- For a similar version in Plants vs. Zombies 2, see Brain Busters. If you are looking for canceled mini-games, see canceled mini-games or Limbo Page.
Mini-games is a game mode found in most versions of Plants vs. Zombies. They are accessed through the main menu below Adventure Mode or through the More Ways To Play menu on the iOS, Android, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and Xbox 360 versions of the game. Mini-games are a collection of levels that have the player choose plants, use a conveyor belt to provide plants or force the player to use a set of plants to complete a certain goal. There are 20 mini-games in most versions with various unique twists, such as smaller zombies and zombies with plants for heads. Many of them are closely related to PopCap's other games (e.g. Beghouled and Beghouled Twist being based on Bejeweled and Bejeweled Twist respectively, and Zombiquarium being based on Insaniquarium). Sometimes, a mini-game will be replaced with another one on certain versions. On the iOS and Game of the Year versions, beating all the mini-games present will earn the player the achievement: Beyond the Grave. However, in mobile versions the player must buy them.
Mini-games can be found for the first time in a present dropped by a zombie in Level 3-2 of Adventure Mode. The mini-games initially available are ZomBotany, Wall-nut Bowling, and Slot Machine. The player can unlock many more mini-games after the completion of Adventure Mode. Each mini-game yields one trophy which is worth a diamond after the first completion, and a bag with five gold coins in subsequent plays.
On the iOS and Android versions (including the FREE version), the mini-games mode is first unlocked in Level 2-2. The first available mini-game is Zombotany, while the rest of them must be purchased from Crazy Dave's Twiddydinkies.
In the iPad version, Vasebreaker is listed under mini-games in addition to under Puzzle Mode.
Some mini-games are more difficult versions of the levels played in Adventure Mode, which are Wall-nut Bowling (Level 1-5), Whack a Zombie (Level 2-5), Big Trouble Little Zombie (Level 3-5), and Dr. Zomboss's Revenge (Level 5-10).
List of mini-games
There is a total of 28 mini-games altogether, with some of them being exclusive to specific versions.
- ZomBotany: In this mini-game, the heads of all zombies are replaced with plants. Whatever plant happens to be there, the zombie will act both like the plant and a normal zombie. For example, a zombie with a Peashooter on its head will walk towards the player's plants, shooting peas on that lane as it goes and eating the plants once it reaches them. This mini-game also has a sequel, Zombotany 2.
- Wall-nut Bowling: Plays like level 1-5 in Adventure Mode. The player must bowl Wall-nuts and Explode-o-nuts at the approaching zombies in order to kill them. Ricochets from a single Wall-nut can earn the player money. This mini-game has a sequel, named Wall-nut Bowling 2.
- Slot Machine: The player must spend 25 sun to pull the lever in order to get plants, more sun, or diamonds, while at the same time they must defend their house from zombies. In order to complete this mini-game, the player must acquire 2000 sun.
- It's Raining Seeds: This mini-game takes place in Fog. Seed packets fall from the sky in this mini-game, and they will disappear if the player does not plant their plants shortly after they fall. This mini-game is not present in the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 PlayStation Vita, and Xbox Live Arcade versions and is replaced by Heavy Weapon.
- Beghouled: It is similar to PopCap's first game Bejeweled, where in place of the jewels will be plants which will attack the approaching zombies. Zombies can eat plants, making it harder for the player to make matches. Sun is obtained from successful matches and can be used to fill in empty craters for 200 sun, purchase upgrades, or shuffle the lawn. The level ends after 75 matches are made. This mini-game has a sequel known as Beghouled Twist. It also reappears in Modern Day of Plants vs. Zombies 2.
- Invisi-ghoul: A night-time pool conveyor-belt level with no fog. The twist is that all approaching zombies will be invisible. Plants will still fire at them, though, and the player can see the impacts and parts falling off the zombies. The player can use Ice-shrooms or Kernel-pults to see their places on the lawn, and Zombonis will leave an ice trail and make a sound before entering, which alerts the player. Aquatic zombies will also make a splash upon entering the pool. On the console versions, the bush still moves when zombies enter. They also still make growling sounds.
