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147
3.3 out of 5 stars
Plants vs. Zombies [Online Game Code]
Platform for Display: PC DownloadEdition: StandardChange
Price:$4.99
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2012
Platform for Display: PC DownloadEdition: StandardVerified Purchase
The game itself is a lot of fun. The designers have a great sense of humor and are very creative. I played it for the first time online at POPcap's site and loved it right away. So I came to Amazon's Games and Software so I can avoid the hassle of trying to install the same game on other computers on my home network and being denied--their system usually makes downloading and installing casual games on a PC fast and easy.

However, one of the pitfalls of this system for casual gamers like me is that you may get more than you bargained for if you don't pay good attention or aren't familiar with other forms of gaming. In this case you are getting a games system client or games manager (similar to BigFish or iWin, etc.) which must be installed along with the game before you can play the game, which isn't immediately apparent in the game's description. In fact, you do not download the game at all thru this link (for PC version) at Amazon. You are downloading something called Origin--which is what EA now calls its games client. After waiting for hours for the thing to download (I didn't think to check the size of the download--1.28 GB!!!--since other games I'd ordered were very fast) on a DSL connection, I had to then register a new account with Origin, which involved agreeing to more than one EULA, picking an avatar, deciding on privacy and social gaming settings, etc. Fine, I thought, get all that done and I can start playing the game. But no, I was told I had no games at Origin and had to enter the license key from the Amazon downloader to search for the game I just bought. Then, when it found out I had bought a game is when the actual download and install of the game took place, which took almost another hour (and more EULA's), before I was able to play.

When I searched for this game on Amazon, the first result was, apparently, the standalone version from POPcap games, but it was not available for download immediately as of late July of 2012--one is asked to sign up to be notified when it is available. I wish now that I had waited for this version. If you have a PlayStation or Xbox, etc., and are heavily into gaming, you probably already know about all this--and I'm sure the gaming client has its advantages, but if you are just a casual PC gamer like me that just wants to play on a real computer when taking a break from more mundane tasks, you might want to wait for the version directly from POPcap to arrive.

UPDATE 10/23/12:
According to a blog at PopCap Games, they have partnered with Origin now, so it seems unlikely that you will ever be able to get the simple stand alone version. There are other things irritating about the Origin system once you get it installed, but I want to say at this point that all the effort to get this games is worth it as I absolutely love this game. If it weren't for the Origin system it would easily get five stars from me. It's just very irritating to me that I have to log in to play a game installed on my desktop. I just want this for a diversion and have no interest in going online with it--plus it is not clear to me what I can do online with it anyway. Other than the game updating itself, being online seems to be more for Origin's benefit rather than mine or yours. Plus when you play this on a home network, if someone else is playing on another computer it makes you think you can't play. Just put it in offline mode when this happens and you'll be good to go.

Another reviewer has recommended buying at a brick and mortar store if you want to avoid the hassles I mentioned, but, with Popcap aligned with Origin now, that would just avoid the long amount of time it takes to download everything. You'll still have to deal with creating an Origin account and all that goes with that, altho I expect there are plenty of copies of this on the shelves pre-merger.

Now, for a review of the game itself, my opinion is it's one of the all time best casual games ever made. PopCap's lineup has always been high quality, but they have outdone themselves with this one. If you like strategy and humorous creativity, this game is for you. I won't go into the premise of the game as it has been covered pretty well already on this page.

One criticism that holds some weight is that there could be more difficulty and maybe that will happen in second version. The difficulty doesn't ramp up after the second time you play thru Adventure mode and then collect enough money to buy all ten slots--at least not in any obvious way. I think there are some changes in algorithm that makes levels harder the more you play. But anyway, the criticism is only valid for Adventure mode. There are plenty of Minigames and achievements to shoot for. I read somewhere this game was designed for children, and I can see that--besides its cartoonish nature, it is a good game for teaching children to set and achieve goals. The Achievements page of the game makes this easy and is also pretty funny while being self-promotional for PopCap at the same time (keep scrolling down til you get to China zombies).

I tend to stick to Adventure mode in games like these, with maybe some exploration into minigames, if available. If I had done that with this game I would have missed out on a full and rich experience. For example, I couldn't see much purpose in the Zen Garden--til I figured out it was the best way to make enough money to buy the 10 slots. Then when I got those, tending to the garden appealed to my farmer/horticulturist side. When you get your Zen Garden pretty full, you will never want for money. Unfortunately the game won't let you become a millionaire--the money counter stops at $999,990.

In like manner you may not think the Tree of Wisdom is worth the trouble and it's fertilizer is too expensive, but once you have plenty of money you'll find it helpful--and funny. There are some Easter eggs you wouldn't normally know about without the Tree of Wisdom.

My favorite, and what I find myself playing most of all now is I, Zombie Endless in Puzzle mode. You can learn a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of each type of zombie thru experience in this minigame. Plus there are enough variables to it that it is always interesting and I have slowly but surely progressed in the number of levels achieved.

