A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Products & Purchases
This is a game based on the popular PC game.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.