Plants vs. Zombies is a real-time strategy game that pits the player against hordes of zombies trying to make their way across the lawn and into the house. The player’s job is to stop the zombies by planting plants around the yard, which will attack the zombies as they approach. Sunlight serves as a currency of sorts, and is spent each time the player places a plant. Sunlight can be gathered slowly over time, while planting sunflowers causes it to be gathered more quickly. At first, only a few types of plants can be used, like pea shooters and cherry bombs, but as the game progresses the arsenal grows, eventually including rock walls, jalapeno plants and poisonous mushrooms. While the game’s theme is zombie-based, the tongue-in-cheek presentation is very cartoonish in nature, featuring no blood or gore. Gameplay is easy to grasp, and reading is not required for play — though it does come in handy when learning the more advanced mechanics. Still, the game can be understood simply by playing, and the game’s ridiculous theme is meant to cause laughter rather than fright, making Plants vs. Zombies recommended for kids ages 10 and up.
Being efficient and aware of our use of time and effort.
As a "real-time" strategy game, the player's most precious commodity is time. Each level starts empy, leave the player vulnerable to attack. Enemies continually flood into the screen, so if the player does not move swiftly, the house will likely get overrun, causing the level to be lost. The player must make good use of the limited time alloted in order to win, implementing efficient strategies that spilt time between gathering resources (sunlight) and beefing up defenses. If too much effort is spent planting sunflowers to gather sunlight, the yard will be left vulnerable. If a focus is put solely on defense and offense, the games currency, sunlight, will quickly run out, barring the creation of more plants and giving the zombies an easy path to victory.
Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.
The conditions of gameplay are always changing in Plants vs. Zombies. Increasingly difficult enemies are thrown at the player, and many have special abilities. From pole-vaulting over defense to plowing through plants on a mower, each new zombie offers a unique threat that requires player to adapt their strategy. New types of plants become available too, as the game progresses, and while all are not crucial to success, many must be mastered to fend of specific enemies, like cacti that shoot needles at balloon zombies, which will merrily float over your defense if left unharmed. Fog gets introduced eventually, which limits the player's field of vison, making it harder to see the incoming threat. Strategies that work early on in the game don't do so later on, as the game never stops introducing new factors for the player to take into account, requiring adaptive strategies, keen reflexes and quick thinking in order to succeed.
Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals.
At the start of each level, the player must pick which seeds to cary into the level, which determines the kinds of plants that will be used during play. The types of enemies that will be appearing within the level are shown, giving the player an idea as to which arsenal of foliage is best fit to bring into battle. Since conditions change depending on whether or not it is night or daytime, it is important for players to plan out a strategy that fits each level's unique conditions.
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