Plants vs. Zombies (DS)



Keep the undead at bay the organic way in this fun title.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game teaches you to plan ahead instead of acting impulsively.

Positive role models

You're the hero under attack in this comedic title, but rather than using traditional violent weapons, you fight the undead via organic means.

Ease of play

The game is very straightforward and the controls are quite easy to grasp. Quick tutorials pop up explaining new weapons and gameplay methods when they're introduced.


You'll constantly fend off waves of attacking zombies with a variety of comedic plants (and other organic weapons). There's no blood, but when zombies are felled, their heads fall off. In the included mini-games, there is also a side-scrolling shooter game that uses guns.

Not applicable
Not applicable

This is a game based on the popular PC game.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Plants vs. Zombies (DS) is the latest installment in this cartoon-like tower defense strategy game. Developer PopCap has previously released versions for the PC, iPhone and iPod Touch, Xbox Live, and more, and the heart of the game is exactly the same. What's different here are four new mini-games -- including "Air Raid," which is a side-scrolling shooter-like game, and "Heat Wave," which has players swap plants around with the stylus and encourage them with the DS's microphone. The violence in the game is too much for young children, but it's tempered greatly with humor and there's no blood shown on screen. There's no online gameplay, but players can compete in two-player versus mode with nearby DS owners, with one side playing as the plants and the other controlling the zombies.

What's it about?

The undead are trying to invade your house and eat your brains. Rather than pulling out firearms, you'll defend yourself with a variety of goofy plants and other organics like pea shooters, giant walnuts, and cherry "bombs". It's a game that seems born of '50s B-movies, but never loses its sense of humor. Zombies, for instance, wear things like pots and traffic cones on their head as protection. The gameplay mechanics in the campaign are the same as the PC version of the game.

In addition, this DS version of the title offers a series of mini-games, including four that are exclusive to this platform. These include a home run derby title, which blends zombies and baseball, and a side-scrolling shooter game.

Is it any good?


There's a reason Plants vs. Zombies is such a popular tower-defense game. It's goofy, genuinely funny, and the gameplay is rock solid. Whether you play for minutes or hours, you'll walk away happy. What the Nintendo DS version adds is a collection of new achievements (such as blow up 10 zombies with a single cherry bomb and beat a night level without picking up any sun) and four exclusive mini-games. They're all enjoyable diversions, but ultimately, it's the main game that's the most fun. The DS does, however, add a terrifically entertaining two-player versus mode for players in the same room.

The DS version suffers on two levels, though. Because there's so much going on onscreen with Plants vs. Zombies, the DS screen size is often overcrowded, which can make it hard to see everything happening at once. Also, with the iPhone version costing just $3.99, the $20 price tag on the DS version seems excessive. That said, the game is just as addictive now as it was when it was first released for the PC in 2009.

Families can talk about...

  • Which of the plants is your favorite and why? Would you rather play as the plants or the zombies?

  • Why do you think zombie games are so popular these days?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Available online?Not available online
Developer:PopCap Games
Release date:January 18, 2011
ESRB rating:E10+ for Animated Blood, Cartoon Violence

This review of Plants vs. Zombies (DS) was written by

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  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old November 3, 2011


I looooooooooove it! its my FAVORITE game! if you're in a car ride and your kids just drive you craaaaazy get them this game! u wont hear a peep out of them until they reach level 50 which is like super hard and I only made it to level 12 so far.....
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written byimnslp May 7, 2012

BEST GAME EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Totally worth the money. after playing it on the DS I was begging to get it for the iPhone
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Easy to play/use
Kid, 8 years old March 12, 2011

tween game

It does have blood so I have no idea what common sense was thinking. Peas will hit zombies and there heads will fall off. It will show some blood on the zombies
What other families should know
Too much violence


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