Cataclysm: Peacebloom v Ghouls

singingsunflower

Anyone who was paying attention to the latest list of Cataclysm achievements will have noticed a couple for surviving waves of “Peacebloom v Ghouls.” And if, like me, you love Popcap games you were probably dancing around at that point, because it could only mean one thing: Plants v Zombies comes to Warcraft.

And as an example of why Blizzard is always so feted for their polish, not only have they implemented a version as a minigame, but one of the rewards is a singing sunflower pet. And it will be voiced by Laura Shighara, who is the composer for the original PvZ score and song.

Here is a video of the WoW minigame in action, with some voiceover explaining what is going on.

Does anyone else wonder how this fits into the new ‘no advertising on MMOs’ scheme at Activision? Sure, it’ll be great fun but I’d be astounded if it doesn’t also sell a lot of PvZ (which is an awesome game, incidentally).

Minigames in MMOs

Lots of MMOs feature mini games of some sort. You could even argue that combat is a type of minigame, as is playing with the economy. But it’s the instanced style of minigame that has the possibility to be so anti-immersive. Not only does it take you out of the main virtual world, but into another one with completely different rules.

And the sad thing is that the parts of MMOs which probably should be minigames (crafting!) usually aren’t.

Anyhow, if you love the sound of Peacebloom v Ghouls and are curious about other games which offer a lot of slickly executed minigames to try while wandering around the world, hie thee to Free Realms. It’s a very neat game and has lots and lots of cool minigames (including tower defence, bejewelled-style match-3 games, and cart racing) to try out as you explore.

SOEs latest Clone Wars Adventures is also chock full of minigames, although without the virtual world to wander as well. (This game is more like a minigame arcade.)

You might also want to check out Wizard 101, in which combat works far more like a card based minigame than a typical MMO and which also has an arcade of rather addictive minigames to help you regen mana.

Feel free to recommend any games in comments and I’ll add them to the list.

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6 thoughts on “Cataclysm: Peacebloom v Ghouls

  1. That’s their first step upon attacking and destroying Zynga and taking over Facebook. Zynga might be good in stealing and polishing other companies ideas but no one masters it like Blizzard does.

  2. What, no mention of Puzzle Pirates? I can understand not remembering Gatheryn, but PP *is* minigames in a persistent world. ;)

    …and yes, combat is a minigame, as is playing with the economy. Crafting really should be in most cases (though with an easy option for those who don’t like minigames, if crafted stuff is necessary for raids and the like). These MMO things really don’t have a lot of overarching, unified game design (like a Mass Effect), and that’s OK. They are more like “virtual worlds” with a lot of things to do, some of which aren’t even games.

    That said, I do find it a wee bit odd that Peggle and PvZ are in WoW. Not terrible, not surprising, just… odd. It really does shift the overall WoW one more little step into the “minigame suite” than a virtual world. The Dungeon Finder effectively made a dungeon crawling minigame subset of the combat minigame.

    All in all, that’s probably smart marketing.

  3. That video was awesome. ‘Tis nice having funny Brits on the webz…but their southern vowels grated against my northern upbringing :/

  4. The Peggle WoW addon is the only version of Peggle that works on my computer, as it seems a lot of Popcap games hate my soundcard.

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