All in all I'm very satisfied with this game--I just wish the installation of it were much simpler.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2012
Platform for Display: PC DownloadEdition: Standard
This download automatically downloads origin to your computer, then required an account be opened with personal information. If you do not want to share your information with yet another website, don't buy this product. If you don't mind that aspect, this is a fun game that I had previously downloaded on another computer for children's use. This is by far the most popular game that my student's choose.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2014
Platform for Display: PC DownloadEdition: StandardVerified Purchase
This game is awesome but find another way to obtain it. This forces you to create an account with "Origin" using your personal information. I am still searching for a way around it and not having much success.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2013
Platform for Display: PC DownloadEdition: StandardVerified Purchase
This download version is complete CRAP!!!!! I did not do a careful review before buying the download version of this game. I have a new PC and couldn't find my PvZ disk to install it on the new PC so I figured I'd take the easy way and buy a download so I could start playing right away. Like other reviewers said, it takes HOURS to download (overnight and it still wasn't done). Then you have to sign up for that "Origins" thing, which makes you sign in online to play your game! I will never buy a software download from Amazon again! I just threw my money away, as it is not refundable!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2013
Platform for Display: PC DownloadEdition: StandardVerified Purchase
I have purchased the game and downloaded it twice now. It just simply does not work. The separate download "origin" works fine for all my other games but not for this one and that is what you need to play this game. It says that the origin and the game do not match and that there is some error. Buying this game from here may be cheap but it does not work and is a big rip off!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2013
Platform for Display: PC DownloadEdition: StandardVerified Purchase
With this version of PvZ, it requires that you have Origin (by EA Games) and the program will NOT load the game, even after trying all of the troubleshooting. Don't waste your time or money, just buy it from Popcap.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2013
Platform for Display: PC DownloadEdition: StandardVerified Purchase
Tired of dealing with the free online game hassles and having to start from the beginning all the time, I figured I would just pay the $9.99, do a quick download, and play all night long. What a joke!! After installing "Origin," I also had to re-install the game, but each time I did, the game simply said "Install" over and over and over again. Talking to a live advisor on Origin did not help at all. They gave me the usual try-this-and-try-thats that did not work. After spending nearly 4 hours trying to get the game to install so I could actually play, I am officially giving up.

Amazon should note in the description that this is not a direct to PC download; you are required to use this Origin program, which is more of a hassle than just playing the free game version online! I am so frustrated I want to cry and have to smoke a cigarette now. Probably several, actually. My daughter got me hooked on this game and I thought this would be a nice surprise for her when she got home from school; luckily I didn't mention to her that I bought it, since it DOES NOT WORK!!! I've never had an issue with any game or download before, and I'm no dummy when it comes to computers and installing new programs. But this game will NOT properly install (or allow me to play, who knows what the real issue is with Origin), so I will be buying the old school disc version of it shortly -- and definitely not from Amazon! They may have stolen my $9.99 but they're not getting any more!

Bottom line, if you want the game, purchase via CD and do NOT DOWNLOAD FROM AMAZON AND/OR ORIGIN!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2014
Platform for Display: PC DownloadEdition: StandardVerified Purchase
I played Plants vs Zombies on an older machine and loved it, but made the mistake of buying the version labeled PC Download by Electronic Arts. It requires installation of Origin middleware which in turn requires setting up an account with their online service, which requires personal information such as birthdate. You can't just close your account there without going through many steps including waiting (in my case 10 minutes) for someone to answer the online chat. And the game won't run without being logged on to the account, nor will it run standalone without the middleware running on your PC. Finally, the download itself took 7 hours on a relatively fast connection, so who knows what else they install on the machine. I just hope I got it all removed - even after running the uninstall it left tracks all over my PC, including registry entries.

The boxed versions of this game may be ok, but don't buy the Electronic Arts version (or any games that require the Origin software/account). I truly regret it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2014
Platform for Display: PC DownloadEdition: StandardVerified Purchase
This is the second time I've bought this. I'm not unhappy about that.
The first time I bought it from Amazon I was happy and played all the time.
I got a new computer so bought it again and it came with something called Origin.
You MUST get an Origin account the have the game. It opens every time you want
to play and you have to log in.
I can't play unless I'm connected to the net and there's all kinds of ads and I spoke
with several people in tech support and they said they can't remove the Origin
and still be able to play. Origin opened my laptop webcam without my permission.

Also. Game play is different through Origin than the original P vs Z download I had.
Very disappointed.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2012
Platform for Display: PC DownloadEdition: StandardVerified Purchase
I brought this game and tried to download it on my new computer with windows 8, and it wouldn't download. So I had to pay for a game that I couldn't have. Fair, NO WAY. I contacted Amazon about this for a refund, and they wouldn't do anything to make it right. Even after I have brought 3 Kindle readers and many books from them. From now on all I will buy from Amazon will be the books for my kindle. They did give me a link to contact, but it did no good still couldn't download the game. So I went to Fred Meyers Store and brought the game, as I should have done in the first place instead of trusting a download from Amazon.If Amazon is having issues with the company they gave me the link to finish the download then they should work out the issues with them, and refund or give us credit towards perhaps a book for our kindle? Instead of just blaming it on another company. What a headache. I spent all of Thanksgiving day trying to cook and download this game....at least the dinner came out well :)
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