There’s still a zombie on my lawn

in Opinion by

Long before we found the imposters among us and fixed up homes and gardens for our butler Austin by matching threes, we were shooting birds out of slingshots, crushing candies, cutting ropes to feed monsters and defeating zombies with the power of plants. 

Mobile games have seen ebb and flow throughout the years, at times seeming like the only thing bringing the world together and at others seeming so fragmented and boring that it’s a hassle to even pull up the App Store. However, whereas the newest games to the mobile lineup tend to burn bright and fade fast in the trends—the once-cultural-icon now faded into obscurity Fall Guys a prime example—the older games continue to hold an impact on the App Store trending page and our collective psyche.

Looking at the top charts for the App Store on Jan. 17, Roblox takes the number one slot. Launched in 2006, the web-based, mobile game didn’t really hit its stride until 2010, when its user base began to grow exponentially. Now, it enjoys a sizable fanbase among young Gen Z and older Gen Alpha kids, ushering it into the 2020s and ensuring its continued popularity for the foreseeable future.

The second and third place on the list belong to “Love and Deepspace” and “Outlets Rush,” two games that launched in 2024 and 2023 respectively. Their popularity now, less than a year after launch (and in “Love and Deepspace”’s case, the day of launch), is evident, but only time will tell if they can build a fanbase loyal enough to withstand the fast-changing landscape of the internet with its notoriously short attention span.

“Subway Surfers,” the endless runner game that defined many of our childhoods, takes tenth place on the charts, even beating out the former behemoth “Among Us” that defined 2020. The endless runner’s continued presence in the app store’s top 10, nearly 12 years after launch, reflects its everlasting cultural impact. 

The mobile games of years past, like “Angry Birds” or “Talking Tom,” have even surpassed their initial reach, with original movies, TV shows and more that maintain the brand in people’s minds. As for me, my longtime favorite, 2009’s “Plants vs. Zombies,” still holds a place in my heart—and, it seems, many others’ hearts as well, if its #39 ranking in Action games is anything to go by.

The strategy-action game “Plants vs. Zombies,” launched in 2009, still enjoys some popularity, clocking in near the top 200 in the App Store even 15 years later. (Photo/Rich Werner via Wikimedia Commons)

Senior Ellaheh Gohari is entering her fourth (and sadly final) year on staff and third year as co-EIC of the Patriot Post. She loves learning new things and can often be found going down Wikipedia rabbit holes in search of random knowledge. Outside of room 25310, she serves as co-president to both the Girls Excelling in Math and Science club and the Science National Honor Society. A science-lover, she enjoys exploring the subject through research projects with UMiami, volunteer tutoring with OTTER and fact-checks with MediaWise. She hopes you enjoy your time reading the Patriot Post.