- Seeing Stars: A front yard daytime level in which the player must plant Starfruit on several outlined spots in the shape of a star, while also defending themselves. The player cannot plant anything except Starfruit, Pumpkin, and their imitated versions on the outlined spots, and they will win when each outlined spot has a Starfruit on it. On mobile versions, if the player fails to to create the giant star within four huge waves, they will lose the mini-game.
- Zombiquarium: Similar to Insaniquarium, in that the player needs to feed brains to Snorkel Zombies to accumulate 1000 sun to purchase a trophy. If they are not fed, they starve to death. Every few seconds they will produce sun. Brains cost 5 sun and Snorkel Zombies cost 100.
- Beghouled Twist: This plays similarly to Bejeweled Twist. This mini-game is in the same style as Beghouled, except matches are made through rotating plants in a clockwise direction.
- Big Trouble Little Zombie: All zombies are smaller, move faster, eat faster and come in much greater numbers, but they are easier to kill. This mini-game is not present in the DS and DSiWare versions. Instead, it is replaced by the mini-game Heat Wave.
- Portal Combat: A nighttime mini-game, and the twist is that there are four portals (two of them are rectangular, while the other two are circular) around the lawn: when a zombie or projectile from a plant enters one of these, it exits through the other portal, in the same direction that it entered. Portals will randomly relocate places throughout the level.
- Column Like You See 'Em: A roof mini-game and its twist is that each plant the player plants Flower Pots will be duplicated on each lane in that column, and that the zombies will come in much greater numbers.
- Bobsled Bonanza: A Pool level which starts with ice on all four ground lanes and several Zombie Bobsled Teams and Zombonis will appear throughout the level unless the player melts the ice. If the player does melt the ice trails, they will face several Zombonis first.
- Zombie Nimble Zombie Quick: A normal daytime pool level, except the rate at which the plants fire and the speed zombies move is doubled. This mini-game does not appear in the Nintendo DS and DSiWare versions.
- Whack a Zombie: Zombies will appear from graves, and the player must whack them with a mallet. They will sometimes drop sun when whacked, in which the player can use to plant Grave Busters, Potato Mines, and Ice-shrooms. Ice-shrooms are replaced with Cherry Bombs in the iPhone and iPod Touch versions. This level is similar to Level 2-5 in Adventure Mode.
- Last Stand: A Pool level. The player starts with 5000 sun and must survive for five flags. The player cannot plant free plants (Puff-shrooms and Sea-shrooms) or sun-producing plants ( Sunflowers, Sun-shrooms, and Twin Sunflowers) nor the Imitater versions of them. The player must plan a strategy before starting. Every wave passed grants the player 250 more sun.
- ZomBotany 2: It plays like ZomBotany, though this one takes place in the Pool. This level introduces Jalapeno Zombies, Squash Zombies,Gatling Pea Zombies, and Tall-nut Zombies.
- Wall-nut Bowling 2: The sequel to Wall-nut Bowling, but with Screen Door Zombies, Dancing Zombies, Backup Dancers, and Giant Wall-nuts, the last of which squash all the zombies in a row.
- Pogo Party: The player will mainly face many Pogo Zombies in this Roof level, as well as regular Zombies during huge waves.
- Dr. Zomboss's Revenge: Plays like level 5-10 in Adventure Mode, except this time Dr. Zomboss will have twice as much health and will send his minions more often.
- Buttered Popcorn: The player taps up to eleven zombies' heads at once to place butter on their heads, then destroy them using the provided four Cob Cannons. It is exclusive to the iPad and Android versions.
- Heavy Weapon: The player controls a Lawn Mower on the bottom of the screen with one joystick, while using the other to aim and fire peas from a cannon on the Lawn Mower while upgrading said cannon. It is exclusive to the Xbox Live Arcade, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita versions and also replaces It's Raining Seeds. This is similar to Heavy Weapon, another PopCap game.
- Heat Wave: A mini-game exclusive to the Nintendo DS and DSiWare versions of the game. It takes place in the Pool, in which only ten plants are given that can be moved anywhere when needed. Sometimes, the Peashooters tire from the heat, and the player must then yell into the DS's built in microphone to encourage them, thus turning them orange and greatly increasing their firing speed for a short time. This mini-game is the replacement for Big Trouble Little Zombie.
