Despite its simplistic and cartoonish appearance Plants Vs Zombies has very strategic undertones. For the strategies concerning specific minor achievements see their entries in the 'STORY WALKTHROUGH' section. Here I'm going to explain the most efficient methods of conquering each section of the 'Adventure Mode' in different scenarios and help with the Mini-Games. For strategies concerning the 'Endless Survival Mode' for 'Alive and Planting' specifically see the 'SURVIVAL MODE' section of this walkthrough.
Beginning the Adventure Mode will show you the basics of playing the game. You acquire Sunlight in blocks of 50 points to spend on Plants with the purpose of destroying the Zombie hordes attacking your house. As you progress the Zombies will become ever more powerful, fast, and cunning and so too does your Plant arsenal to counter them. The strategies at first are very simple, in the early levels you'll want one column of Sunflowers only (6) near the rear. Begin to build and reserve sunlight and wait for the Zombies to attack before you start planting aggressive plants like Pea-Shooters. The beginning of any level is crucial as any mistakes now will snowball as you encounter greater numbers of Zombies. Watch what Zombies are coming down the lanes before planting things in that lane to destroy them. It's a good idea to build a barrier of Wall-Nuts and later Tall-Nuts at the front of your lawn, this gives you more time to build up Sunlight and plant decent guns at the rear. Also it's a good idea to use cheap one-off plants such as Squash, Cherry Bomb, Jalapeno, Potato Mine, and Tangle Kelp to buy you time for more permanent guns and artillery.
In later levels you will face other problems than the Zombies themselves. You will soon change from defending the standard Front Yard to defending the Backyard where a pool presents new problems, later a rooftop where straight shooting plants become useless, a Nightime mode with a lack of Sunlight and a completely different arsenal, and also a Nightime mode with added fog where you are unable to see the approaching Zombies. During the Adventure Mode you will also encounter bonus level mini-games like Wall-Nut bowling and Vasebreaker, culminating ultimately with the end boss 'Dr. Zomboss'. I have provided descriptions and video guides below to help you successfully complete the more challenging aspects of the game.
This starting scenario is fairly easy, remember to plant a decent amount of Sunflowers and wait to see which lanes the Zombies are coming down until you plant Shooting plants in the rear. Using Wall-Nuts at the very front will allow more time to catch Sunlight and kill the Zombies. Try to stock up a little Sunlight for emergency use of the Cherry Bomb, most effective when a ‘Huge Wave’ first enters through the bushes. The Squash is highly recommended, use it whenever a harder Zombie sneaks through your lines, they will also kill the Zomboni's in one hit, and do decent damage to Gargantuars.
Standard set-up for early levels:
Column one: Pea Shooters, then replace them with Snow-Peas or Repeaters. Column two: Pea Shooters, then replace them with Repeaters. Column three: Sunflowers. Column four: Sunflowers. Column five: Empty or Torchwood if you didn't plant Snow Peas as they just turn them back to normal peas. Column six: Empty. Column seven: Wall-Nuts. Column eight: Wall-Nuts, Column nine: Reserve for Cherry Bomb or Squash.
Standard set-up for later levels:
Column one: Melons, then Winter-Melons. Column two: Pea Shooters, then Kernel-Pults, then 'Cob-Cannons'. Column three: Kernel-Pults, then 'Cob-Cannons'. Column four: Snow Peas. Column five: Sunflowers, then Twin-Sunflowers. Column six: Sunflowers, then Twin-Sunflowers. Column seven: Tall-Nuts. Column eight: Spikeweed, then Spikerock. Column nine: Spikeweed, then Spikerock.
This video is from the PC version but it's entirely the same. I can't add much to improve this, the set-up on this video, courtesy of 'Kenah7' is generally what you should be aiming for.
CO-OP WALL-NUT BOWLING - ZFF'S-4-EVR
The ZFF's-4-Evr achievement linked to this mode is found in the Mini-Games section of the main menu and is not to be confused with the Wall-Nut Bowling Mini-Game during the Adventure Mode. Also note that this can only be done locally on one console but can be done with two controllers resting on your lap. This video courtesy of 'MrTrophyhelp' is from the PS3 version but is entirely the same, it shows a basic successful round of Co-op Wall-Nut Bowling. Although he should have kept more explosives for later, but note his effective use of the 'Butter-Blocker' to slow the dangerously close Zombies down (this is 'X' button on the Xbox 360 version).
