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GOALS | RULES | CONTROLS | SCORING | STRATEGY

Game Goal

A mob of fun-loving zombies is about to invade your home, and your only defense is an arsenal of zombie-zapping plants.  Use peashooters, wall-nuts, cherry bombs and more to slow down, confuse, weaken, and mulchify different types of zombies before they reach your front door.


REAL Game Rules

Start Screen & Game Options

If this is the first time you've played Plants vs. Zombies, the tutorial will play automatically while you download the game.

After the game loads, you'll see the Start Screen. Choose "Game Options" to adjust the volume of the sound effects or background music. Choose "Almanac" to view a description of the different types of plants and zombies. Select "Tutorial" to view a series of useful gameplay tips for new players. When you're ready to start the game, choose "Click to Begin."

The Basics

Plants vs. Zombies takes place on a lawn divided into rows and columns. Just beyond the left edge of the screen is your house, while just beyond the right side of the screen is the street. At the top of the screen is a seed tray that displays your current amount of sun (we'll get to this later), as well as whatever seed packets you have available.

Zombies slowly move from right to left, from the street towards your home. Your job is to stop the zombie attack by collecting sun and using it to buy various defensive plants to place on your lawn. If a zombie makes it all the way to the left side of the screen, the game is over.

You score points by defeating zombies. The faster you send the zombies packing, the higher your score.

Sun

Sun is the primary resource in Plants vs. Zombies. All plants in the game are purchased with sun, so managing your sun supply is one of the most important keys to success.

Sun occasionally drops in from the sky in 25-sun units. While useful, this natural source of sun is insufficient to mount a serious defense against the zombies. The Sunflower grows 25-sun units of its own, and you'll have to plant enough of them to generate enough sun to defend your lawn.

Sun units, either falling from the sky or generated by Sunflowers, eventually fall to the ground and vanish if they're not clicked.

Plants and Planting

Plants are your warriors against the encroaching zombie army. There are many different plants with many different abilities. Some plants fire projectiles that damage zombies; some block or slow the zombies' progress; some destroy zombies and themselves in a single instant; and some have entirely different functions.

Plants are planted from the seed tray at the top of the screen. All plants cost some amount of sun to plant. Note that any available seed packs take time to recharge. A recharging seed pack is grayed out as it recharges. When the seed pack is fully recharged, it lights up and you can plant it again.

The Sunflower will always be the first plant in your seed tray. You will be free to choose the remaining plants in your arsenal.

PEASHOOTER
Peashooters are your first line of defense. They shoot peas at attacking zombies.

Damage: normal


SUNFLOWER
Sunflowers are essential for you to produce extra sun. Try planting as many as you can!

Sun production: normal


WALL-NUT
Wall-nuts have hard shells which you can use to protect your other plants.

Toughness: high


CHERRY BOMB
Cherry Bombs can blow up all zombies in an area. They have a short fuse so plant them near zombies.

Damage: massive
Range: all zombies in a medium area
Usage: single use, instant


POTATO MINE
Potato Mines pack a powerful punch, but they need a while to arm themselves. You should plant them ahead of zombies. They will explode on contact.

Damage: massive
Range: all zombies in a small area
Usage: single use, delayed activation


SNOW PEA
Snow Peas shoot frozen peas that damage and slow the enemy.

Damage: normal, slows zombies


CHOMPER
Chompers can devour a zombie whole, but they are vulnerable while chewing.

Damage: massive
Range: very short
Special: long delay between chomps


JALAPENO
Jalapeno destroys an entire lane of zombies.

Damage: massive
Range: all zombies in a lane
Usage: single use, instant


SQUASH
Squashes will smash all zombies that come within their immediate range.

Damage: massive
Range: short range, hits all zombies that it lands on
Usage: single use

 

Hard Difficulty Plants

The following plants are only available in "Hard" plants vs. Zombies tournaments:

 

REPEATER
Repeaters fire two peas at a time.

Damage: normal (for each pea)
Firing Speed: 2x


THREEPEATER
Threepeaters shoot peas in three lanes.

Damage: normal (for each pea)
Range: three lanes


TALL-NUT
Tall-nuts are heavy duty wall plants that can't be vaulted over.

