Plants (Continued)

150 sun, bought for 5,000 coins after 3-4, very slow recharge rate

This doubles the output of a sunflower, making it drop 50 sun instead of 25 each time. The rate at which it drops sun does not change. For the cost of 3 more sunflowers, you basically get 1 more. Like the Gatling Pea, what you are paying for is the ability to do more with less space. More columns can be devoted to offense plants, A single column of twin sunflowers is enough to provide all the sun you need to maintain your defenses in Survival and the longer roof levels. Like all upgrades, you must first have the Sunflower planted in order to plant a Twin Sunflower. Even though it costs three times as much, you are better off starting to plant twin sunflowers as soon as you can, even while still planting regular sunflowers. The very slow recharge rate means you can get more planted if you start early.

Gloom Shroom

=====150 sun, bought for 7,500 coins after 4-4, very slow recharge rate, nocturnal===== This completely changes a Fume shroom. Instead of firing 4 squares ahead about as often as a peashooter, now it fires 4 times a second (equivalent to a gatling pea) and hits all zombies in the 3x3 area surrounding it. Fumes go right through screens and other zombies. You must still spend a coffee bean if you want to use it during the daytime (if you already woke the fume shroom you don't need to wake the gloom shroom separately). On a daytime level, this plant costs a total of 300 and uses 3 seed slots to deploy. The limited range makes it seem defensive, but if you can get zombies to walk past it, the gloom shroom is the highest-damage plant in the game. You will typically put a garlic in front of it and plant it next to the pool. The fumes can kill most pool zombies without needing any other pool defense. A buckethead pool zombie will need 2 gloom shrooms, and a dolphin zombie might need as many as 5 if you don't slow them down somehow.

225 sun, bought for 10,000 coins after 4-4, very slow recharge rate

Cattail fires homing shots that go for the closest zombie in any lane and also pops balloons. It also fires as fast a repeater. During adventure mode pool stages and most pool survival & pool mini-games it is a very powerful attacker. It does have some limitations that make it less useful when there are heavy waves of powerful zombies. First, any shots sent toward a zombie that gets killed will be wasted (they don't home in on the next zombie). So if you have a lot of cattails, they will all tend to fire at the same zombie. Since the shots have some travel time, there will be a delay between when the zombie dies and when the next zombie starts getting hit. Cattail shots are single-target and cannot be upgraded with torchwood. For very heavy waves of zombies like in Last Stand or Survival: Endless, cattails can't keep up. They are still useful for defending you in early waves and for popping balloon zombies, but 2 cattails in a rear column are enough for anti-balloon and anti-miner duty. Cattail upgrades Lily Pad, and digging up a cattail destroys the lily pad too.

125 sun, bought for 7,500 coins after 5-1, very slow recharge rate

The almanac says it is "very durable" but doesn't explain exactly what that means. First, the spikerock does double damage to zombies passing over it. A regular zombie will take 12 damage and only has 10 health, so a spikerock can kill all regular zombies that walk over it. That's nice, but even better is the anti-vehicle aspect: a spikerock still destroys vehicles (Zamboni and Catapult) but is not immediately destroyed in the explosion. Instead, it just loses some health. It can destroy 9 vehicles before it is killed. It is also the only plant that can survive a Gargantuar (and Giga-gargantuar) beating. It can take 9 hits from them as well. This doesn't help on roof levels (you can't plant spikeweed in a flower pot), but is useful for the other Survival levels. Spikerock upgrades spikeweed.

50 sun, bought for 3,000 coins after 5-1, very slow recharge rate

The Gold Magnet converts a magnet from a nighttime plant to a daytime one and makes it pick up coins. Every 5 seconds or so, the Gold Magnet will attract all coins within about a 5 square radius and they will get added to your coin total. There's very little reason to bring this if you don't bring Marigolds, since zombies rarely drop cash. Some levels are so easy that you can defend them with very few seed slots and instead spend most of the level planting marigolds. If you plant so many that it's annoying to keep picking up the coins, Gold Magnet is your answer. In other versions of the game, Last Stand makes a great gold farm. You can plant all the marigolds in the beginning with no reload time and defend the level with a few well-chosen plants. On the DS, that's not such a workable strategy. The zombies are tougher and more likely to break through your defenses AND there are only 9 slots to work with instead of 10. You can still farm Last Stand for gold, it is just not as profitable and you will probably not be able to use the Gold Magnet since defense is such a problem.

