By sheer chance, one of my best friends and I were booked for the same flight from DC to Boston just before PAX East. We met up in the airport and had a while to relax over coffee before boarding. She couldn't stop playing with her iPad.
"What are you doing?" I finally asked.
Her reply? "Zombie Farm! It's so fun, you plant zombies and tomatoes and things and then you invade things but your zombies get distracted so they think about rainbows and you have to be all like, 'NO! Bad zombie! Go eat brains!' and it's awesome."
I was, shall we say, not enthusiastic. The words "incredibly stupid" flitted through my brain, along with other uncharitable thoughts like, "FarmVille clone" and "why would anyone want that."
But you know, I respect my friend. She's an intelligent woman. And so it came to pass, while browsing the App Store yesterday, that I saw Zombie Farm 2 newly released. With a thought to my friend, I muttered, "okay, what the hell" and downloaded it. And the thing is? She was right. It's actually pretty fun.
With plants, zombies, and a certain kind of cute factor built in, I was worried that I might be in for a Plants vs Zombies knock-off, but it's not. You plant crops, you plant zombies and after a while some, um, cross-pollination may occur. You earn two kinds of currency through gameplay, coins and brains, and you need a certain amount of either or both to unlock new features.
The more currency you have, the bigger the world of your farm can get, and the more varieties of both natural and shambling crops you can buy and plant. Naturally, additional currency of both types can be purchased for a small real-world fee, should you need to drastically accelerate your farming career.
The sheer absurdity of the farm is the core of its charm. Planting neat rows of graves next to neat rows of carrots has a kind of warped logic that casual games tend to specialise in. And while it does take some time to grow all the zombies you need to attack a neighbouring farm, it's oddly satisfying when you get there.
So yes, my friend was on to something. And now I have to go make these zombies stop thinking about puppies and sunshine and go murder my neighbours already.
Zombie Farm 2 [Free, iTunes]