Toughness: very high
Special: can't be vaulted or jumped over


SPIKEWEED
Spikeweeds pop tires and hurt any zombies that step on them.

Damage: normal
Range: all zombies that walk over it
Special: can't be eaten by zombies


TORCHWOOD
Torchwoods turn peas that pass through them into fireballs that deal twice as much damage

Special: doubles the damage of peas that pass through it. Fireballs deal damage to nearby zombies on impact. Note: If a frozen pea passes through a Torchwood, it will be thawed into a regular pea.


Zombies

Nobody knows exactly what demented science allowed the dead to rise from their graves and walk. What we do know is that the resulting creature, popularly termed a "Zombie," is a restless, mindless, tireless being driven by nothing other than its hunger for brains. Your brains, to be precise.

In order to get those brains, zombies are willing to chew through any plants in their way. Though slow, zombies are persistent, and if even a single zombie gets past your defenses and into your house, he will eat your brains.

As with plants, you will encounter many different zombies with protections from, and immunities to, your various plants. At the beginning of each game, your view swings over to show you the various zombies you will face on the current level. Choose your plants according to which zombies you will be facing.

ZOMBIE
Regular Garden-variety Zombie

Toughness: low

This zombie loves brains. Can't get enough. Brains, brains, brains, day in and night out. Old and stinky brains? Rotten brains? Brains clearly past their prime? Doesn't matter. Regular Zombie wants 'em.

FLAG ZOMBIE
Flag Zombie marks the arrival of a huge pile or "wave" of zombies.

Toughness: low

Make no mistake, Flag Zombie loves brains. But somewhere down the line he also picked up a fascination with flags. Maybe it's because the flags always have brains on them. Hard to say.

CONEHEAD ZOMBIE
His traffic cone headpiece makes him twice as tough as normal zombies.

Toughness: medium

Conehead Zombie shuffled mindlessly forward like every other zombie. But something made him stop, made him pick up a traffic cone and stick it on his head. Oh yeah. He likes to party.

BUCKETHEAD ZOMBIE
His bucket hat makes him extremely resistant to damage.

Toughness: high

Buckethead Zombie always wore a bucket. Part of it was to assert his uniqueness in an uncaring world. Mostly he just forgot it was there in the first place.

POLE VAULTING ZOMBIE
Pole Vaulting Zombie vaults with a pole.

Toughness: medium
Speed: fast, then normal (after jump)
Special: jumps the first plant he runs into

Some zombies take it further, aspire more, push themselves beyond the normal into greatness. That's Pole Vaulting Zombie right there. That is so him.

NEWSPAPER ZOMBIE
His newspaper provides limited defense, and he can't be slowed by Snow Peas while holding it.

Toughness: low
Newspaper Toughness: low
Speed: normal, then fast (after losing newspaper)

Newspaper Zombie was *this* close to finishing his sudoku puzzle. No wonder he's freaking out.

Hard Difficulty Zombies

The following zombies are only available in "Hard" plants vs. Zombies tournaments:

FOOTBALL ZOMBIE
Football Zombie makes the big plays.

Toughness: very high
Speed: fast

Football Zombie gives 110% whenever he's on the field.  He's a team player who delivers both offensively and defensively.  He has no idea what a football is.

POGO ZOMBIE
Pogo Zombie hops to bypass your defenses.

Toughness: medium
Special: hops over plants

Sproing! Sproing! Sproing! That's the sound of a powerful and effective zombie doing what he does best.

LADDER ZOMBIE
Ladder Zombie climbs over obstacles and leaves his ladder for other zombies to use.

Toughness: medium
Ladder Toughness: medium
Speed: fast, then slow (after placing ladder)

He picked up the ladder up for $8.99.

CATAPULT ZOMBIE
Catapult Zombie operates heavy machinery.

Toughness: medium
Special: lobs basketballs at your plants

Of all the things Catapult Zombie could launch with his catapult, basketballs seemed like the best and most obvious choice.

Shovel

The shovel can be used to dig up plants in order to make room for new plants. The shovel is found to the right of the seed tray. Be sparing in your use of the shovel -- each plant you dig up will cost you 20 points.

Almanac

This tome contains useful and amusing details about every plant and zombie in the game. The Almanac can be accessed from the Start Screen or the Seed-Selection Screen before each game.

