Plants vs Zombies(a review for the none of you who haven't played this yet)
Popcap have managed to create quite a reputation for themselves as being the creators of the most fantastic casual games in existence. Their titles so far have proven wildly succesful, and hugely fun. Well crafted, simple to play, they really are a gem to point at. Most of them, however, have been a tiny bit simplistic. Peggle is fun, but is basically shooting balls at stuff, and then watchig and taking credit for whats happening...
Plants vs Zombies is, perhaps, their first title to have a little more of an appeal to traditional gamer. Its a tower defence game, which involve the player placing towers to prevent a horde of enemies from reaching a certain point. Traditionally, tower defence games tend to have two elements: mazing (placing towers in such a way to force the enemies to take maximum damage), and economy(efficiently buying towers that compliment each other). This game introduces a new element instead of mazing- the zombies will directly attack your towers to get to the house. This is actually unusual among tower defence games.
The game, is bright, colourful, and easy to follow. It guides you carefully through the elements of its game, introducing new zombies and the plants to combat you. It teaches you the necessity of sun flowers, and the numbers required, while introducing more and more elements. Its not particularly hard, and I didn't have to redo a single level of the campaign, but there were some enjoyable close calls= it does make you work for victory. In addition to a campaign modes there are numberous mini-games which have fun takes on the concept, and survival modes that pit you against endless waves of the undead.
Are there flaws? The upgrade system is a little frustrating- theres a lot to buy, and not enough to buy it with, so there are plants you won't get until you've completed the entire game, rather defeating the point- but this seems to happen in most games anyway. It might be seen as too easy, but, again, the survival endelss mode really does provide a LOT of challenge. Also, while collecting sun is initially important to sustain interest, its a shame there couldn't be a sun collecter plant as a reward for getting further in the game, as it can be a little hard work to do so sometimes.