200 sun, bought for 10,000 coins after 5-10, very slow recharge rate

One of the plants they saved till after you beat adventure mode. This upgrades the already fairly powerful Melon-pult to add a snare effect that hits all zombies in an area. It doesn't add any additional damage and you will not need more than 1 winter melon per row. You could almost get by with winter Melons every other row, but it won't fire unless it can hit a zombie directly. Still, to maximize the area damage, don't plant them in the top and bottom rows until you've done all the others. The snare from a winter melon is the same as the snow pea's and ice shroom's; it will be cancelled if the zombie is hit by a fireball.

500 sun, bought for 20,000 coins after 5-10, very slow recharge rate

The most expensive plant you can place, by far. Additionally, it must be placed on top of TWO kernel-pults that are next to each other in the same row. That is 700 total sun AND you must give up two attacking plants in the same row to have it. So is it worth it? Clicking a cannon brings up a red target circle. Drag it to wherever you want and let go. The cob cannon will launch a missile up into the air. In about 7 seconds it will land where you targeted it and explode as if you placed a cherry bomb there. You can fire at spaces you could not normally plant (roof tiles, water or your own plants) and it will not hurt your own plants. About 30 seconds later it will be ready to fire again. Cannons that are ready to fire will have a bit of corn cob sticking out and flashing. The reload time is faster than a cherry bomb. A single cob cannon is nice for emergencies or clearing ladders, but they work best when you have a bunch of them. 5 cannons will let you explode nearly everything that enters the screen if you stagger their launches out a bit. They are also great for instantly killing a gargantuar (target two cannons at it and it will probably die before it has a chance to throw its imp). You must allow for the delay when targeting fast-moving zombies like ladder and pole-vaulters. Shoot ahead of them several columns.

Variable sun/recharge, bought for 30,000 coins after 5-10

The Imitater costs the most to buy from Crazy Dave and offers something you can't get from any other plant: an exact duplicate of a plant you like. When you select the imitater from the seed selection screen at the beginning of the level, it will ask you to pick the plant it will copy. During the level, it will cost as much to place the imitater as it does the copied plant. If you imitate a nocturnal plant in the daytime, you will still need coffee to wake it up. The only difference is that the recharge time for replanting are separate. So you could plant 2 of the same type of plant right away. This would let you get a column of tallnuts up twice as fast, or plant 2 cherry bombs or have twice as many puff/sea shrooms on a night level. For any plant that frustrates you while you wait for it to reload, the Imitater can solve that issue. You cannot change what it is imitating during the level (but you can between waves of Survival). Imitater cannot copy any of the upgrade plants that you buy from Crazy Dave.

Mini-Games

These are the games in the Mini-Games menu, not the Puzzle or Survival games that are also technically mini-games. Beating all the games in this menu will give you the "Attention Deficit" achievement, and is one of the tasks required to get the Gold Sunflower trophy.

Upgrade plants are not required to beat any mini-game, but some games are much easier with the right upgrades. Only the first three games (Zombotany, Wall-nut bowling and Slots) are available until adventure mode is complete. The mini-game menu is unlocked on adventure stage 3-2: one zombie that level will drop a present. Clicking the present opens up adventure mode.

Minigames drop a trophy (and possibly a diamond) when beaten for the first time, then bags of coins after that. Most minigames will be locked or hidden at first. Beating another minigame for the first time will unlock a new one until all minigames have been unlocked.

Zombotany

Zombies come in with Peashooter and Wall-nut heads. Peashooter zombies will start shooting as soon as they enter the lane. You probably want to put down a wallnut at the halfway point in a row before putting any sunflowers in it.

Wall-nut bowling

You get coins when a regular nut bounces off more than one zombie, the more zombies it hits the more coins per hit. Let the first zombies get almost all the way to you (across the red line or when your seed tray is full) before dropping wallnuts on them. The exploding nuts don't give you any coins, so avoid using them. There are also buckethead zombies and pole vaulters that weren't there when you played 1-5 the first time.

Slots

Your goal is to get to 2000 sun. It costs 25 sun to spin the slot machine. If it lines up with 2 of a plant you'll get a seed packet to place 1 copy of that plant. If it gives you 3 of a plant you can plant 3 plants. It can give you peashooters, repeaters, snow peas, wallnuts and sunflowers. You can also get extra sun (though you can't plant anything with it) or 1000 coins. When you get close to 2000 you can try to stall in hopes of getting coins out of the slot machine. Zombies will get more and more numerous in waves and in between waves as time goes on, so you'll eventually have to either win or die.

It's raining seeds

It is a nighttime pool level. This is similar to a conveyor, but seeds will fall from the sky and land on the ground. If they are not used within a short period of time they will disappear.