BACKYARD - POOL
This scenario is exactly the same as the one in the 'Endless Survival Mode' when going for 'Alive And Planting'. Because of the comprehensive nature of this mode I have dedicated an entire section only for this part of the game. Please see the 'SURVIVAL MODE' of this walkthrough for all guides and videos concerning this.
Straight shooting plants of any kind are not recommended on the roof levels except in the very front as the slope of the roof renders them useless. Instead you’ll be given the ‘Cabbage Pult’, then the ‘Kernel-Pult’, and finally the most powerful; the ‘Melon-Pult’. Use these in the second two then later three columns, then one column of Sunflowers, upgrading them to Twin-Sunflowers when you can. You’ll have to watch for the Zombies destroying the pots, replace them when you can. Use Tall-Nuts in the front row and use Squash to kill the odd Zombie threatening your line. You’ll soon be given the ‘Umbrella Leaves’ place one or two of these centrally to prevent the Bungee-Zombies from stealing your plants and dropping off other Zombies. Also Pumpkins are a great way to protect your more important plants. A line of Snow peas is a good means of slowing down the enemies in the front but like I said they are useless on the slope.
This is a basic successful layout:
Column one: Sunflowers, then Twin-Sunflowers. Column two: Sunflowers, then Twin-Sunflowers. Column three: Kernel-Pults. Column four: Kernel-Pults. Column five: Kernel-Pults. Column six: Snow Peas in Pumpkins. Column seven: Snow-Peas in Pumpkins. Column eight: Tall-Nuts in Pumpkins.
I recommend these videos courtesy of 'firehot12', they are from the PC version but they are entirely identical, they show you the more advanced techniques for Rooftops in Adventure and Survival mode.
You will have no natural Sunlight at night and so extra Sunflowers are essential. Puff-Shrooms are costless but only effective at the front as their range is short. Gain some extra sun early and whenever you get the chance destroy those Graves.
Column one: Scaredy-Shrooms. Column two: Sun-Shrooms. Column three: Sun-Shrooms. Columns four, five and six: Fume-Shrooms. Column seven (or in front of Graves): Puff-Shrooms. Keep an Ice-Shroom handy for Huge waves. In later levels you’ll have to utilise more powerful Mushrooms, upgrade Fume-Shrooms to Gloom-Shrooms.
I like this video courtesy of 'BozoTheBear' as he uses Garlic to divert Zombies into more protected rows.
NIGHTIME - FOG
This can be a little tricky as you’ll have to deal with Balloon Zombies and Digger Zombies and you can’t see where your next Zombie is coming from. Use the Sun-Shrooms in the first two columns and block the initial Zombies with Puff-Shrooms. Build up columns three and four with Cacti and Split Peas. Watch your back row and be careful to replace lost plants. You will want to use Sea-Shrooms sometimes to whittle down the pool Zombies and then Tangle Kelp to take care of the Dolphin Riders is essential.
This video courtesy of 'Aznkei' is from the PC version but is entirely the same, he doesn't use upgrades, the only thing I would do differently is to keep a free slot for one-off plants such as Jalapeno, Cherry Bomb and/or Squash just as an emergency back-up.
You will encounter the end Dr. Zomboss in level 5.10, you have to damage him with plants whenever he stoops down. To make him more difficult you will not have a choice of plants, instead you have a random selection consisting mainly of Plant-Pots, Ice-Shrooms and Jalapenos with the odd Pult. Plant the pots quickly at the front and any Pults you get at the rear, replacing the less powerful Cabbage-Pults with Kernels and Melons, also don't just waste the Ice-Shrooms and any Jalapenos you get, save them up. Wait until the boss lowers down to attack with a giant ball and when he does use an Ice-Shroom to freeze him and then the Jalapenos to damage him further, but I'd recommend keeping a single Jalapeno in reserve for those pesky Pogo-Zombies who can break through your line. This video courtesy of 'Gabi12121212' shows you how to defeat him effectively.
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