Zombie Waves

It's a well known fact that zombies don't like crowds. That's why they attack your house in waves. Each game consists of six waves of zombies, all dead-set (literally) on reaching your house.  Successfully defend against all of the zombie waves to win the game. There is a short pause between each wave when you can regroup and rebuild your defenses. You can also summon the next wave early to mulchify zombies faster and score bonus points.  Do this by left-clicking on the "Send Next Wave" button.

Winning a Tournament

Your score in Plants vs. Zombies is determined by how many zombies you mow down before time runs out. Different zombies have different point values, depending on how tough they are. You can also score bonus points by summoning zombie waves early. But don't get overconfident and summon too many zombies --you can only fend off so many of them at once!


Game Controls

  • Left-click on a sun to collect it.
  • Left-click on a seed packet to select it.
  • With a seed packet selected, left-click on the lawn to plant the currently selected seed.
  • Left-click on the shovel to select it.
  • With the shovel selected, left-click on a plant to dig it up.
  • With a seed packet or shovel selected, right-click to put it back without using it.
  • Left-click on the "Send Next Wave" button to summon the next wave of zombies immediately - you'll get five points for every second you send a wave early.

Game Scoring

  • Between 100 and 600 points for each zombie you defeat.
    Zombie NamePoints
    Zombie100
    Flag Zombie100
    Conehead Zombie200
    Newspaper Zombie200
    Pole Vaulting Zombie300
    Buckethead Zombie400
    Pogo Zombie400
    Catapult Zombie400
    Ladder Zombie500
    Football Zombie600

  • If you defeat all of the zombies, you will receive a time bonus of 5 points for every second that you sent a wave early.
  • Each time you destroy a plant with a shovel or a plant is eaten by a zombie, you will receive a penalty of -20 points.
  • There is no penalty for detonating Cherry Bombs, Jalapenos, or Potato Mines.  However, you will receive a penalty if a Potato Mine gets eaten by a zombie before it can arm itself.
  • There is no penalty for using Spikeweed to popthe tires of a Catapult.
  • Your score cannot become negative, so if your score is at zero you will not lose any points for plants that are eaten.

Game Strategy

Easy Tournaments

  • Plant lots of Sunflowers early in the game to boost your sun production.
  • Don't plant any offensive plants until the zombies start attacking and you know in which rows they are coming.
  • You might want to select at least one explosive plant, such as a Cherry Bomb, just in case a zombie gets through your other defenses.
  • Frozen zombies walk and eat slower than regular zombies, but multiple Snow Peas in a row don't slow zombies down more than one Snow Pea.
  • Summon the next wave of zombies early to blast zombies faster and score more bonus points.
  • Buckethead zombies are too tough to take down with peashooters.  Try using a Potato Mine, Squash, Jalapeno, or Cherry Bomb to kick their buckets.
  • Pole Vaulting Zombies move quickly and can vault over the first plant that they encounter.  The Squash is handy for defeating them early in the game.  When they start to show up in groups, Snow Peas make a good defense.
  • On the Seed Selection screen before the game, you can click the "View details" button to see how many of each type of zombie will appear in your game.  This may help you in choosing the most effective plants for the zombies you'll be facing.

Hard Tournaments:

  • Football Zombies and Ladder Zombies move quickly and are quite tough. Try using Cherry Bombs, Jalapenos, Squashes, Potato Mines, or Chompers to bring them down quickly.
  • If a Catapult Zombie runs over a spikeweed, it will be immediately destroyed and will take the Spikeweed out with it. You don't lose any points for using Spikeweed in this way.
  • Give Pogo Zombies your full attention when they appear. They can jump over any plant except for a Tall-nut. Defeat them quickly or block them with Tall-nuts to keep them from reaching your house.
  • Threepeaters can attack zombies in three rows at once. Put them in one of the middle three rows to get the most bang for your....sun.
  • Placing a Torchwood to the right of a Peashooter or Repeater will double its effectiveness. Don't put a Torchwood next to a Snow Pea though - it will turn the frozen peas into regular peas!
  • Once a Ladder Zombie has set up his ladder, you need to get rid of it quickly. (Unless you like zombies climbing over your defenses...) Dig up the plant it's leaning on or destroy it with a Cherry Bomb or Jalapeno.


     

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