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Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, the newest game in the Plants vs. Zombies franchise, just came out on February 23rd and it is already receiving a content update that includes balance fixes, new modes, and even a brand new map. Take a look at the list below (provided to the public by EA) and the trailer they provided for the so-called: Graveyard Variety Pack!


New Features

  • Added new co-op/team vanquish map “Aqua Center” which may seem familiar, yet completely different!
  • Added night version of the Great White North map to the Turf Takeover Playlist
  • Added Hide n’ Find missions to Backyard Battleground
  • Added Bot & Pot Missions to Backyard Battleground
  • Added unique character variant images to group HUD
  • World Options now shows all friends playing the game, not just the joinable ones
  • Added classic setting in options to change primary fire button (PS4 Only)
  • Added Aim Sensitivity slider to now allow more precise control over aim speed (for PC this is broken up into both mouse and gamepad sensitivity)
  • Added ability to select between hold button to aim or toggle button to Aim
  • Added kick player option to the in-game scoreboard for easy access (player hosted modes only)
  • Added difficulty to Pause Menu for some game modes
  • Game Now defaults to common chat in Private Matches
  • Added ability to view scoreboard while vanquished

Critical Fixes

  • Reduced length of round timer between rounds in Multiplayer matches
  • Imp now properly earns XP when in Mech
  • Players can now see other players’ Backyard customizations when visiting their Backyard
  • Players can now see stats on other players stats boards when visiting their Backyard
  • Improved audio for garlic drone primary weapon
  • Setting HUD to “Light” now also hides XP Meter
  • Major improvements to hit reaction “flinching” animations
  • A plethora of quality & bug fixes

Tuning/Balance Notes


  • Improved regeneration upgrade for all characters
  • Re-tuned all hit reactions for both players and AI to reduce the flinching effect even more


  • Completely re-tuned Rose class, bringing her back into playing as a support role
  • Reduced Rose’s health
  • Major changes to her homing abilities, ineffective at range, requires player to lead target in order to land more hits
  • Slightly reduced rate of fire for Magic Thistles
  • Significantly reduced length a victim is trapped in Time Snare
  • Changed how Goatify ability works so that damage does not break Goatify, creating a more predictable and less jarring experience, and lowered time as a goat
  • Slowed down rose variants (Fire, Ice) when charging their weapons to make them more vulnerable


  • Slightly decreased the Party Citron laser damage


  • We needed to improve Corn’s ability to be a front-line fighter so we increased his health and also improved his long range damage
  • Reduced Party Corn’s damage output


  • Decreased the digestion time after a chomp escape (i.e. your victim got away using anti-chomp ability like jackhammer)
  • Brought Chompers regeneration delay to parity with all other playable characters
  • Fixed a bug where Chomp Thing’s health regeneration didn’t match his weapon description. He now regenerates health slightly sooner and faster than default
  • Increased Unicorn Chomper’s Rainbow Warp cooldown time
  • Increased goop cooldown so it couldn’t be spammed quite as much


  • Zen Cactus was too damaging and needed some damage and reload adjustments


  • Imps tuning focused on ensuring he had a bit more survivability outside of his mech, and also improved his primary weapon slightly
  • Increased Imp health
  • Fixed a bug where the Imp couldn’t receive damage while he is making his Z-Mech phone call (he’s now only invulnerable when the beam of light appears)
  • Reduced Party Imp’s damage output

Super Brainz:

  • Slight cooldown reduction to Super Ultra Ball and Super Multi Ball abilities
  • Minor speed improvement to Turbo Twister but at the cost of decreased his armor while in Turbo Twister
  • Removed the decay from Toxic Brainz legendary meter to make it more useful
  • Damage reduction to Party Brainz

Captain Deadbeard:

  • We wanted to bring Captain Deadbeard closer to damage parity with Cactus, but just slightly below since he also benefits from his close range scatter shot
  • Made some movement speed improvements to his barrel when unlit
  • Made some damage reductions to Captain Partyman
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Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is releasing on February 23rd and Electronic Arts held a public beta for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. They did this for two reasons. The first test was to   test their servers and ensure they can handle the surge of players once the game launches. The second was to give prospective customers a chance to get a look at the game and hopefully buy it.

We spent a lot of time playing during the beta and came away very happy with what we saw. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is, essentially, an iteration on the original game and that isn’t a bad thing; not even a little bit. We loved every minute that we played the first game and the sequel looks like it delivers everything we would hope for in a new game: new game modes, new characters to play, and new maps.

The biggest (and best) addition to the game was the new hub world map that each of the two factions has. Each side has a home base of sorts where they players can explore, play mini-games, and look at stats for the different characters. These hub worlds are great for younger or inexperienced players because they provide a chance to practice movement and targeting in low stress environments and without other players. My youngest son spent more time in this mode than he did fighting in the different multiplayer modes and enjoyed the simplicity of running around the maze-like streets.