Beghouled

This is like another popcap game: Bejeweled. Your goal is to line up 3 or more of the same plants in a column or row. 75 matches are required to win. Making matches gives you sun, making a matches of 4 or more gives even more sun. To make a match, click a plant and drag it up, down, left or right to swap it with the plant in that direction. You are not allowed to drag plants around unless it will result in a match. Making a match will cause those plants to disappear and new plants to replace them. Zombies will still be coming in from the right to eat your plants. If they eat one, you can pay 2000 sun to replace it with a new random plant. If there are no moves possible, the whole set of plants will reload. You can also spend 150 sun to reload all the plants at any time. 500 sun replaces all puff shrooms with fume shrooms till the end of the level. 250 sun turns wall-nuts into tall- nuts, and 1000 sun turns peashooters into repeaters.

Invisi-ghoul

An interesting twist. You can no longer see any of the zombies, but your plants can still detect them and fire on them. It would be like a fog level with complete fog, but you can see your own plants clearly and see the effects of your shots. Sound is important for knowing what is coming. If your peashooter shot stops in the air with a metal sound, that's a buckethead zombie. If you hear a splash, that's a water zombie getting into the pool. The Ice Shroom freezes all zombies in place and you can see where they are from the frozen patches.

Seeing stars

The star plant is required for this level, but you can choose your other plants. The field has a lot of spots marked out with transparent stars. In order to win, place star fruit in all the marked spots. You can't plant anything else on the special spots (except pumpkin). When you are planting sunflowers, beware of planting any in the row with the longest bunch of star fruit. You don't have many spots free in that row to attack zombies. I would take these plants: Sunflower, potato mine, magnet, coffee, pumpkin, spikeweed, snow pea and marigolds.

Zombiquarium

You start with a few snorkel zombies. Tap on the screen to give them brains to eat. If they are not hungry, they ignore the brains and it will just sink to the floor and disappear. You can only have 3 brains out at a time. A zombie that isn't fed for a while turns green and eventually dies. After they eat they'll give you sun. Sun can be used to buy more zombies and eventually you use it to buy the trophy to complete the level.

Beghouled Twist

Yes, Popcap also sells a game called "Bejeweled Twist". It's not as popular as the regular Bejeweled. Instead of simply swapping plants around, you rotate 4 of them in a circle (clockwise). I think it's much harder to see patterns that can be rearranged to make 3 in a row and end up just tapping madly everywhere. You still need to make 75 matches and you get sun you can spend on the same upgrades as Beghouled.

Heat Wave - (DS exclusive)

You have already played this level on 3-5, but now there is a gargantuar at the end to make it interesting. Move the plants around and yell or blow on the microphone when it says 'Shout!'.

Portal Combat

There are two pairs of portals, a black starry pair and a white circle pair. Shots and zombies that go into one portal will come out the other. Plants take the portals into account when determining whether they will shoot at a zombie. Portals also randomly change location a few times during the level. Zombies can walk through portals and end up bypassing your plants, so be careful.

Column like you See Em

This is a roof level, with a conveyor. Gargantuars, football, ladder zombies and jack in the boxes can appear, along with other nasty roof zombies. Whenever you place a plant, it will go in all spots in that entire column. So if you plant a Tallnut, you will get 5 of them if all their pots are intact. A jalapeno destroys everything on the screen that is not a Gargantuar. The zombie waves can get intense and you are at the mercy of the conveyor, so if you lose just try again.

Bobsled Bonanza

You will be facing a lot of Zombonis this level, and you start with trails of ice on the land rows (this is a pool level). You have some extra time at the beginning before zombies show up, but the first zombies are likely to be bobsled teams and zambonis. This is my pick for the hardest minigame to do without upgrades.

  • Potato Mines will kill zombonis and bobsled teams still in their bobsled. However, the bobsled team can reach it before it arms if you wait until the team appears to plant it
  • Squash will kill zombonis, but it will wait until the team gets out of the bobsled and then kill 2 of the 4
  • Chompers can eat zombonis and entire bobsled teams (still in the bobsled), but they will mostly get crushed and killed on this level.
  • The Rake doesn't work on this level

This is the strategy that works best for me, using no upgrade plants.

