Plants vs. Zombies Wiki

Column Like You See 'Em is a conveyor-belt mini-game in Plants vs. Zombies, Plants vs. Zombies: Journey to the West, and Plants vs. Zombies: Great Wall Edition that takes place on the Roof. The gimmick of this level is that planting a seed packet on a slot will fill the whole respective column with that plant, multiplying it by five. If one or more spaces (not exceeding five) on any of the Flower Pots in the column are occupied by other plants or unoccupied by Flower Pots, no plant will appear in place of the plant and the plant you planted will either be one, two, three, or four and will either appear on the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth lane in that column. However, in Flower Pot's case, if some of the lanes in the column are not potted, no plant will appear in the non-potted lane. The entire level consists of three huge waves. The game goes almost immediately to the first huge wave upon starting the game and in each wave, the zombies come in large groups.


The name of this mini-game is a pun on Midnight Brown's song Call 'em like you see 'em! from his album, 2084.



Column like you see 'em

A video of Column Like You See 'Em


Only one column of Tall-nuts, Potato Mines, Magnet-shrooms, and Coffee Beans are provided, all at the start of the level.

The Player will always receive two columns of Melon-pults at the start of the level.

Coffee Beans are given right after the Magnet-shrooms to wake them up.

Note that if players use the Jalapeno, it may not burn every zombie, since some zombies at the far right of the screen may be just visible, but cannot be attacked, due to their hitbox.

The zombies that will be encountered in this mini-game.

General tips

  • As only one column of Tall-nuts is provided, it is recommended not to place them in the very front, but in the second or third column from the right instead, because this reduces the likelihood of them being destroyed or laddered.
  • Squash, Chompers, Jalapenos, and Potato Mine can wither the storm of zombies.
  • It is recommended that the player saves at least one Jalapeno just in case of an emergency because they clear the screen of all non-Gargantuar zombies if planted in an open column. They also destroy ladders placed on Tall-nuts and Pumpkins, giving the player a great advantage.
  • When a column of Ladder Zombies appear, the player should place a column of Pumpkins on the column(s) succeeding the Tall-nuts to force them to waste their ladders. After a column of Ladder Zombies places their ladders, the player should then plant something pointless (like a Chomper) in the laddered Pumpkins to make the ladders disappear and force the second column of Ladder Zombies to lose their shields. If the Ladder Zombies manage to ladder the player's Tall-nuts, he or she should plant a column of Pumpkins on top of them and manually dig up all the Pumpkins one by one with the shovel, but they must be extremely careful not to dig up a Tall-nut. The ladders will then disappear.
  • The player should be cautious of Jack-in-the-Box Zombie since they come in columns, the chances of one exploding at any time are very high. Unfortunately, just one set of Jack-in-the-Box Zombies is enough to destroy a fortified position and waste Roof Cleaners.
  • Ladder Zombies always appear halfway between waves, Jack-in-the-Box Zombies always appear just before a large wave starts, and Gargantuars only appear during the huge waves.
  • The player receives Flower Pots very frequently and should be used to stall zombies, but should not waste them.
  • Try to protect Magnet-shrooms by placing Pumpkins outside of them, as they can be very helpful by taking away metal objects in order to kill the zombie quicker, especially dangerous jack-in-the-boxes.
  • The player should save their Jalapenos for the second and third waves and Jack-in-the-Box Zombies.


Strategy 1

One particular setup involves Potato Mines in front, Tall-nuts immediately after, followed by Magnet-shrooms (with Pumpkins and Coffee Beans) and Chompers (again with Pumpkins), and an empty column for Squash or Jalapenos (if you are going for Chilli Free, plant Chompers here; but if there are no more Chompers, leave it open for Squash), followed by as many columns of Melon-pults as possible.

The theory is that the Potato Mines are used for the first few zombies and the Tall-nuts block off the zombies until the Ladder Zombies show up. After they climb over the Tall-nuts, they will either climb over the Magnet-shrooms or eat them and hopefully, they get eaten by the Chompers. The Magnet-shrooms are right behind the Tall-nuts for a better effective radius, and Squash are for Imps and emergencies. If you have a Flower Pot and you save your Potato Mine, you can use it for the Gargantuars.

