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This new tower defense game is basically cryptocurrency Plants vs Zombies

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I get a lot of emails about blockchains and cryptocurrencies, nearly all of which are entirely irrelevant to our coverage of PC gaming. I expected more of the same when the announcement for Crypto: Against All Odds popped up in my inbox. But I changed my mind quickly when I reached what is the undeniably intriguing central concept: Cryptocurrency Plants vs. Zombies.

Crypto: Against All Odds sets players up as a blockchain security expert during the early days of Bitcoin, battling bugs, hackers, and other cybersecurity threats through PvZ-inspired gameplay. Instead of zombies on your lawn, it's blackhats on your network; instead of Sunflowers, Peashooters, and Wall-nuts, you'll stand against your enemies armed with six cryptos and four "fiat powers"—monetary policy modifiers that grant new or upgraded powers to your crypto units. OK, so it's a little less catchy than plants.

In between jobs you'll also have access to an upgradeable central cyber-hub that will enable access to additional features and new game modes, and side missions to complete ranging from chatting with your cyber-crew to trading cryptocurrencies and playing mini-games. Most intriguingly, there's also the promise of an overarching "Cypherpunk interactive story" that will unfold as you play, about a sweeping conspiracy aimed at bringing down the crypto-space—and uncovering the truth of who you are.

(Distinct from cyberpunk, a Cypherpunk, as defined by Wikipedia, "is any individual advocating widespread use of strong cryptography and privacy-enhancing technologies as a route to social and political change." The name is derived from the Cypherpunks Mailing List that existed in the early 1990s.)

It's hard to say how Crypto: Against All Odds will work out. It may be just a slightly-less-charming Plants vs Zombies tower defense knockoff with trendy-tech window dressing, but my hope is that the gameplay will live up to that of its inspiration, and that the underlying narrative will be clever enough to give it some real depth. Crypto: Against All Odds is set to launch on March 2 on Steam and GOG, and ahead of that you can find out more at cryptoagainstallodds.com and on Discord.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.