Bring Lily Pad, Sunflower, Potato Mine, Cherry Bomb, Squash, Peashooter, Repeater, Torchwood, Jalapeno

Plant 4 sunflowers, then a potato mine at the end of an ice trail. Whenever potato mine comes up, plant it at the end of another ice trail (preferably a fresh one just left by a zomboni). Put 3 sunflowers in rows protected by the potato mines. Plant lily pads in the far left column of the pool. You will probably have to kill some bobsled teams with instant plants when they show up in rows that don't have a potato mine. Wait as long as possible before killing them. Plant 1 regular peashooter per row in the pool (that should cover it for at least 1 flag), then try to get 1 peashooter in front of your 3 sunflowers on all the land rows. Use the cheapest plants to kill whatever attacks you and always wait as long as you can to do it. If a Zamboni comes down a row, use a squash or potato mine as far left as you can, but not any farther than the 4th column.

If you have 3 columns of sunflower in all land rows, start putting sunflowers in the pool. Make 4 columns of sunflowers in front of the water peashooters.

When all rows have peashooters, put torchwood in front of them. Then put a second peashooter (dig up a sunflower if you have 3 columns of sunflowers). Don't put any more peashooters in the water.

Then upgrade the peashooters to repeaters as you get the sun. Each land row should have 2 repeaters, 2 sunflowers and 1 torchwood. Water rows can have 1 repeater, 2-3 sunflowers and 1 torchwood.

2 repeaters + torchwood can handle almost anything, but continue to keep an eye out for problems (like 2 zambonis in the same row) and use squash and bombs to help out. Usually, as soon as you blow up something, another one comes in right away.

Ice trails will melt eventually even if you don't bring jalapeno.

Several upgrade plants make this minigame much easier:

  • Gatling Pea can dish out a lot of damage without pushing your defense out too far.
  • Twin Sunflower lets you make do with a smaller sun area in the water
  • Cattails can attack from the water and are great for the bobsled teams
  • Spikerock can take out 9 zombonis and prevent them from laying ice trails if placed in the far right
  • Cob Cannons can be set up in the water and do lots of damage to waves of zombonis or bobsleds.

Whack-a-zombie

The minigame you already played on 2-5 is back. As before, just keep tapping the zombies to kill them and spend the sun only on grave busters.

Last Stand

Ah, the minigame that has generated the most internet discussion and strategies. It is a daytime pool level where you have to survive for 5 flags. You start with 5000 sun and can pick from almost all your seeds (no free plants and no sun-producing plants). At the beginning of each wave, you can plant as many plants as you like from the seeds you chose at the beginning (unlike survival, you can't change seeds between waves) with no recharge time between plantings. When you are ready, click 'Start Onslaught' to bring in the zombies. While zombies are on screen your plants recharge normally and can be placed if you have remaining sun. Sun will not fall from the sky and you have no lawn mowers/pool cleaners as a last line of defense. At the end of each wave you get another 250 sun to prop up your defenses with. Facing you will be football, ladder, jack-in-the-box, pole-vaulter, dolphin and regular, conehead and buckethead zombies (including swimming versions). Special zombies rarely appear during the first part of the level, but at least one is likely to come with each wave.

Internet discussions are mostly about how to farm this level for coins. You can plant tons of marigolds and gold magnets at the beginning. Then the job becomes how to protect them for 5 waves. However, this level can be quite difficult without upgrade plants and most strategies on the net are based around Gloom Shrooms. Additionally, they tend to use 10 slots (we have a max of 9 on the DS) and are usually too flimsy to deal with the tougher zombies on the DS.

Here's a setup I've found to be reliable--

Plants used:

Lily, Repeater, Torchwood, Garlic, Wall-Nut, Coffee, Magnet, Pumpkin, Marigold

    | 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
  --+--------------------------
  A | o  o  o  .  M  M  G  G  G
  B | R  R  R  T  .  .  .  .  .
  C | R  R  R  T  W  .  .  .  .
  D | R  R  R  T  W  .  .  .  .
  E | R  R  R  T  .  .  .  .  .
  F | o  o  o  .  M  M  G  G  G

I've labeled the rows A-F and the columns 1-9. C & D are pool rows and all plants in that row are on lily pads.

  R - Repeater
  T - Torchwood
  W - Wall-nut
  M - Magnet (+ coffee)
  G - Garlic
  o - Marigold
  . - empty space

This can all be set up in the very beginning before clicking Start Onslaught. I do not use any pumpkins at first. You get extra sun during each wave, but some of it will need to be used to replace garlic. Here's how I'd spend it between waves:

  • replace garlics only when eaten
  • After wave 1: plant a magnet in front of a torchwood (B5/E5)
  • After wave 2: plant a magnet in front of the other torchwood
  • After wave 3: pumpkins on the B5/E5 magnets
  • After wave 4: wall-nuts in front of the B5/E5 magnets
  • In final wave: let garlic die unless you are about to run entirely out in a row, save sun for replacing wall-nuts instead.

