On the gamer chart, I’d say I’m probably even one step further than Katkoff–not only do I enjoy free games (sorry, Pocket Tactics), but I enjoy them as a normal human being, and not a professional reviewer (sorry, Deconstructor of Fun). I like games a lot but I don’t live up to my neck in them, so I don’t judge games based on the sorts of criteria that professional (reviewers) do.Personally, I think Plants vs. Zombies 2 is a real success as a game (both before and after the recent large update). Compared to many, many other free mobile games I’ve played, the number and types of prompts for making purchases has been extremely tame. There aren’t any obnoxious ads that obscure the game as you play, and though there are quick prompts between maps asking you to buy this or that plant on sale, they really don’t slow down the experience to a noticable degree. Perhaps some people would pay $1.99 – $2.99 for an ads free version, but I’m quite content with what I have.And what I have is, I’m happy to say, a game that’s fun and challenging enough (either Katkoff was playing an earlier version or I’m just terrible at playing games) to keep my interest and let me play when I have some free time on my hands. More important, though (and where it seriously beats Candy Crush Saga) is in the fact that it is player agency and skill that determines how well you do on a map, rather than random chance. Each map is designed and even balanced in a way that CCS (with its randomized color placement) simply isn’t. True, you might reach a level that would be easier to complete (or re-complete for additional stars) if you first earned some new plants on another level first, but I’ve yet to hit the kind of brick wall that I so frequently found with CCS (note, I include the term “brick wall” despite the fact that the designers allow me to avoid it by pestering friends who play for additional lives).I haven’t played completely through PvZ2 yet, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it for what it is–a well-built, well-balanced game that lets me have bouts of fun with a minimum of frustration (and, so far, without having spent a penny on it). It’s not breaking barriers in design or setting new markers for narrative immersion, but it’s been a damned good time for a price of $0.00
If you're looking for a fun little free mobile game (which, by the way, does require both hands--not something to be played while you're holding a baby in one arm), I'd highly recommend.