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Plants vs. Zombies is a tower defense action video game developed and originally published by PopCap Games for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X.
The game involves a homeowner using many varieties of plants to repel an army of zombies from "eating their brains".
It was first released on May 5, 2009, and made available on Steam on the same day.
A version for iOS was released in February 2010, and an HD version for the iPad.
An extended Xbox Live Arcade version introducing new gameplay modes and features was released on September 8, 2010.
PopCap released a Nintendo DS version on January 18, 2011 with content unique to the platform.
The PlayStation 3 version was released in February 2011 also with added new co op and versus modes found in the Xbox 360 version.
An Android version of the game, exclusive to the Amazon Android App Store, was released on May 31, 2011.
On February 16, 2012, a version was released for BlackBerry PlayBook.
Furthermore, both the original Windows and Mac version of the game have been re-released with additional content in a Game of the Year version.
The game received a positive response from critics, and was nominated for multiple Interactive Achievement Awards, alongside receiving praise for its musical score.
A sequel was announced in August 2012 and is currently set for release in Spring 2013.
To date, Plants vs. Zombies is the fastest-selling video game created by PopCap Games.
Plants vs. Zombies director George Fan estimated that half of the game's sales are from hardcore gamers.
According to PopCap, the iOS release of Plants vs. Zombies sold more than 300,000 copies in the first nine days it was available on the App Store, generating more than $1M in gross sales, and considered it "the top-grossing iPhone launch".
In Plants vs. Zombies, players place different types of plants and fungi, each with their own unique offensive or defensive capabilities, around a house in order to stop a horde of zombies from eating the brains of the residents.
The playing field is divided into a number of horizontal lanes, and with rare exceptions, a zombie will only move towards the player's house along one lane (the main exception is if it has taken a bite out of a garlic).
Most plants can only attack or defend against zombies in the lane they are planted in. In later levels, players can purchase upgrades so as to adapt their lawn mower to new environments like pools or rooftops.
The game uses several different level types and layouts.
The game starts out in a front yard, and progresses to nighttime levels, where the gameplay is more challenging, with no replenishing sun unless specific plants are used, the backyard is visited, with a pool added, and the final levels are nighttime pool levels (where fog fills the right half of the screen except when specific plants are used), a lightning storm level in pitch black (except when illuminated by occasional flashes of lightning), and rooftop levels (on the final level, the player must face a huge robot operated by a zombie known as Dr. Zomboss).
Sporadically through the game, the player is either warned through a letter by zombies or addressed by Crazy Dave to prepare for an ambush, where the game takes on a bowling style, using Wall-nuts to bowl down zombies, or a modified version of regular levels, where random plant types come up on a small selection, and the player can use the plants without spending sun.
The player starts with a limited number of seed pack types and seed pack slots that they can use during most levels.
The number of slots can be increased through purchases with in-game money.
At the start of a level, the player is shown the various types of zombies to expect and given the opportunity to select which seed packs to take into the level.
Several plants are nocturnal, such as mushrooms, having a lower sunlight cost, and are ideal for nighttime levels.
Certain plants are highly effective against specific types of zombies, such as the Magnet-shroom, which can remove metallic items from a zombie, such as helmets, buckets, ladders, and pogosticks.