, and that’s if you can put it down in the first place.
There’s dozens of hours of fun to be had without resorting to spending any real world currency in game. It’s difficult enough to appeal to adults of varying ages and the humour is certainly appreciated.
It is a take on the tried and tested tower defence game as the first in the series was, but it is brilliantly executed and great fun.
Like the original, Plants vs Zombies 2 offers a huge amount of gameplay variety that is beautifully presented and totally addictive. Play it now.