The new characters are awesome, too. Each side of the this epic struggle has three all new characters and we were able to try them all out over the course of the beta.

The plants have Citron (a slow moving orange that comes equipped with shields and a laser cannon), Kernel Corn (A heavy weapons specialist), and Rose (a support character). The zombies, on the other hand, have the Imp Zombie (a mobile character that can summon a massive mech to fight in), Captain Deadbeard (a sniper), and Super Brainz (a melee focused character that can do some serious damage).

Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 Beta Impressions
Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 Beta Impressions
Kernel Corn
Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 Beta Impressions
Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 Beta Impressions
Imp Zombie (With Mech)
Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 Beta Impressions
Captain Dreadbeard
Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 Beta Impressions
Super Brainz

These six new characters added a huge amount of variety to the game by bringing the total number of characters to fourteen. The various combinations of characters made every fight drastically different and really kept everything interesting. Any concerns that I we had about the game drying out and getting boring were wiped away as the beta passed.

We are less than a month from release so we don’t have much longer to wait. Keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for more info as we get closer to release.

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Microsoft just wrapped up their 2015 E3 press event and while there was a LOT of amazing news the biggest announcement for parents was the impending release of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2!

The first game in the series was a surprise hit for Electronic Arts based on the popular PC and mobile game Plants Vs Zombies. The followup appears to follow the same family friendly shooter formula, but this time it takes place in what appears to be a dystopian future and includes plants and zombies that we included as part of Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time.

The original title is currently available at no cost to EA Access members. The sequel is slated for release in Spring 2016.

Are you and your family as excited as we are?


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Privateer Press/Bodger Games
Ages 8+
1-6 Players
45+ Minutes


Holed up in the walls of a besieged brownstone, our heroes defend their lives, and the lives of their friends, from the shambling, leaping, and running hoards of undead.   Building massive contraptions of zombie destruction, they tinker to avoid their own demise – or worse, infection.  Who are these brave and brilliant souls who are the last line against a terrible foe? Goblins.  That’s right, Goblins.

Zombies Keep Out is exactly what you’d expect from a Goblins vs Zombies cooperative game,which is to say, a lot of fun for children with an impressively complex gameplay to keep adults entertained as well.  OK, so maybe that’s not what you’d expect, considering that it’s not likely you’ve actually thought about a game pitting these two completely separate factions of under-the-bed creatures against one another.  I assure you, it’s worth expanding your imagination’s boundaries to accommodate this unlikely rivalry.

Like most cooperative games, there are MANY ways to lose and only one way to win. Collect parts and build 3 contraptions while facing nearly insurmountable odds as each player’s turn increases the urgency of the situation! The interesting dynamic that Zombies Keep Out (ZKO) has that sets it apart, is that the player who draws the aptly named “Terrible Things” card must choose between 3 options of many possible occurrences that do their title justice.  Adding zombies, moving zombies, infecting characters, and even more problems must be chosen by the current player without consulting other players.

To make it worse, a player cannot choose an action that cannot be completed at that time, so as the game progresses. “Terrible Things” become “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad” Things.

Players get a trade and a single action on their turn. They can repair damage to parts of their building, to protect the much-needed contraptions from destruction. They can defend against zombies, flinging spare parts at the oncoming horde. They can tinker with a device to work on completing it. Or, they can scrounge for parts. It is crucial for players to act together, as completing contraptions requires an exact sequence of cards. Once a contraption is completed, it adds another action called… “Press the button!” which activates the contraption’s special abilities!

As the pool of zombies (it is actually a literal swimming pool full of zombies) depletes the option of being bitten becomes more and more probable.  Biting adds a very kid-friendly scale of terribleness. The first bite takes away your ability to trade with other players and makes you speak more slowly and sickly. The second bite brings you even closer to the precipice of undead-dom (yes, that’s a word) by making your words even less intelligible, and removing your ability to take a tinker action.  A third bite will render you completely unable to speak beyond the iconic zombie groan, and will make you BLINDLY select an option (using hand signals, of course) from each “Terrible Thing” you draw on your turn!  Finally, any bite past the third will turn you into a full fledged Zombie, groaning continuously (to add to the atmosphere of mostly primary colored, large headed monstrosities), and you now have your ability to take actions replaced by drawing another “Terrible Thing”, as you assist your brain-dead brethren in their quest to consume the ever popular delicacy that is green brains. Kermit beware!

This game is immensely enjoyable and the cartoonish characters will be a quick favorite of most children.  It’s an easy game to modify for younger players, by allowing the group to decide the “Terrible Thing” for each card drawn.  Smaller children can build their strategic planning skills individually and even advance to figuring out what’s best for the group as they choose their own actions.

