Has Plants vs. Zombies 2 removed lawnmowers?

The past week was a big one for Plants vs. Zombies 2. To start with, a major update re-introduced the original game’s super-villain, Zomboss. While gamers were distracted by that, however, it looks like EA may have also removed a key feature of the mobile puzzler.

First, the good news: Zomboss can be found – and battled – in all three of the game worlds, popping up in different locations to keep you on your toes. Defeating him every time he appears is reportedly a sneaky way to find out more about the Far Future update for Plants vs. Zombies 2, which is set to be a game changer.

However, the game has also changed in a significant way for many mobile gamers. A fan has popped up on Reddit with a serious complaint about a fairly major omission from the new version: The removal of lawnmowers from several levels.

Quick recap: Plants vs. Zombies 2, like its predecessor, sees you protecting the left edge of your screen from waves of zombies approaching from the right. You position plants and other garden implements on the gamefield to prevent the zombies from progressing – and the first time you fail, there is a handy lawnmower waiting on the left-most edge, prepared to roar to life and run over a row of the undead. Once this last line of defence is gone, the zombies can take over and eat your brainz.

While all levels can be completed without using the lawnmowers, it’s a handy fail-safe to have in more challenging scenarios. However, it looks like this has changed for some gamers following a recent update.

In the new update, I noticed that after losing a lawnmower I had the option to “buy it back” using in-game currency. Now this being a “Free to Play” game, the in-game currency takes quite a long time to acquire and can also be obtained more quickly by using your iTunes account to actually buy large amounts it. Interesting, but I wasn’t going to use my coins for a lawnmower. They’ll be back after I fail the pinata event anyway. NOPE. I used some coins to retry the event (I think this is new as well) and noticed my lawnmowers were gone. Huh. So in the events, doing a “retry” will not respawn the lawnmowers. You’ll have to buy them back. Well that sucks.

Figuring out a quick way of earning more in-game cash, the gamer then returned to an earlier level, stage 1-4. To their surprise: No lawnmowers spawned.

In their place are five “buy this” buttons. This can’t be. It must be a glitch right? It has to be.

But – for Reddit poster sketchampm and many commenters, it wasn’t a glitch. The disappearing lawnmowers appear to be an intentional move from EA – who seems to have rolled out an A/B style update. Many gamers claim to have seen the issue, while others report their game is the same as ever, lawnmowers intact.

We have contacted EA and Popcap Games to find out what’s going on. In the meantime, gamers around the world are deleting their copies of Plants vs. Zombies 2 and promising never to return.

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