Plants vs. Zombies FREE

App review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Plants vs. Zombies FREE App Poster Image
Great strategy game with comic but slightly scary violence.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 36 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational value

Kids can learn strategic thinking and deduction, as well as how to plan ahead in Plants vs. Zombies. Players must protect their house by growing plants in choice spots in their backyard. Different plants do different sorts of damage to different types of zombie attackers, so players must deduce which qualities each plant has. Clicking on sunlight that drops in the yard gives kids points so they can buy new plants. Budgeting is also a skill kids can practice here, since they have a limited amount of resources to build defensive units. Plants vs. Zombies is a goofy exercise in strategy and planning.

Ease of play

The controls are incredibly easy to understand -- a real feat, considering how many things you can do in this game. The action gets gradually more difficult as you move through the story mode.

Violence

Invading zombies, which moan, "Brains!" as they attack, are destroyed in various ways by the vegetation you plant in your yard. They can have their heads knocked off by literal "pea shooters;" they can be pulled underwater by kelp; they can be turned into black ash by potato mines or cherry bombs. They can also be run down by lawn mowers. The cartoonish zombies are destroyed on screen, but there is never any blood. If you fail to keep the zombies out of your house, a message appears that says, "The zombies ate your brains!"

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Plants vs. Zombies FREE is a cartoony strategy game with farcical violence. The undead invaders are destroyed in creatively wacky ways, similar to the violence you'd see in an "Itchy and Scratchy" cartoon on The Simpsons -- but without any of the blood. It's certainly not meant for very young kids, but despite its horror-film atmosphere, it's a far less disturbing game than any of the real-time strategy games out there that are based on "realistic" warfare.

User Reviews

Parent Written byallamoo July 30, 2010

Nice, safe zombie play

The beauty of PVZ is that the gore is non-existent and the strategy for winning levels revolves around how well you plant your garden.
Parent of a 5 year old Written byDele October 21, 2011

terrific Plants vs Zombies review! hahahaha.

I say this game is good for 5 year olds, but that is MY 5 year old, as well as our neighbor kids, all of whom picked up on this game around the same time. My bo... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 6, 2011

Just a little violent, but not much.

Basic. You plant plants. And some plants attack, some plants help you get sunlight (you use it to buy plants) and while others, just help you in a different way... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byCosmo4ever July 25, 2010

You don't have it?

This game is amazing, and so easy to learn! It is a little violent, but it isn't a big deal. Anyone can learn, maybe even 2 year olds. It's addictive... Continue reading

What's it about?

Players become protective homeowners in PLANTS VS. ZOMBIES FREE as they guard themselves against an onslaught of freaky but humorous zombies. Fighting off zombies requires players to make strategic moves with flora. They place plants in key locations in their backyard and determine which species are most appropriately used to fight off various zombies.

Is it any good?

This classic continues to be addictively fun. The concept of defending your home against an army of the undead by gardening is in itself gloriously unique. Many of the "weapons" you'll grow are fun puns, like "cherry bombs," "pea shooters," and "squash" -- which squashes the zombies. The monsters can be quite funny, too -- a dolphin-riding zombie can attack via the pool; a Michael Jackson-ish zombie can call up an army of back-up dancers. It's not just the humor, though, that makes Plants vs. Zombies FREE so good -- it's the fantastic strategy aspect. The action happens in suspense-laden real time, and exactly when and where you decide to plant specific seeds will determine whether you beat the zombies or lose your delicious brains.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Try playing a strategic board game to demonstrate how strategy skills that kids learn in Plants vs. Zombies FREE can translate to other situations.

  • Discuss how learning to plan and conserve resources will be useful to kids in real life -- even though they're unlikely to face a zombie invasion.

App details

For kids who love puzzles and strategy

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