Aside from the tougher zombies, the DS also makes it difficult to see when your garlics get eaten (the massive wave of zombies on rows below hide the garlic with their headwear). The third garlic will occasionally be used when pole vaulters come in while the first garlic has been eaten. You can let the zombies eat their way through the garlic in the final wave, the third garlic should hold up that long.

This setup is somewhat overkill. Two columns of repeaters work just as well, but you have enough sun for three. If you want to plant more marigolds, I would shorten the two land rows down to 2 repeaters and place marigolds in front of them (where torchwood is in B4/E4). You can't make do with 2 garlics, it's too hard to tell when one is eaten and you have no offense if a pole vaulter jumps over the last one. Three garlics also gives you more buffer room from jack in the boxes. If the magnets are in use when one appears, it is likely to just blow up some garlic and possibly a magnet.

If you have gloom shrooms, you can beat Last Stand with 3 garlics on the ends of the rows next to the pool and 5 gloom shrooms behind them. That setup even kills dolphin zombies. There are other strategies (even 9-seed strategies) on youtube that let you farm marigolds in the PC version, but most don't work on the DS.

Zombotany 2

There are more zombies this time around. Gatling, Squash and Jalapeno zombies are all fairly nasty. Jalapeno can't kill a full-health wallnut, but it will kill all the other plants if you don't take care of it quickly. I brought these: sunflower, wallnut, snow pea, squash, pumpkin, lily pad, chomper

Chompers in pumpkins make a great wall.

Wall-nut Bowling 2

This time around there are screen door zombies (you can kill them in 1 hit by hitting them with an bounce from another zombie), disco zombies (shooting at the first backup dancer will often get 3 bounces and take out the backup) plus the bucket, cone, pole-vaulter and regular zombies from the first Wall- nut Bowling. You have a 3rd type of wall-nut; a really thick wallnut that goes straight down the line flattening everything. Like the red wallnut, you get no coins for using it.

Pogo Party

People report having problems with this minigame, but it seems to me much easier than bobsled bonanza (without upgrades). I take all the things that counter pogos: flower pot, sun, squash, jalapeno, tallnut, melon-pult and snow peas.

That leaves you 2 slots to bring magnets if you want. Buy the rake, build as much sun as you can and start planting Tallnuts. Once you have a column of tallnuts you are basically done with the level. Let the first pogo chew on the tallnut for a while before placing an offense plant. Use squash to kill the first pogos. Tallnuts have a lot of health and the longer it takes the pogo zombie to die, the more sun production you can set up before the next pogos come in. Replace badly damaged tallnuts after your column is all set up. Snow peas, followed by melons for AE damage will finish off everything the stage has to throw at you.

Dr. Zomboss's Revenge

This time around he has twice as much health as he did on 5-10. Otherwise, the stage is exactly the same.

Bomb All Together - (DS exclusive)

You have a conveyor that instantly gives you another plant when you use one. However, there's a limited amount of stuff in it (there is a bomb counter telling you how many bombs are left, you start with 25). Cherry bombs, potato mines, jalapeno, doom shrooms, coffee and wallnuts are all in the conveyor. Facing you are regular zombies, pogos, footballs and some gargantuars (1 gargantuar in the middle, 2 at the end). Pile up zombies on wallnuts and kill as many as you can per blast.

Homerun Derby - (DS exclusive)

Wow, this is an incredibly frustrating minigame. A catapult zombie will toss basketballs at you and you use the stylus to "bat" it. Use a fast stroke that goes diagonally up and right to score a home run. You have to score 30 home runs to win. Scoring a homerun gives you sun, which you have to spend to buy plants to kill the zombies that wander in. You also have the option of trying to hit zombies with the ball. It will kill them, but it is difficult to aim. When I win, I've usually lost a few lawn mowers. You can also hit the pitcher and knock him out for a while. That only makes your situation worse since now you have nothing to hit homeruns with.

Air Raid - (DS exclusive)

This is more like it! An old fashioned side-scrolling shooting game, like Gradius or R-Type. There are two health bars at the bottom of the screen that fill up with damage. Yours is on the left, Dr. Zomboss's is on the right. Dr. Zomboss tosses out wrenches of different types- some zig-zag up and down, others arc toward you, red ones home in on you. He also occasionally shoots big blue balls at you. Sometimes they'll have powerups in them. 3-peater lets you fire spread shots in 3 directions. Pumpkin gives you armor. At half health, Dr. Zomboss will run away for a bit and change tactics. Now he'll occasionally launch a beam attack. If you get hit with it, you're instantly dead. He'll follow you as you go up and down to avoid it, then open his mouth and charge a beam (this lasts about 1 second during which you can see his mouth sparkling). That's your chance to get out of the way. If you're having trouble timing it, just move quickly up and down and hope for the best. If you still don't kill him, he'll launch his insta-kill beam attacks from off screen, making it even harder.