If the zombies successfully breach your defenses, plant as many columns of Flower Pots as possible to stall the zombies. Once the Jack-in-the-Box Zombies appear, wait for them to pass the third column from the right. Place a column of Flower Pots in the rightmost column. Use your resources (especially the Jalapenos) to eliminate the final zombies.

Strategy 2

Another strategy involves Tall-nuts in Pumpkins at the front, Potato Mines behind, followed by Magnet-shrooms and Chompers, with as many columns of Melon-pults behind as possible. The theory behind this strategy is for the Magnet-shrooms and the Melon-pults to take care of the first few zombies while the Potato Mines can be used against stronger enemies that come while your Magnet-shrooms are occupied.

Strategy 3

First plant Potato Mines in the rightmost column, Melon-pults in the leftmost column, Tall-nuts in the second column from the right, and Pumpkins with Magnet-shrooms in the third column from the right. When the Ladder Zombie and the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie appears, plant a Jalapeno in any column to burn the zombies. The Melon-pults will attack at Gargantuars and Squash can punch the last breath out of Gargantuars. Just squash the Gargantuars and kill everything else with Jalapenos.

Strategy 4

Plant a column of Pumpkined Tall-nuts in the rightmost column and a column of Pumpkined Magnet-shrooms in the second column from the right. Plant Pumpkined Chompers behind that, and Potato Mines behind them. Keep one column open for Jalapenos or Squash and fill the rest up with Melon-pults.

Strategy 5

The strategy for the Chilli Free achievement should have Tall-nuts on the first available column, Potato Mines in pots to the right, and Magnet-shrooms on behind the Tall-nuts. Plant your Melon-pults before the first wave comes. The melons will crush the zombies, but the Magnet-shrooms are still non-busy and available. Do not use any Jalapenos, you will not get the achievement. Plant the Chompers when the zombies are about to break through the Magnet-shrooms. You will notice your Flower Pots will start to queue. Be wary of the Gargantuars. Do not hit them in the third column as they will toss their Imps to eat all of your Melon-pults. If you manage to get the Melon-pults pumpkined, they will kill the Imps. For the wave of Jack-in-the-Box Zombies and Ladder Zombies, make use of your Squashes. Ignore the Bungee Zombies, as your Chompers and Squashes will take care of them, and Melon-pults will kill the Imps and other zombies. You may want to invest in Roof Cleaners prior to trying for this achievement, as they will kill the Gargantuars in one row.

Strategy 6

At the start of this mini-game, you will get a Potato Mine. Put it in the second column from the right. Then put the Tall-nuts in front of the Potato Mines. Behind them, plant the Magnet-shrooms and Coffee Beans. At the back, plant all of the Melon-pults. Protect the plants with Pumpkin at the front unless you are worried about Ladder Zombies. Behind the Magnet-shrooms, plant Chompers, and behind those, Squash.

Strategy 7

First, place the Potato Mine in the rightmost column. Then, put the Tall-nuts behind the Potato Mines. Next, Place the Melon-pults in the leftmost column. Place the Magnet-shrooms behind the Tall-nuts with the Coffee Beans. When the zombies come, save the Jalapenos, Flower Pots, Squashes, and Chompers. Use Pumpkins first on the Magnet-shrooms, then on the Tall-nuts, lastly on the Melon-pults. Use Jalapeno to kill the Ladder Zombies, then use Jalapeno to kill the Jack-in-the-Box Zombies. When a huge wave comes, put Flower Pots in the rightmost column, next put Squashes on them. Lastly, Jalapeno the zombies. Repeat the last two steps. You might win depending on if the Jack-in-the-Box Zombies self-destruct.

Strategy 8

At the start of this mini-game, you get Potato Mine. Put it in the column closest to where the zombies come from. Put the Tall-nuts in the third column from the right hand. Put any appearing Melon-pult in the columns two, three to four furthest from right-hand, leave one column empty for Jalapenos (in a dangerous case, usually leave the first column empty. Except the case game gives you four Melon-pults, you should use all four columns for them.


