Plants vs. Zombies for Nintendo DS (abbreviated as PvZ:NDS) is the first time Plants vs. Zombies appeared on a Nintendo console. It was released on January 18, 2011 in the US and May 2011 in the EU. In addition to the usual content, it includes Versus Mode, new mini-games and new achievements. Some of these achievements are equivalents of achievements on other sub-versions.
The DS card will automatically read the system username and display it on the main menu, regardless of which system the card is in.
Overall, if the player does not care about downscaled graphics, minor glitches, slight performance issues, and has a DS, DSi, or any Nintendo 3Ds family system, Plants vs. Zombies Nintendo DS is perfect for them. A version of the game on DSiWare is available with less content and an exclusive minigame.
The differences from other versions include downscaled sprites, slow framerate when prone to lagging, slight changes in music and sound, new mini-games, achievements, Versus Mode, and slower processing speed. This version is slightly harder than PC and iOS versions - like on the iOS versions, you can only upgrade to nine seed slots instead of ten. Some zombies also appear to be stronger, thus some setups that work with other versions will not work (the Last Stand Mini-game, for example). The Jack-in-the-Box Zombie almost always explodes after going four or five squares and Football Zombies run and eat faster.
Several mini-games such as Homerun Derby and Air Raid (DS mini-game) are exclusive to the DS version. (It should be noted that the cancelled mini-game in the PC version known as "Air Raid" is not the same as the DS version.) The mini-game Big Trouble Little Zombie, and its 3-5 counterpart have both been replaced by Heat Wave, which utilizes the systems' microphone feature. Also, unlike other versions, you always have to drag the plants to their spots as the tapping to plant mechanic from the iOS version is not included. Due to the fact that there are two screens, the Almanac is structured differently.
- Adventure Mode
- Puzzle Mode (without Last Stand)
- Survival Mode
- Versus Mode
- Zen Garden
The Nintendo DS version has its own set of achievements. There are fourteen total. Note that many of the Nintendo DS achievements are identical to other achievements of different names. The only difference is the names of these achievements.
- Resolute Homeowner - Complete Adventure Mode.
- Shopping Spree - Spend 25,000 coins in Crazy Dave's store.
- Nebulaphile - Beat an extremely foggy level without disturbing any fog.
- Don't Drink the Water - Beat a Pool level without using any aquatic plants.
- Unsiege Mentality - Complete a Roof level without using any catapult plants.
- Book Learner - Fill out the Almanac.
- Demolitioner - Blow up 10 full sized zombies at once with a single Cherry Bomb.
- Photosensitive - Beat a Night level without picking up any sun.
- Attention Deficit - Earn a trophy in each mini-game.
- Tough Beans - Get a trophy in each Survival Mode.
- Greenhouser - Raise 10 plants to full growth in the Zen Garden.
- Street Team - Play Download-Play; Multiplayer at least once.
- Think Hard - Earn a trophy in each Puzzle Mode.
- Cerebral Canopy - Grow the Tree of Wisdom to 100 ft.
On Roof levels, if a player plants a Wall-nut on an imitated potted plant with the potted plant (non-imitated) in the inventory for the level in addition to the Imitater, the Imitater will have a normal icon but will look like a Wall-nut that is partly eaten with a full-health face. It is colored silver in the middle, a dark-brown on the sides, and has "hypnotic" styled red eyes.
If a player fills up with the screen with Gatling Peas and Gatling Peas on Lily Pads and protects all of them with Pumpkins in the Last Stand, the game will freeze but the sound effects and background music will keep playing. This glitch is also extremely common in Survival: Endless, especially when the player chooses to employ multiple cob cannons.
Crazy Dave's Permanent Plants
On most other versions of the game, quitting and restarting a level will change the three plants Crazy Dave chooses. On the Nintendo DS version (as well as the Nintendo DSiWare version), Crazy Dave's three plants are permanent. No amount of resetting levels will change them.
Minor Graphics Glitches
(Note: These small game glitches also apply to the Nintendo DSiWare version of the game.)
- When a zombie gets killed by the Garden Rake, his left arm will disappear, showing the bone.
- Twin Sunflowers will not glow before giving you sun.
- When a left-facing Repeater on any Vasebreaker level shoots peas, the peas appear to the right of the Repeater's mouth. It is possible they appear at the same spot they appear when fired by a normal, right-facing Repeater.
- If the game is played on 3DS Systems, and a Cattail is placed before a Tall-nut, one of its spikes will rarely glitch out and be slower than usual, and be angled randomly at random times.