Puzzle Mode

I still consider these to be mini-games since they're short games that are not related to the main adventure mode. Beating all the games in this menu will give you the "Think Hard" achievement, and is one of the tasks required to get the Gold Sunflower trophy. A zombie on 4-6 will drop a present. Opening the present unlocks Puzzle Mode. Only the first three Vasebreaker & I, Zombie levels will be available until you beat adventure mode.

There are 9 of each puzzle type plus an Endless version of each. Most will be locked at first. Beating one of the available levels will unlock a new one until they have all been unlocked. The last thing to get unlocked will be Endless.

Vasebreaker

In general, start opening vases from the far right. If it's a plant, place it and click the next vase on the far right of that row. If you get a zombie, wait until it is right at the middle of another vase to open that vase. If that vase also turns out to be a zombie, now the two zombies are stacked up and can be killed with a single squash. Vase contents are random, so I will only list generally what to expect. Jack zombies will immediately explode, opening other vases with the explosion. Planterns reveal what is inside each vase in a 3x3 area centered on the plantern. If I list "repeaters", you will get repeaters that fire backwards, like the back half of a split pea. All vasebreaker levels have regular zombies, I only list special ones. Levels are not timed, so if you find it easier to wait until a zombie is killed before opening another vase, that is a safe approach.

Vasebreaker - 1 jack in the box / peashooters

To the Left - 1 jack in the box / repeaters

Third Vase - 1 disco zombie / hypno shrooms available

--- after adventure mode is complete --

Chain Reaction - many jack, 1 football / puff, repeater & hypno shrooms

M is for Metal - football & bucket / magnet, snow, repeater, squash, pumpkin

Scary Potter - pole, jack & football / tall, 3peat, repeat, torch, squash

Hokey Pokey - 1 bucket / spikeweed, squash, wallnut

Another Chain Reaction - pogo / tallnut, repeat, squash, puff

Ace of Vase - jack, 1 gargantuar / wall, squash, snow, repeat, 3peat, mine

Endless: The same zombies and plants from 'Ace of Vase' will appear every level. There are also buckethead zombies. You find random amounts of sun in vases that you can spend on Cherry Bombs.

I, Zombie Levels

A great concept, you get to be the zombie! This is a great way to learn the zombies weaknesses. I think this is how I found out that potato mines kill miners. The levels are randomly set up again, so I'll list generally what to expect.

Eat sunflowers to earn the sun to launch other zombies. You have to get to the end of each row and eat the brains to pass the level. Once there are no sunflowers in a row, you get nothing from eating the other plants. Using pole vaulters or ladders to bypass plants is perfectly acceptable. All of the named puzzle levels have sunflowers and regular peashooters unless mentioned otherwise.

Imps only have 3 health, but run quickly.

I, Zombie - squash, snow / regular, bucket, football

I, Zombie Too - spike, snow / regular, screen, bucket

Can You Dig It - splitpea, torch, mine / regular, bucket, miner

--- after adventure mode is complete --

Totally Nuts - snow, fume, wallnut / regular, bucket, ladder

Dead Zeppelin - snow, cactus, magnet / regular, bucket, bungee, balloon

Me Smash - garlic,snow,torch,spike,kernel / reg,pole,bucket,gargan

Zomboogie - chomper, mine, no pea / reg, pole, bucket, disco

Three Hit Wonder - mine, magnet, wall / imp,cone,bucket,bungee,miner,ladder

All Your Brainz are belong to us -

 mine, split, snow, chomper, star, tall, 3peat, magnet, fume, squash, scaredy
 VS.
 reg, cone, pole, bucket, bungee, miner, ladder, football

Endless: Same as 'All Your Brainz', but you also have the Disco Zombie. I've noticed that some levels have almost no sun on them, so to get past them you need to have stockpiled a lot of sun in previous levels.

Survival

Survival modes are basically just like regular adventure stages with random zombies. You can change your seeds every flag (in Easy) or every other flag (Hard). Sun earned in one wave carries forward to the next. Zombies are random, so I can't offer specific strategies.

Beating all the games in this menu will give you the "Tough Beans" achievement, and is one of the tasks required to get the Gold Sunflower trophy. Survival mode is unlocked after Adventure mode is beaten for the first time.

