Thankful for “Plants VS. Zombies”

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Hailee with her favorite game “Plants VS. Zombies”. Photo by Tina Enright

Tina Enright, Staff Writer

The Zombies… Are Coming…

My four year old niece hears that voice blare from my phone and shrieks. She’s been obsessed with the game “Plants VS. Zombies” ever since I introduced it to her at the start of quarantine. Every time I see herand I mean every single timethe first thing I hear after she hugs me is, “Could we maybe play the zombie game right now?” 

And if I tell her no, it’s always followed by an “Okay. But did you know it’s my favorite game in the whole world? Because it is my favorite game in the whole wide world.” She stretches her arms out to intensify the effect, as if she’s actually showing me just how big the world is.

And because I’m a big softy, I always cave. She grabs me by the hand and yanks me over to the couch, away from the noise of everyone else. She likes to play the music at full volume.

My niece and I have beaten both adventure mode and over half of survival mode, meaning we’ve played over a hundred levels. We’re coming pretty close to beating the game. It’s actually a pretty impressive feat because Hailee is only four, an age considerably younger than the games’ intended audience.

Hailee and I after we beat a level of “Plants VS. Zombies”
Photo by Tina Enright

In case you aren’t familiar, “Plants VS. Zombies” is a game of strategy. The goal is to use an assortment of defensive plants to help protect a family’s house from the zombies, whose only aspiration is to eat human brains. The plants fight the oncoming herd of zombies by employing their unique defensive powers. Each level is harder than the last, and many of them have been extremely challenging—even for me. But Hailee and I always come through, high-fiving every time we see the pop-up icon and ensuing music telling us we’ve succeeded. I love seeing the excitement on her face, her smile so bright and so wide that I wouldn’t be surprised if it hurt.

So since Thanksgiving is this week, I thought I’d explain why I’m grateful for “Plants VS. Zombies” and why it has had a positive impact on my life. It’s something unique to Hailee and I, and I’m really happy she’ll have these moments to remember me by, especially after I move away for college (if I do). But stay tuned, folks, because I’m not going anywhere yet and I’m pretty sure that once we beat the game, Hailee and I will move on to “Plants VS. Zombies 2.”