Today marks the release of Popcap Games' Plants vs. Zombies for XBox Live Arcade. Although you may have played the PC and iOS variations of the game since its original release over a year ago, the new features introduced in the XBLA port may warrant another visit to the zombie-infested lawn.
- A total of seven game modes, including two new multiplayer modes: Co-Op and Vs. Mode
- 12 achievements and 21 mini-games–more than any other adaptation, and including the exclusive Heavy Weapon™-inspired mini-game
- A goofy new way to track and share progress online, where players create their own custom house and cruise down the street to see their friends' cribs!
- The highest resolution of any Plants vs. Zombies adaptation to date at 1920 x 1080
- All 50 levels of the original Adventure mode along with Puzzle, Survival, and Zen Garden
In order to commemorate the re-release of this quirky defense game, I have compiled a list of interesting (and probably useless) trivia that you may not know about this game.
The following is a list of six things that you may not know about Plants vs. Zombies.
1. The game was planned to be called “Lawn of the Dead”
“Lawn of the Dead,” obviously, is a pun of the 1978 George Romero zombie film Dawn of the Dead. Due to legal reasons, the title had to be changed to the current Plants vs. Zombies.
- Warcraft III Tower Defense Mods– inspired the idea of stationary turrets gunning down hordes of enemies. When Fan looked at the towers in Warcraft III, he believed that plants would make good towers
- Insaniquarium– Plants vs. Zombies is a more defense-oriented version of Insaniquarium, a game that Fan had previously worked on. In both games, the animals/plants are chosen at the beginning of the level. Both games have a similar resource system, in which new plants are drip-fed to the player at a slow rate.
- Tapper– the concept of multi-tasking five different lanes of the player's lawn in Plants vs. Zombies is similar to the gameplay in Tapper.
3. Another inspiration for the gameplay mechanics of Plants vs. Zombies comes from the movie Swiss Family Robinson.
Senior Game Designer George Fan watched the film during the production of the game, and mentions that a scene in which the family defends themselves against the pirates inspired some of the traps in the game.
For example, watching the traps being set up and watching as the pirates fall into them inspired the Potato Mine. Fan expressed how satisfying it is to watch a zombie step onto the mine, having it detonate and have the zombie become covered in mashed potatoes.
4. The song “Loonboon” is inspired by composer Laura Shigihara's cat named Metroid.
The stages that use the song are chaotic, so she drew inspiration for the writing the song by watching her cat running around the house, jumping off walls, and playing with his toy mouse.
5. The development team wanted to use aliens as enemies of the game.
However, this was later changed to zombies, because players are able to react more easily to the slow movement of zombies.
6. One of the enemies that had to be cut from the final version of the game is the zombie dog.
In early stages of the game's development, the zombie dog was designed to be invulnerable because it would be too short to be hit. Once it is hit, however, it would charge forward and go crazy. Unfortunately, Senior Game Designer George Fan believed that this did not enhance the gameplay enough, and the zombie dog was removed from the final version of the game.