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Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time launching July 18 worldwide on iOS

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Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time will be released July 18 exclusively on iOS as a free-to-play title, developer PopCap Games announced today alongside the release of the CG launch trailer for the tower defense title.

Optional upgrades and in-game items can be purchased at the returning neighborly shopkeeper, Crazy Dave, but according to PopCap, the "vast majority" of the game will be free: Players will be able to access every level and kill every zombie without spending a dime.

The trailer features the botanist who saves the world from the zombie onslaught, as well as the man's ramshackle time machine, and Plants vs. Zombies 2 will take players through levels in past and future eras. Touchscreen power-ups will let players interact with zombies directly, instead of just fending them off by setting up defenses like pea shooters.

"We're confident that players will see the love and attention we've put into this game," said senior producer Allen Murray in a press release announcing the release date. "We've created wild new ways to experience the plants and zombies you know and love as well as packing the game with tons of completely new content, and we're still hard at work coming up with even more cool stuff that will keep Plants vs. Zombies 2 fresh and evolving in the months and years following launch."

You can watch the launch trailer above. PopCap originally announced Plants vs. Zombies 2 last August and said it planned to launch the game in the "late spring" of 2013. Last month, the studio shifted the release date to July.