Plants vs. Zombies is one of those enviable franchises that manages to cross that invisible dividing line between ‘casual’ and ‘core’ gamers, and does so with aplomb. Gracing nearly every gaming format imaginable, Plants vs. Zombies is worthy of it’s status as a defining title in the tower defence genre, but of course, with ‘one more go’ maestros PopCap at the helm, it was only a matter of time until Plants vs. Zombies diverged from it’s original formula and moved into more lucrative territory.
That’s exactly where the upcoming Plants vs. Zombies Presents: Zombatar comes into play. Many will argue that this latest iOS title is nothing more than a modern Tamagotchi buoyed by microtransactions, and given the current climate of free-to-play titles it would be hard to criticise them for doing so. However, just because Plants vs. Zombies Presents: Zombatar is a virtual pet app of sorts, it doesn’t mean it’s paper-thin. Again, this is PopCap we’re talking about.
Plants vs. Zombies Presents: Zombatar is quite a simple premise. Players have an on-screen zombie which is essentially a doll that they can manipulate in a manner of ways. They can simply dress their undead pet in clothes of their choice, with more clothing items and accessories becoming available with progress, get them to hold one of the set poses and take a picture. This picture can then be uploaded to Facebook or Twitter directly from the app. Based on this alone, there’s already enough content here to see how many iOS owners the world over would quickly become involved in Plants vs. Zombies Presents: Zombatar, but PopCap have of course pushed things one step further.
In addition to the available series of poses, Plants vs. Zombies Presents: Zombatar features a number of dance routines (again, with more unlockable through progress). These dance routines and poses can be strung together in a sequence to create a short video, which can also be uploaded to social media outlets. Additionally, players can use their device’s camera to place their zombie in the world around them, creating an augmented reality video just as easily as putting a new hat on their animated brain eater.
As stated above, Plants vs. Zombies Presents: Zombatar will be free to download and will use the increasingly common method of delivering new features through in-game currency which can either be earned by investing time, or purchased by investing real-world currency. Whether or not players choose to aid PopCap’s monetisation strategy is entirely there own decision, at no point during Electronic Theatre’s preview of Plants vs. Zombies Presents: Zombatar was there any reason to believe there would be accessories or options that would only be available through entering your credit card details.
Plants vs. Zombies Presents: Zombatar is currently expected to launch prior to the end of 2012 on iOS formats. Depending on the success of the app the opportunity to convert Plants vs. Zombies Presents: Zombatar to other formats remains open, and as far as Electronic Theatre is concerned, there’s no reason why the app wouldn’t find just as comfortable a home on both Android and Windows Phone formats; after all, who doesn’t enjoy a spot of dress-up zombie?