Adults will find themselves questioning decisions and calculating moves as zombies shamble ever closer to devouring their most precious asset… their contraptions.

ZKO is basically the answer to the question on all of our minds: what happens after Pandemic?

Zombies Keep Out! will be available April 23, 2014 from Privateer Press! If you’d like to add more fun to your already awesome ZKO game, Privateer Press has just announced Zombies Keep Out: Night of the Noxious Dead will be released Late Spring 2014!  Adding Glow in the Dark Zombies to the swimming pool near you!

Love cooperative games?  Check out our other reviews here!

Big Zombie Fan?  Here are all our Zombie reviews!


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By: Stephen Duetzmann, Editor-In-Chief

PopCap Games

Rating: 9+

August 13, 2013

Available on iOS/iPad

Overall Review:

There are occasions where you anticipate a game so much that it can’t help but disappoint you when it finally arrives. This is one of the more tragic things that can happen to game fans like me. It has happened so often in the past that I have trained myself to just expect to be disappointed. There was no need for that when it came to Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time. Every single part of this game was a joy.

This is a sequel that builds upon the original just enough to make improvements without being such a vastly different experience that it feels alien. The same core game play elements are there, but they are given a new coat of paint in the form of sharper and more detailed animations. Everything feels more alive and more colorful. 

The game is more challenging than the original, which is exciting because it forces players to use out of the box strategies for different levels and challenges as opposed to relying on a single strategy throughout.

The biggest complaint against this game so far has been the free-to-play model. But, I have to say that I hardly notice it. The game can be played from start to finish without spending a dime, and even if you went out and purchased all of the one time unlocks, it would amount to a little more than $20. This game is well worth at least that, and purchases aren’t even required.

Family Gaming Assessment:

Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time is all about cartoon zombies and bad vegetable puns. The zombies are cartoonish and lack any of the gore that one would expect if they were “realistic.”

There is really nothing to be concerned about here unless your kids have a serious fear of zombies. (At which point god help you… because they are everywhere in the media right now!)

Playability Assessment:

We’re talking about a very challenging strategy game that belies its cartoon aesthetic. Kids will likely find it very challenging unless they spent a lot of time with the original. Parental assistance may be required even then.

The real charm of Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time is that kids might not even care if they are losing since the game play is so entertaining.

I do have a word of caution for the challenge stages though. These stages will be particularly challenging for kids because they will force them to change their strategies for each challenge.  You know your child better than I do. If they don’t enjoy that type of activity, then you might want to moderate their play.


Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s about Time is free to play. There are in app purchases, but it is entirely possible to have an engaging experience without spending a dollar. This makes it really hard to think of a reason why anyone SHOULDN’T download this game.

I feel strongly enough about this experience that I would be able to recommend it if it cost $14.99 or more. There is a lot of content here. Since the game is free to play, there is no reason not to try it out with your children.


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PopCap Games announced on its blog that they are releasing the highly anticipated follow-up to Plants Vs. Zombies in Australia and New Zealand first. They explained that they are doing this “soft launch” to help perform a stress test on their servers and to help put some of the final touches on the game before release.

This is a reasonable step for them to take. The original Plants vs Zombies has grown in popularity significantly over the years. It has slowly evolved into one of the most popular mobile titles available. The demand for a sequel is massive. They would just be asking for trouble if they didn’t add to that the fact that the sequel will be free to play. The last thing they want is to miscalculate things and fail to deliver their product to their fans.

This process can only mean one thing: The release day is imminent. We’ll post an update as soon as the game goes live and will follow-up with our full review shortly thereafter!

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Those of us who were waiting patiently for the long-awaited follow up to Plants Vs Zombies will have to wait just a little bit longer. PopCap Games confirmed via the franchise’s official Twitter account that the game is being delayed until later on this summer. The title was originally slated for release on iOS on July 16th.

This is definitely a disappointment as it was one of my family’s most anticipated games, but a few more weeks are a small price to pay if this means the game will end up being more polished by the time they release it.

We don’t know a whole heck of a lot else about the game so far. But we have been able to find a few interesting bits of information.  

First, and most important, is that the game will follow a free-to-play formula. They have indicated that you will be able to play every level and earn every plant without spending a dime. Now, before any of you cheer too wildly, you have to remember that free-to-play games often have features hidden behind a paywall. In this case, I’ll bet that unlocking different plants will require spending coins that you find on the field with the option to just spend cash to unlock them faster. This is actually a great system. Those people who don’t want to pay anything will be able to play through the game that way. Everyone else will be able to pick and choose their purchases.

Second, we’ve been able to confirm that the game will involve time travel this time around. We don’t really know what that means yet since they have been very cagey with the details. But, we can assume that this will result in a wider variety of zombie opponents to deal with like knights, cowboys, etc.

