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App of the Week: Plants Vs Zombies (BlackBerry PlayBook)

At long last, one of the greatest mobile games of all time (in my humble opinion) has landed on the BlackBerry App World, and is now ready to play on the 7-inch PlayBook Tablet.

I’m talking about Plants Vs Zombies, the excellent tower defence game from Pop Cap Games. Although it’s one of the most popular mobile games around, PvZ (that’s what the kids are calling it, so we’re told) started off life as a game for PC and Mac, around three years ago. Since then it’s landed on Apple’s iPhone and iPad, Android smartphones and tablets and most recently Windows Phone 7.

The latest platform to offer Plants Vs Zombies is the BlackBerry PlayBook, and although the app is a fair bit pricier than the iOS and Android alternatives at £5 a pop, it’s easily one of the best games available on the PlayBook today.

For those of you unfamiliar with the game, it’s a fairly simple tower defence game. On the left side of the screen is your house (the tower), and from the right a legion of zombies will descend upon your front lawn, wobbling and swaying their way to your front door. Your job is to defend your house, and your armoury includes a selection of plants to help you do just that. Yes, plants.

For each level your house survives, you’re rewarded with new plants which each provide a unique way of defending against the zombies. While your plant army advances in fire power, so do the zombies. There are several variations of zombies, and throughout the levels they become tougher. Some have helmets; some even have poles to help them vault over your lines of defence.

PvZ is a thoroughly addictive game and it plays great on the BlackBerry PlayBook. The tablet’s 7-inch screen displays the colours well and the game looks bright, colourful and vivid against the glossy black bezel that surrounds the screen. In the later levels things get pretty hectic with 5 rows of defence, as many as 20 or more different plants each animated and of course, the wave of different zombies each approaching in their own way. Despite all of this being thrown at it, the PlayBook handles things nicely with minimal to no processing or graphics lag, which will be down to the 1GHz Dual-Core processor and PowerVR SGX540 GPU.

If you’ve recently picked up a BlackBerry PlayBook in the new year sales, chances are you picked one up for as little as £170. If you’ve got any leftover Christmas money, we thoroughly recommend getting yourself Plants Vs Zombies from the App World. It looks brilliant, it runs smoothly and well, and most of all, it’s so damn addictive.

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