If you don’t have an Xbox 360 or a PS3 and you’ve never owned an iPhone or iPad and are reading this review in an internet cafe because you don’t have a PC, then boy do I have the game for you. You own a DS though, right? I mean you wouldn’t be reading the Plants vs. Zombies DS review if you didn’t own a DS, yeah? Plants vs. Zombies is the single most popular and adored tower defence game ever. It’s funny, it’s clever, it’s addictive and it has depth without being too taxing. If your lack of available game playing platforms has kept this gem from you until now then you absolutely must play this.
On the DS you get all the content of the iPhone version, with the speed and ease of the touch screen but you also get the addition of the multiplayer options from the Xbox 360 version. There’s also a Download Play skirmish mode you can send to a friend. The variety in the gameplay is excellent. Just a few minutes pass between unlocking new plants with which to protect your house from the lumbering zombies making their way across your back garden. You’ll play through day and night levels which involve different tactics, interspersed with special levels with only specific tactics available on them. There’s a great variety of zombies too with increasingly stupid weapons and defenses, trying to beat a path down to your door. It’s one of those games that will steal your life but on the DS, like with the iPhone, it does it in delightfully short bursts that can fill a boring commute. We strongly suggest, though, that you don’t take the game to the toilet in work, lest you be found by your boss, with a numb bum half an hour later.
The DS version does have a few drawbacks. It’s visually the weakest version of the game. It doesn’t have the fancy graphics of the Xbox 360 or PS3 versions nor the clarity of the iPhone version. The individual plants are a bit big for the grid they sit in and can obscure your view of the item buttons. The touch screen is really over crowded, while the top screen goes to waste and once things get busy on screen expect some slow down. Given that the DS game is considerably more expensive than any other version available we’d have hoped for a better iteration with more bells and whistles. We wouldn’t normally recommend a weak version of a game at a premium price but this is Plants vs. Zombies. If you aren’t able to play the game on any other platform then give this serious consideration.