I have had an uneasy relationship with zombies since I saw the 1985 movie "The Return of the Living Dead." That movie, supposedly a campy horror film, freaked me out with every zombie that walked stilted and slowly, muttering "brains," looking for human gray matter to eat so as to increase their masses.
So for Halloween, as I tried out some of the 180 or so zombie-related mobile applications in the iTunes app store to write about, I realized my picks leaned heavily toward zombie apps that were cute, benign and funny instead of scary and gory.
Though I still don't understand why zombies eat brains — I guess vampires already had a lock on sucking blood — here are a couple of my zombie app picks that are OK for all ages.
• Plants vs. Zombies ($2.99 for the iPhone/iPod Touch, $9.99 for the iPad, PopCap Games). I understand the appeal of this top-rated game with strong graphics and a strategy. Each zombie and each plant have a great story, like this one: "Despite Grave Buster's fearsome appearance, he wants everyone to know that he loves kittens and spends his off hours volunteering at a local zombie rehabilitation center."
Zombies approach, and you pick the plants that you're going to need to plant in your garden to defend your home. You have to pick the right combination of plants that shoot zombies, provide sunlight and more to win each level.
• Zombie Farm (free, The PlayForge). Like We Rule and Farmville, you plant crops, earn money and build your farm. The twist is you can also plant different types of zombies and go invading. If you don't harvest in time, your crops wither. Although it's free, you're going to be tempted to spend real money to buy more brains to be able to do more things, but it's fun at the free level, too.
Read more about the zombie apps I tried at blog.