Saturday, 8 June 2013

Plants vs Zombies 2 - History Theme

PopCap are getting ready for the release of Plants vs Zombies 2 in July. There's a fun new teaser trailer ahead of the E3 conference where we'll hopefully get to find out more about the new version. We're big fans of the game here. I don't know why zombies appeal to kids but they very much do!

My older son really enjoyed Plants vs Zombies but it got too tricky for him after a while. Then I played while the kids watched. OK, I admit it, I carried on after they had gone to bed too.

"You comin'?"

The new version is shaping up to be even better, it's called It's About Time! which is a hint towards its historical settings. History is one of the favorite topics in our house, Cut the Rope Time Travel has been a big hit. In the Plants vs Zombies 2 trailer the time machine dial stops on Ancient Egypt which has delighted my son.

And there's a fun transmission from Crazy Dave himself which gives us a bit more of a sneak preview. 

 Let's take a look at the Plants vs Zombies 2 issues that parents will want to know. 

Age Rating

If your kids were too young for the original you might be coming to PvZ for the first time. It's a fast-paced logical thinking game where you need to deploy plants with different special abilities to either attack or block oncoming zombies.

If the zombies get through your defenses to your house then they eat your brains. Charming? Well actually it is. It's all very cartoony and whimsical. The original Plants vs Zombies is rated for All Ages on the Amazon app store and for Everyone on Google Play but on iTunes it gets a 9+ for Infrequent/Mild Horror and Cartoon Violence. Common Sense Media rates it as age 10.

I think it's one where parents need to play first (oh do I have to?) and make a decision for their own children. My kids are very used to whole the zombie genre for school - zombies is a popular game to play in the playground! It's all very innocent.

Personally I think it's nice to have a logical thinking game where the 'weapons' are plants shooting peas.

I can imagine some sensitive kids might be affected by the idea of zombies eating brains though.

I'll keep an eye out for the ratings that get given for Plants vs Zombies 2: It's About Time. I expect they will be similar though.

iOS Exclusive Initially

The new Plants vs Zombies 2 will be an iOS exclusive initially when it's released on July 18th 2013.

This is rather disappointing for Android users. We'd rather get the Android version so I hope we don't have to wait too long.

Free to Play / Freemium

"the vast majority of the game will be entirely free to play" Source
Pricing and charging is always a hot topic for apps that appeal to kids. PopCap are adopting a Free to Play with in app purchases for PVZ2: Its About Time!

The app will be free to download and PopCap has promised that players will be able to have a fairly complete experience of the game without spending money. But will be able to purchase upgrades and extras.

Live Service

PopCap have said that PvZ2 has been designed as a 'live service'. I'm not sure quite what this means yet. Connections between players? Content regularly updated?

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