This game looks like it could be one of the highlights of the summer. How excited are you for this one? Sound off in the comments section!


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EA opened their press briefing at E3 2013 with a huge surprise. PopCap Games came on stage and announced a spin-off title for their immensely popular Plants vs. Zombies series: The third-person class based shooter Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare.

I’ll be honest with all of you. I missed the gag in there until my oldest son started giggling. “Dad, its like Modern Warfare…. but in a Garden.” (Well played PopCap. Well played.)

They only showed a brief trailer of a co-op “horde mode” that would be part of the game. Four players controlled each of the different plant classes that were available and fought against waves of zombies while trying to plant a garden. The casual grid-based strategy gameplay was stripped away in favor of fast-paced action. The four plant classes shown were as follows:

Peashooter: This plant appears to be an all-around character. He has a reasonable long range attack and could plant other peashooter drones to lay down cover fire.

Sunflower: This was a healer/medic class. They didn’t get into to many details about what this class can do, but I can say that parents of younger kids wanting to play this game should get used to the idea of playing this support class. (I’m wicked excited!)

Piranha Plant: This was a close range brawler. What adds some challenge to this class is that, just like in the original title, whenever the piranha plant eats a zombie it can’t attack again for a while. This requires a lot of advancing and retreating in order to stay safe.

Cactus: The cactus is a sniper. One thing that I liked the most is that each of the snipers shots leave a red trail of dust. This might seem insignificant, but when playing a team based level like that the ability to know where your lone sniper is feels pretty useful.

We don’t have a confirmed release date yet, but PopCaps website has confirmed that the game will release for Xbox360, Xbox One, and PC sometime in early 2014.

If you happen to be one of the many people who just can’t wait that long for more PvZ action, then you are definitely in luck as the official sequel Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time will be released on July 18th.

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Cuphead and Mugman flying planes in Cuphead by Studio MDHR

Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that will be released between April 14th and April 20th.

Tuesday, April 16th

Eternity: The Last Unicorn- Xbox One
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster- Xbox One, Switch
My Time at Portia- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Path to Mnemosyne- Switch
Tanks Meet Zombies- Switch
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions
World of Warships Legends: Premium Edition- Xbox One

Wednesday, April 17th

Revenant Saga- Xbox One
Snooker 19- Xbox One
Truberbrook- Xbox One, Switch

Thursday, April 18th

Cafeteria Nipponica- Switch
Cuphead- Switch
Dawn of Survivors- Switch
DayD: Through Time- Switch
SlabWell: The Quest for Kaktun’s Alpaca- Switch
Sudoku Relax
The Knight and the Dragon- Switch
The Padre- Switch

Friday, April 19th

Active Soccer 2019- Switch
Moto Rush GT- Switch

For the Grownups

Wasteland 2 (Tuesday, April 16th)- Switch
World War Z (Tuesday, April 16th)- PS4, Xbox One, PC
Katana Zero (Thursday, April 18th)- Switch

What do you think? Are any of these going to make the it into your home? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Family Friendly Video Game Releases from March 24 – March 30, 2019

Here are all the video game releases rated E-T that are releasing between March 24th and March 30th.

Monday, March 25th

Inventioneers- Switch
President F.net- Switch

Tuesday, March 26th

Air Conflicts Collection- Switch
Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers- Switch
Air Conflicts: Secret Wars- Switch
Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland- PS4, Switch
Dragon: Marked for Death- Switch
Final Fantasy VII- Switch
GALAK-Z: The Void: Deluxe Edition- Switch
Gems of War- Switch
Generation Zero- PS4, Xbox One, PC
MLB The Show 19- PS4
Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World- PS4, Switch
OMG Zombies!- Switch
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel: Decisive Edition- PS4
The Princess Guide- PS4, Switch
Xenon Racers- PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch

Wednesday, March 27th

Neon Caves- Switch
Windscape- Switch

Thursday, March 28th

Croixleur Sigma- Switch
Fun! Fun! Animal Park- Switch
Gods Remastered- Switch
Goken- Switch
Inferno Climber: Reborn- Switch
Istanbul: Digital Edition- Switch
Lyrica- Switch
She Remembered Caterpillars- Switch
Snow Battle Princess Sayuki- Switch
The World Next Door- Switch
Ultrawings- Switch
Undead’s Building- Switch
UNI- Switch
V.O.I.D.- Switch
Warparty- Switch

Friday, March 29th

Yoshi’s Crafted World- Switch

For the Grown Ups

Danganropa Trilogy- PS4 (Tuesday, March 26th)
Outward- PS4, Xbox One (Tuesday, March 26th)
The Walking Dead: The Final Season: Episode 4- PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch (Tuesday, March 26th)

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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