There are 11 survival modes: An easy and a hard mode for each environment, plus 'Survival: Endless'. Not all modes are available at the beginning, beating a mode for the first time unlocks another mode until all are available.

In Easy mode, you have to survive for 5 flags in that environment. After each flag, you can change what seeds you are using. Gargantuars and jack in the boxes do not appear. You don't need any upgrade plants to beat these. They are about as difficult as regular adventure stages. You can also see the Trashcan zombie (exclusive to consoles). It is basically a screen door zombie that moves slower and has more health in its screen. It can still be disabled by a magnet shroomm or attacked directly with a fume shroom or any catapult plant.

In Hard mode, you have to survive for 10 flags. You can change seeds every 2 flags. Any zombie, including Gargantuar can appear. Additionally, there are more zombies (think of the later waves of Last Stand) during the level and in the waves. Upgrade plants are pretty nice on these levels, and you should try to pack the most attack power you can into the fewest columns. On all hard levels, I would build a defense with Tallnuts, use a couple cattails, then try to build 5 cob cannons. Once you get all that you can just explode everything to death. 10 cob cannons are even better.

Survival: Endless is a daytime pool level that goes on forever. A new zombie can appear: Giga-Gargantuar. It has twice as much health as a gargantuar and takes 4 instant kills to finish off. Endless can drop nighttime zen garden plants in addition to regular and aquatic plants.

Unlike the PC version of the game, the DS does not save your progress when you quit a survival game. This makes it difficult to get up to the higher levels of Endless.

Zen Garden Mode

The way the zen garden works is; you get little sprouts of your plants. You water and fertilize them till they're full grown. Then you can either sell them for coins or tend to them and collect coins throughout the day.

A new plant will want to be watered about 5 times. Then it will ask for fertilizer (something you can buy from Crazy Dave). About an hour later, it will want to be watered and fertilized again. After 3 fertilizers it will be full grown. After that, it will want to be tended once a day. It will want to be watered, then it will want either bug spray (buy from crazy dave) or listen to the music box (reusable, buy it from crazy dave).

You can leave the zen garden open and the plants that have had bug spray or music will drop coins every now and then. You can pick up the coins. The DS version has them drop coins much less frequently.

Picking up the coins yourself isn't much fun. You can buy Stinky the Snail to help you. He'll slowly run to the coins and pick them up for you. He will get tired after 5 minutes and go to sleep. You can click him to wake him up. After you buy Stinky, you'll sometimes get Chocolate from the Zombies. Feed chocolate to Stinky and he'll run fast and not go to sleep for 1 hour. You can have a max of 10 chocolate, after that the zombies won't drop any more until you use some. Do not exit Zen Garden or close the DS lid after feeding Chocolate to Stinky. Chocolate will wear off in an hour, but he can't collect coins unless the DS is on and running Zen Garden with the lid open.

Although the Zen Garden is mostly meant to look good and cost a lot of money, you can make money with it:

Buy marigold sprouts from Crazy Dave for 2,500, raise them to full grown (requires 3 fertilizer per sprout) and sell them back for 3,000. That's a direct profit of 100 coins, but the sprouts will drop about another 1,300 coins along the way for a total profit of about 1,400 per sprout.

The DS Zen Garden has less screen space than other versions. You can't see what plants on the top row are asking for. If they are full grown, give them water, then the music box, then bug spray (since water and the music box are free). You can also just let the zen garden sit for a minute or so and the toolbar will go away.

In general, the type of mini-game you play determines what type of zen garden plants the zombies will drop. Nighttime levels will give you mushrooms, pool levels will give you aquatic plants. Survival: Endless is special- it can drop any type of plant.

Aquatic plants and mushrooms will be asleep in the normal garden and won't take any water or fertilizer. You will have to buy their environments (at 30,000 each for nighttime/aquatic) and the shovel (200 coins) and move them to their environment to raise them. When they are full grown and have been given their bug spray/music box you can move them to the regular garden for the rest of the day. At midnight they will fall asleep again and have to be moved back to be re-watered & sprayed. Stinky the snail won't help you collect coins in these other environments, but the plants will give you 3 times as much gold when you make them happy.

Crazy Dave buys your plants at different rates:

Marigold: 3,000 full-grown, 2,500 immature
Any other daytime plant: 8,000 full-grown, 3,000 immature
Nighttime/aquatic: 10,000 full-grown, ?? immature

After you buy an environment or the Tree of Wisdom, use the green arrow at the top-right of the zen garden screen to go to the next one.

