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PvZ2_LogoS_Tag_RGBIf you’ve been itching for a new plant-based home defense game, Seattle’s PopCap Games has you covered.

PopCap, which was acquired by Electronic Arts in 2011, released “Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time,” the next installment in the company’s popular “Plants vs. Zombies” franchise for iOS today. Unlike its predecessor, “PvZ 2” will be completely free to play, without any need for an up-front purchase.

The original “PvZ,” which first hit the PC in 2009, took tower defense style gameplay, and encased it in a light, cartoony shell, pitting a variety of zombies against a small army of botanical defenders. That combination was a hit, earning PopCap a number of awards.

Peashooter-Plant-Food copy

“PvZ 2” keeps the same core gameplay, but includes tweaks to the formula like the ability to use superpowers, including “plant food,” a power-up that can temporarily enhance your plants’ abilities.

As the name suggests, the sequel also changes venue, from the player’s backyard to a trio of historical locales: ancient Egypt, a pirate ship, and the wild west, for a total of more than 60 stages, with more areas coming in future updates. If players manage to breeze through all of the content before then, each area contains a tough “challenge mode” for players to grind.

While PopCap hasn’t announced any plans to port the game over to other platforms, “PvZ” is available for a wide variety of systems, and I’d imagine its successor would follow suit.

We’ll have a review of “PvZ 2” later this week.

Previously on GeekWire: Zombies attacking the Space Needle? Game company to host PR stunt on iconic landmark

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