Plants versus Zombies Heroes is a spin-off title from the world famous Plants vs. Zombies game from PopCap Studios. Published by EA, Plants versus Zombies Heroes takes on more of a deck-building, duelist style of gameplay using the same plants and zombies that have been made famous by its strategy game counterpart. So imagine PvZ Heroes is the Plants versus Zombies counterpart of Clash Royale to Clash of Clans.
The PvZ Heroes gameplay follows the usual duel format you can find in other card based mobile games. Depending on which faction you chose, the start of each turn nets you resources such as brains (for zombies) or sunlight (for plants) that you can use to put down the cards you have in your hand. The game increases the resources you get by one after each succeeding turn.
The Playfield is made out of a 5×5 grid where you can put down plants, zombies and other stuff depending on your strategy. Within the grid itself, there’s a slight change on around 2 or 3 field types that you need to take into consideration, especially when strategizing your deck-build.
Turn order follows four steps. You have the Zombie phase, the Plant phase, the Zombie tricks phase, and the plant tricks phase. For the Zombie and Plant phase, you and your opponent are given the opportunity to put down cards onto the field. Then in each trick phase you have the option to play out ability cards that can directly affect units or affect the field that the units are placed on. After the four turn orders are finished. The game then lets your units fight it out. The game goes through the same process till one of you gets the other’s HP down to 0.
Aside from PvP dueling, PvZ Heroes also has a campaign style solo mission storyline for both Zombies and Plants. Through this feature, players can acquire cards, booster packs and even unlock heroes for their preferred faction. This is already on top of the daily quest system that nets players crystals and points to purchase the aforementioned items.
Heroes and Deck-Building
Deck-building in PvZ Heroes follows similar trends that Hearthstone has been known for. This means that the deck build is dependent on your chosen hero, and PvZ Heroes offers you around 20 to choose from. Each faction currently has ten heroes each and belongs to one of the five classes the game offers. Each hero has its own playstyle that you need to discover and get used to if you want to build upon it.
Gaining cards is done through opening booster packs (normal and premium types) and from there it’s a toss-up on what cards you get. Like a lot of card-based mobile titles, each hero has their own set of hero exclusive cards that can be coupled with other generic codes from the overall faction to create your unique deck.
Another thing that sets the hero choices apart is that each hero has their own exclusive hero powers (yes plural). Depending on the top deck you draw either by normal draw phase or Super-Block (more on that later) you can get a hero exclusive ability that can turn the tides of battle.
Visual, Audio Style
One of the things I really liked about Plants versus Zombies franchise is the game just becomes more ridiculous in terms of visuals as the series churns out new titles. And with PvZ Heroes, I think this is the most ridiculous to date.
The game’s single player mode follows a comic-book style approach in terms of keeping things fun and zany. You literally get to see comic book covers of the heroes and situations that you will be facing in the story mode. You actually get to read comic book panels of how your heroes are interacting in the story. The game pretty much just hits the nail on the head to make it feel like you’re reading through a super hero comic.
This keeps things upbeat and fun even if the game tends to feel like a grind as you progress through the story.
Overall, Plants versus Zombies Heroes presents a refreshing and might I say fun take on the whole eCCG formula. With the rich character roster PvZ has had in its various other titles, I think it’s safe to say that PopCap can reach really deep into the amount of heroes they can release even after these initial 20.
I personally thought it was a smart move from PopCap to adopt this kind of gameplay considering that the original PvZ gameplay is starting to get stale. While the game still presents itself as a strategy title, it has enough elements on both the card collecting and dueling features to set it apart from the original title.
Gameplay wise, I like how PopCap tried to counteract the possibility of snowballing from players with the addition of the Super-Block feature. Super-Blocks happen when a player gets enough damage from the opponent that allows said hero to draw a superpower ability that they can use immediately or keep for later as a trump card. I’ve had a few matches where the Super-Block literally saved my plants from annihilation from a Zombie player that was starting to snowball.
Another interesting adopted game element in PvZ Heroes is Clash Royale’s league system. Similar to Clash Royale, ranked battles in PvZ Heroes has you put into brackets as you go through them. While it’s not innovative, it’s an interesting and fitting game feature that will have players playing the game competitively for a really long while.
Overall, my time with PvZ Heroes has been an enjoyable one. I love how PopCap adopted existing game features from various eCCG titles and created a whole game that stands alone within the franchise. While the game does still reek of pay to win, especially in the cards acquisition department, ranked games aren’t so skewed that you can instantly win if you have all the super rare cards.
If you’re looking for an eCCG title that takes on a more comedic theme than most titles, yet with a solid and competitive gameplay system. Plants Versus Zombies is a must download title for you.