Is Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time a title that, thanks to the success of the original, critic proof? Along with the Angry Birds and Candy Crushes of the world, there are select iOS titles which are so iconic that one needn't worry about their success. Thankfully, Popcap Games keeps their franchise at an all time high with their latest release. If you're in need of a little pep in your gaming step, it's time to plant a few seeds.

The idea behind plants having the power to take down zombies was a novel concept back in 2009, and with the glut of undead projects within our midst, now's the perfect time to revisit this innovative dynamic. Simply loved by diehard vegans and their knack for vegetation, plants sprouted into near superheroes, blessed with powers to kill these flesh eaters right in our front yard.

The sequel has us going back in time so Crazy Dave can eat a delicious taco. Instead of rewinding back for several seconds, Dave takes us all the way to ancient Egypt, where lawn mowers actually existed. Even though it's probably impossible to grow any plants on sandy land, these green suckers are zombie slayers, so we'll let this slight inaccuracy slide.

The goal is to keep the zombies from overtaking your territory, and to stop them dead in their tracks, you can plant wall-nuts to temporary block their bath or strategically place plants in front of these monsters. Once you give extra food to the plants, each species will have a different type of power. For me, deluging the walking dead with a barrage of peas is my favorite aspect of garden warfare.

Every single inch of Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time needs the right amount of attention. If you don't grow enough sunflowers, you won't be able to collect enough sunlight, which in turn impedes your progress in growing your plants. The whole cycle of plant development is seen before our very eyes, albeit in an exponentially speedy fashion, as we also attempt to exterminate our enemies. It's this delicate balance of strategy and addicting game play which keeps the excitement of Plants vs. Zombies 2 at a fever pitch.

It's also a wonderful game to play on an iPad, especially since its use of power ups makes proper use of the tablet. Want to snap a few necks with a limb crushing add-on? Throw down some coins and proceed to pinch the screen and their heads will fall off. What about throwing them six ways to Sunday? Just swipe your finger to pick them up, and swipe again to fling them into Never Never Land. Since shock value is always welcome in my house, I prefer to just tap my screen and zap these bad boys into a heaping pile of ash.

The absolute joy in playing this title rests on the knowledge that no easy shortcuts were made to get this game out on iOS. One can absolutely feel the love and attention that was poured into the creation of the sequel, and credit the powers that be for not resting on their laurels and giving us a simple throwaway experience. For example, the main menu section in most titles are absolutely and understandably forgettable. With Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time, even the screen that takes you to your next level is a thing of beauty and nuance.

It's easy to see why the Plants vs. Zombies franchise is such a critically revered and insanely popular one. Casual games don't have to slack off in the execution department, and many apps rely on a gimmicky idea to creatively coast to the finish line. Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time is that rare title that gets better as you progress, crediting dedicated players who know that the best things are yet to come.  To be honest, I really don't care if Crazy Dave finds that taco. I'm having way too much fun in the garden, even if it's being fertilized by a few unwelcome house guetst.


App Store Link: Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time for iPhone & iPad | By PopCap | Price: Free | Version: 1.0 | 42.9 MB | Rating: 9+

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