Tree of Wisdom

Crazy Dave sells the tree of wisdom for 10,000 but doesn't explain what it is. It is basically a way to burn your money. Here's how this little scam works.

  1. Buy the tree of wisdom for 10,000
  2. Buy "Tree Food" for the tree, at 2,500 EACH
  3. Drop Tree Food on the tree and hear a game tip
  4. After feeding 100 tree food, you get an achievement

All the game tips are covered somewhere else in this guide. If you are curious as to what the tree has to say, I would suggest googling for "tree of wisdom transcript". There is an achievement for getting the tree to 100 feet. For the first 50 food, the tree will just grow more branches and leaves when fed. At the 50th food, it grows offscreen and you can only see its trunk. Then it will say "50 feet tall". It will also stop giving you game tips. Each food after that will raise it 1 foot. At 100 you will get an achievement. You get 5 free tree food when you buy the tree. To get to the tree after buying it, go to the Zen Garden and click the Green Arrow on the right. If you have bought other Zen Garden environments, you will have to click through those to get to the tree. Altogether, the achievement will cost you 247,500 (95 tree food @ 2,500 + 10,000 for the tree).

In other versions of PvZ, the tree unlocks codes that change the way zombies look. You could make them dance or explode into candy when they die. None of these codes are in the DS, so the tree is purely a way to get rid of money.

Achievements

Resolute Homeowner - Complete Adventure Mode.

You'll get this achievement automatically for beating Adventure Mode the first time.

Shopping Spree - Spend 25,000 coins in Crazy Dave's store.

You'll get this fairly easily.

Greenhouser - Raise 10 plants to full growth in the Zen Garden.

Not very difficult either, raising marigolds will also give back 500+ coins if you buy them as sprouts and sell them full grown.

Book Learner - Fill out the Almanac.

Cannot be done on the first playthrough. The yeti zombie appears in the second playthrough, level 4-10 (the all-dark level with lightning). After you see it, it can appear in survival modes.

Demolitioner - Blow up 10 zombies at once with a single Cherry Bomb.

You'll probably get this in the first 10 levels of adventure mode. Wait until a wave of zombies appears, then drop the cherry bomb on them. Each row in a wave will have 3-4 zombies, so you'll probably get this achievement the first time you do it. If you're having trouble with it, place 3 wallnuts touching in a column to pile up the zombies first.

Nebulaphile - Beat an extremely foggy level without disturbing any fog.

In addition to not using planterns, you also cannot use torchwood or blovers. You can probably get this one on your first playthrough. You can get it from 4-3 even though it doesn't seem any foggier than 4-2. Just try to remember where your plants are. If the plant you are trying to place doesn't disappear when you move over a spot, then there is already a plant there.

Unsiege Mentality - Complete a roof level without using any catapult plants.

The best level for this is 5-1 in either the first or second playthrough. Snow peas help a lot. So do squash and repeaters. Peas can be placed on flat squares and the two highest sloped squares.

Photosensitive - Beat a night level without picking up any sun.

This one is a little tough. The best level to do this is on the 2nd playthrough, level 2-1. If you have the Imitater, bring it along to copy the puff-shroom. Most other plants are useless. You could use the 50 starting sun to plant either 1 wallnut or 2 potato mines or scaredy shrooms.

Don't Drink the Water - Beat a pool level without using any aquatic plants.

The best time to get this is on the 2nd playthrough, level 3-1 (the first and easiest pool level). 3-peaters are the obvious choice, but gloom shrooms placed next to the pool in the middle column will also work and are 25 sun cheaper.

Attention Deficit - Earn a trophy in each minigame.

This specifically means the games in the "mini-game" menu, not survival, vasebreaker or I Zombie.

Think Hard - Earn a trophy in each Puzzle Mode.

Beat all the Vasebreaker and I, Zombie games except for their Endless versions.

Tough Beans - Get a trophy in each Survival Mode.

Survival: Endless does not have a trophy and you don't have to play it to get this trophy.

Cerebral Canopy - Grow the Tree of Wisdom to 100 ft.

This will cost exactly 247,500 coins. Unlike other versions of PvZ, this will not unlock any codes. There's no point raising the tree past 100ft. You'll hear some advice from the tree, but nothing worth the money. You should probably leave this achievement to last after buying everything else from Crazy Dave.

Street Team - Play Download-Play; Multiplayer at least once.

This means someone has to play Versus mode with you and download the game from you. You do not get credit for playing together with someone who also has a PvZ cart: they must still use DS Download Play and download it from you.

Credits

DookieWookie - For getting me into this game