By Matt Cabral
Updated February 19, 2010 at 08:13 PM EST

Surviving the zombie apocalypse is far from a fresh video game concept. But even within the overcrowded graveyard, PopCap’s wildly addictive and endlessly charming Plants vs. Zombies has managed to stick out like a decaying appendage from under a tombstone.

The folks who previously siphoned untold hours from our lives with can’t-put-’em-down entries Bejeweled and Peggle now bring this latest pick-up-and-play hit to the iPhone. Like its PC predecessor, the App borrows the tried-and-true Tower Defense gameplay formula that’s been taxing our thumbs and brains for years, but injects it with fresh accessibility and appeal. The simple concept has players planting a variety of zombie-slaying seeds in their yard to keep the shuffling corpses from reaching their home — it’s easy to learn, but difficult to master. Over 40 types of seeds spawn an agricultural arsenal of pea shooters, undead-stomping squash, and butter-flinging corn on the cob; the aggressive parade of undead crazies use pogo sticks, ride dolphins, and even dance like Michael Jackson in “Thriller.” PvZ’s engaging style perfectly complements its strategy-driven play.

While the iPhone version does drop a few of the modes from the PC original, the content is still piled as high as the zombie corpses. And at just $2.99, you’d be as brain-less as the game’s flesh-craving freaks if you passed this one up.

Grade: A