Plants vs Zombies Column Like You See 'Em

Attack power will more effective and with additional Squashes, as many Gargantuars cannot even cross over the Tall-nut. In an extremely dangerous situation, like Gargantuars go to your three to four-column from the left, dig all the melons in the first column, and put Jalapenos to clean the field). Put the Magnet-shrooms behind the Tall-nuts with the Coffee Beans. When the zombies come save Jalapenos, Flower Pots, Squashes, and Chompers (sometimes it will not give you Chompers at all). Use Pumpkins first on the Magnet-shrooms or every front flowerpot to slowdown zombies wave, then on the Tall-nuts, then on the Melon-pults (if available).

Strategy 9

At the start of this mini-game, you place the Potato Mine at the back. Put the Tall-nuts at the front where the zombies come. Then put the Magnet-shrooms behind the Tall-nuts and then place the Pumpkins on the Magnet-shrooms so that when the Ladder Zombies come, they will place the ladders on the Tall-nuts and the Pumpkins. Then put the Melon-pults after the Potato Mine and if you get three, leave two squares for the Chompers behind the Magnet-shrooms and leave one square for the Jalapeno.

Strategy 10

Do this pattern before the huge wave starts.

Me Me Me E S C Ma Po TPu

Me = Melon-pult

E = Emergency Space

S = Space

C = Chomper

Ma = Magnet-shroom

Po = Potato Mine

TPu = Tall-nut and Pumpkin

Plant Chompers at the front once you get them, save Jalapenos for Jack-in-the-Box Zombies, and Ladder Zombies. Once they show up place Jalapenos and you are done with them. Use Squashes for the Gargantuars. Keep Flower Pots with you to snare them once they throw the Imp. The first Chomper you get should replace the Potato Mine. Ladder Zombies and Jack-in-the-Box Zombies will be back. So kill them with Jalapeno or place Pumpkins for Ladder Zombies to make them lose their ladders. Once they appear to kill them with Jalapenos or snare their ladders. The second wave should appear. 70% you have a Squash. Bring it at them and BOOM! You should place Flower Pots to snare them. Once you do so you win.

P.S.: Once you get the sixth Melon-pult, replace it with the Magnet-shroom. Keep the seventh and above Melon-pults for emergencies in case you lose your defenses when Jack-in-the-Box Zombies explode.

Related achievements

Chilli free.png
Chilli Free
Complete Column Like You See 'Em without using Jalapenos.
Beyond the Grave.png
Attention Deficit.jpg
Attention Deficit
Earn a trophy in each Mini-game.



  • It is one of only two mini-games that plays "Ultimate Battle" as its soundtrack, the other being the Nintendo DS version of Air Raid.
  • It is the only level without hacking/modding in the entire game where the first zombie is always a Flag Zombie.
  • The difficulty of the mini-game varies depending mainly on the number of Melon-pults and Jalapenos provided. The level is extremely easy with many Melon-pults and Jalapenos (the player can get eight Melon-pults if lucky, even trivializing Gargantuars), while the occasional two Melon-pult and zero Jalapeno board borders on impossible, especially if the majority of the plants are Chompers since they can only kill one zombie every 42 seconds (and they cannot even damage Gargantuars significantly).
  • Like other levels that have it, Gargantuars will never appear on the top lane.
  • It will start without the zombies saying "The zombies are coming", as it starts with a huge wave approaching.
  • The first six plants are always Potato Mine, Tall-nut, Melon-pult, Magnet-shroom, Coffee Bean, and Melon-pult, in that order. Two random plants will also spawn on the conveyor-belt in rapid succession before the frequency of plants slows down, to a point it is probably the slowest frequency of plants giving in any conveyor-belt levels, these plants vary from Squash, Jalapeno, Pumpkin, Chomper to Flower Pot.
  • The iPhone, Android, Xbox, and PS3 icons all have the Peashooter with the leaves of a Repeater.
  • Notably, the iPad, iPhone, Android, and Xbox icon of Column Like You See 'Em have a row of Peashooters and Wall-nuts, despite these plants not being given.
    • This icon used to be the Last Stand's old iPhone version's icon.
  • Column Like You See 'Em is the only level that has no zombies coming before the first wave.
  • When the player digs up a plant, they will not dig up the whole column, since the shovel only digs up one plant at a time.
  • There is a Column Like You See 'Em Endless on the Journey to the West version, which takes place on Night Roof.