- When played on a 2DS system (and possibly 3DS systems as well), sprites commonly fail to load correctly, displaying as fully black or simply invisible. This can affect coins/diamonds, presents, chocolate, trophies, menu buttons, etc.
- When a Newspaper Zombie's newspaper is destroyed by fire peas or fumes, the question mark will not appear over the Newspaper Zombie's head when it becomes angry.
- In some cases, the Newspaper Zombie will become mad instantaneously without pausing, and there's a chance it will walk in place until killed.
Minor Audio Glitches
- During periods of substantial lag, instruments which are meant to trail off will often cut out abruptly instead.
- Also during periods of lag, many sound effects are prone to cutting off partway through.
- On the loading screen, there is:
- One normal zombie, one Imp, one Newspaper Zombie (without the newspaper), one Gargantuar, one Football Zombie, a zombie that rides the Zomboni without its hat, one Buckethead Zombie, two Conehead Zombies (only the cone is seen for the second one) and one Balloon Zombie.
- Also, there are one Sunflower, one hiding Scaredy-shroom, one Wall-nut, one Hypno-shroom, one Cactus, two Peashooters, one Starfruit, one Blover, and one Coffee Bean.
- The zombies also seem to have a green tint.
- In the trailer for Plants vs. Zombies DS, Dr. Zomboss attempts different experiments on zombies, until finding that shrinking them will help them fit inside Nintendo DS systems.
- The zombies in the DS version only have two idle animations: one is bouncing their head to an up-down beat, the other is bouncing to the same up-down beat but with their tongues sticking out.
- The glittering sound when a Snow Pea or Winter Melon hits a zombie is slightly louder than other versions.
- Sometimes after eating a plant, a zombie's walking animation will speed up. This is easiest to see in I, Zombie levels and on the Football Zombie.
- The Imp in the DS version has a clear neck, while in other versions, its neck is invisible.
- On the top screen, the game displays aesthetic images that change with the level.
- Day: Some zombies walk across the top screen. The waves have one Flag Zombie and two normal Zombies walk across. Sometimes, ravens fly across the Top Screen.
- Night: Same as Day, but sometimes, a zombie is seen with a raven on his head.
- Pool: Same as Day. Ravens sometimes fly across the screen holding a tube of cream. Sometimes, zombies also wear eyewear, and a zombie with a rake on its head occasionally walks across the screen with a disgusted face.
- Fog: Same as Day. Ravens fly around picking up objects (zombies' items, voodoo-like zombie dolls, trash cubes, etc.) and drop them in the middle of the top screen. When a huge wave comes, five ravens fly across the Top Screen in a V formation, pushing down all the objects. They also drown a trash can or a recycle bin and drop dead plants or zombies in them.
- Roof: Same as Day. Sometimes, zombies have a raven on their head or their shoulder, in which case the raven pushes the zombies' heads down. Other times, a zombie's headless body is picked up by a raven and disappears.
- During the boss fight with Dr. Zomboss, he is on the top screen. This also happens in Air Raid.
- If the player beats all the mini-games, Puzzles and Survival levels except for one, and then plays Air Raid (or Zombie Trap on the DSiWare version), they receive the Gold Sunflower Trophy and five diamonds but the Sunflower Trophy remains silver (and the message says "Keep on collecting those trophies!) This is a convenient glitch that can be used for Gold Farming.
- When a zombie is destroyed by an explosive plant, it will not disintegrate like in other versions but turns black and vanishes like Zombie Bobsled Team.
- In this version, the Dancing Zombie is taller than a Gargantuar.
- On Fog levels, the head of any zombie in the topmost lane will not be covered by fog. Instead, it will overlap your seeds. This tends to be very helpful during the early stages of a level.
- When an aquatic plant in the Zen Garden is fully grown and given either Bug Spray or the Phonograph, it will not require any additional care. It will become permanently happy.
- When Zombies on Your Lawn is played after beating the game, the top screen will display the Plants vs. Zombies logo, while the touchscreen displays the music video.
- Due to the small size of the Nintendo DS touch screen, the music video is of lower quality than that of all other versions.
- The music video will display the sprites seen on the original, PC version rather than the ones used within the rest of the game.
- When viewing plants in the Almanac, the Imitater icon is in the top-left corner of the touch screen, between the edge of the screen and "Suburban Almanac - Plants".
- The icon, however, is mostly faded, requiring a close look for the first-time player.
- Every time a scroll bar is shown on-screen, the scroll icon is a skull, and always appears vertically at the right edge of the touchscreen.
- The Nintendo DS and DSiWare version have a slower gameplay than the other versions.
- At the end of the trailer for Plants vs. Zombies DS, there is a Zombie Bjorn, (from Peggle) but it is not in the game.