- BOMB All Together!: A mini-game exclusive to the Nintendo DS version of the game, in which the player is given 25 exploding plants along with some Wall-nuts to stall and kill all the zombies.
- Homerun Derby: A mini-game exclusive to the Nintendo DS version of the game. The player must hit 30 rome runs by using the stylus as a baseball bat to hit basketballs thrown by a Catapult Baseball Zombie, while using plants to prevent the other zombies from entering the player's house. It is one of the mini-games that does not focus only on defending the house.
- Air Raid: A mini-game exclusive to the DS version of the game, where the player controls a Gatling Pea on a flying Flower Pot with the stylus in order to defeat Dr. Zomboss in his flying Zombot. It has the same name as a canceled mini-game.
- Zombie Trap: A mini-game exclusive to the Nintendo DSiWare version, where the player attracts zombies using brains to trap and then kill them.
- Vasebreaker: A mini-game exclusive to the iOS and Android versions, which plays the same as level 4-5. It is a night-time level, and the player must break all the vases by touching them, which will give any plants seeds or take out the zombies. This mode has three rounds.
- Art Challenge Wall-nut: Plays like Seeing Stars, but the player needs to instead plant Wall-nuts to make the shape of a giant Wall-nut.
- Sunny Day: Big sun falls from the sky, giving 50 sun units.
- Unsodded: Plays like Level 1-2 and Level 1-3 during the first playthrough, but zombies come out of all five lanes.
- Big Time: Sunflowers, Wall-nuts, and Marigolds are bigger, rendering their functions more effective.
- Art Challenge Sunflower: Plays like Seeing Stars and Art Challenge Wall-nut, but Starfruit, Wall-nuts, and Umbrella Leaves are needed to create the shape of a giant Sunflower.
- Air Raid: A Fog level where many Balloon Zombies appear.
- Ice Level: An unfinished level with no zombies, no sun falling from the sky and six pre-selected plants.
- Zen Garden: Opens the Zen Garden.
- High Gravity: A Roof mini-game where the gravity is high, making projectiles go fall down. However, fumes and corn cobs remain unaffected by the gravity.
- Grave Danger: Graves appear every once in a while like Whack-a-Zombie and zombies come out of them every wave.
- Can You Dig It?: A conveyor-belt level where the player needs to dig up Wall-nuts and plant Peashooters in their place.
- Dark Stormy Night: Plays similarly to level 4-10 in Adventure Mode, but the plants and zombies are notably different.
- Bungee Blitz: Plays the same as level 5-5 in Adventure Mode.
- Intro: Plays the introductory sequence and leads the player to Adventure Mode.
- Tree of Wisdom: Leads the player to the Tree of Wisdom.
- Survival: Day (Endless): Day version of Survival: Endless.
- Survival: Night (Endless): Night version of Survival: Endless.
- Survival: Fog (Endless): Fog version of Survival: Endless.
- Survival: Roof (Endless): Roof version of Survival: Endless.
- Upsell: An advertisement on the free trial to buy the full version.
- Squirrel: The player must dig up Wall-nuts to find seven squirrels (although they are not visible). Instead of one the squirrels is a zombie, and the player must find every squirrel before that zombie eats their brains. This is the only canceled mini-game that cannot be unlocked using the Limbo Page.
Mini-games that play the Loonboon theme
Some mini-games have a theme song which is called Loonboon. They are:
- Wall-nut Bowling
- Big Trouble Little Zombie
- Zombie Nimble Zombie Quick
- Whack a Zombie
- Wall-nut Bowling 2
- Heat Wave
- Zombie Trap
- Bungee Blitz
- In update 2.4.0 of Plants vs. Zombies FREE, special daily mini-games available on the main menu called bonus games were added. There is a selection of 4 different mini-games. The first try of one for the day is free, but after that an ad needs to be watched first. The next day, bonus games will be at 4 again. When the game is opened, sometimes a message saying "Bonus game. Here's a bonus game to get your day started. Wanna play?" with "Yes" or "No" choices will appear.