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The zombies are trying to eat your brain! Grow a plant infantry to stop them!
(Warning: not very mobile-friendly!)

Cart #fsgupicozombiegarden121-0 | 2021-04-02 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

A demake of the first world of the original Plants vs. Zombies.
10 levels, 8 different plants, 5 different zombies, 3 complete songs!
I couldn't fit the two mini-games on it, sadly.

My buddy @Gimbernau and I gave ourselves 30 days to do this entire thing, and what a ride it was. Because of the token limit, I decided not to put instructions inside the game, so there's a "How to play" section down below.

I hope you enjoy! If you have some thoughts about the game or if you find any bugs, please leave a comment in the comment section :)

PS.: There is another version of PvZ here in the forum! It's an endless reinplementation made by @gfcarstensen that is super fun! Check it out here: https://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?pid=51588#p

How to Play and Plant Stats

Zombies are coming!
Don't let them get to the end of your lawn.
Stop them by planting some seeds! And if they do get there, there's a lawnmower to stop them on their first attempt.

Gather sun by left-clicking on them.
Use your sun to buy plants!

Left-click on the plant you want to buy and then left-click once again (don't drag and drop!) on a tile to drop your plant. Right-click if you want to de-select your plant.
Each plant has a different power to help you crush the zombies. And everyday you get through, you get a new plant!

If you have your shovel unlocked, you can use it to dig plants off your lawn and free up some space! Left-click on your shovel and left-click again on the tile you want to dig. Right click to de-select the shovel.

The Plants:


Your first plant. Shoots peas at zombies that are on its lane.
Fast recharge


Produces additional sun every 24 seconds.
Fast recharge

Cherry Bomb

Explodes a second after it is planted. Kills any zombies in a 3x3 area centered on it.
Very slow recharge


What a team player! Serves as a living shield, absorbing an enormous amount of damage.
Slow recharge

Potato Mine

Takes 15 seconds to set up. Once ready, explodes and kills a zombie on contact.
Slow recharge


Shoots freezing peas that also do damage. If a zombie is frozen, its velocity and damage are halved.
Fast recharge


Eats an incoming zombie right away, but spends 42 seconds chewing. Rotten flesh isn't a joke...
Fast recharge


Shoots regular peas, but twice as fast!
Fast recharge


  • Original game by Popcap Games
  • "Crazy Dave", "Grasswalk" and "Zombies on Your Lawn" are a part of the PvZ soundtrack, made by Laura Shigihara
  • "Lower" prices inspired by @gfcarstensen 's "Endless Plants vs. Zombies"
  • Collision check function by OSM Studios
  • Sprite outline function (modified in-game for sprites of any size) by @Liquidream
  • Print outline function by @24appnet
  • Menu screen inspired by @krajzeg 's "Low Knight"
  • Sorting functions (modified in-game for sorting zombies by lane) by Rik Cross
  • UI inspired by @Krystman 's "Mai-Chan's Sweet Buns"
  • Logo font design by Mortmort

    Code and interfaces by @FlyingSmog
    Art and design by @Gimbernau

    Thanks to all these beautiful people for the inspiration and the knowledge. And a big shoutout to Popcap Games for this masterpiece.

    Me and @Gimbernau are in no way related to or endorsed by Popcap Games or EA Games. This is just a fan homage :)

P#89823 2021-04-01 18:14 ( Edited 2021-04-02 00:02)


I was having a blast! and then it crashed when a bucket head died at the same time the repeater got eaten?

besides that the only problems I came across were sometimes zombies would be inside each other so you couldn't tell, and potatomines only kill 1 guy (maybe that's a balenceing thing though.)

love the way the zombies look and them music, great job!

P#89838 2021-04-02 00:28

@SmellyFishstiks ! Glad to see you here :)

The zombies sometimes do spawn "inside" each other. The original also does that too though, so I'm gonna say it's a feature hahahaha. And the potato mine does kill only 1 guy, yeah, that's its mechanic.

Now about the main issue (and I'm so sorry you got this bug!), I think I just fixed it. I uploaded the new version at 00:02 in the forum clock, and your comment was at 00:28. I know it's a little too much to ask, but do you remeber if you started playing before 00:02? The new version has "1.2.1" on its title, do you remember if you saw that before you started playing? Because the original version really did have that bug, yeah.

Again, sorry for the bug, and thank you so much for playing!

P#89839 2021-04-02 00:40

hmmm not sure because I got it again but that might of still been in the old version.. either way there's some things I don't like but overall I enjoyed it alot; very nostalgic!

P#89843 2021-04-02 01:12

An enjoyable demake! Only note I have is that sometimes you get a difficult set of zombies at the beginning of a level (for example, I got two pole vaulting zombies in a row on the first level they appeared).

P#89845 2021-04-02 02:02

@SmellyFishstiks @bluswimmer I'm glad you guys enjoyed it! There is that problem with the difficult beggining zombies, yeah.

P#89848 2021-04-02 03:31

Super clean and well done! Really enjoyed playing it, just like I remembered the original :)

I know it's not great for this type of game, but I'd love to be able to move the cursor with a controller! :)

P#89878 2021-04-02 19:52 ( Edited 2021-04-02 19:53)

Hey @rhinofinger , thanks for playing! Yeah, PvZ isn't a very controller-friendly game as well. But if I had more tokens, I would implement a way you could use your keyboard/controller too, so everyone could play it. Cheers!

P#89881 2021-04-02 20:42

Love it- those
Pole vaulting zombies gave me a run- I like the mouse/touch controls!

I’m going to finish this one right through on my desktop- got about half way through on my phone!

Well done- very faithful to the original- and I love the art and music!

P#89884 2021-04-02 22:52

Hey @gfcarstensen ! What an honor to see you here :) Super glad you're liking the game! The pole zombies were always my biggest enemy hahahaha Cheers!

P#89890 2021-04-03 00:33

It's a good demake, I enjoy playing it !

I think you can save some token, for example:

    local a="\014zombie"
    local b="\014garden"
    local aa="P\nI\nC\nO"

can be

    local a,b,aa="\014zombie","\014garden","P\nI\nC\nO"

you also got a lot of table initialization like this




with a little table parser, you can save token against string compression. You can look here

P#89922 2021-04-03 16:30

Hi @dhostin , sorry for taking so long to respond! Yeah, I'm definitely (and sadly) aware that I can save a lot of tokens in the cart. Since we did it in only 30 days (and as this was my first time with an actual "deadline" for a game), I just programmed as fast as possible and didn't think much about token optimization. I also have this weird tendency of trying to save characters as opposed to tokens, never understood why. I guess the number increases much faster and that scares me hahahahah. I'm gonna take a moment off of programming for now to ease my mind, but in a month or so I might come back and clean up the code so that I can do a quality of life update to the game.

Thanks for the table parser idea! I didn't know about this type of thing (I'm also not a really great programmer).

I'm glad you enjoyed our little game, and thank you for the time you put to playing it and writing your comment! Have a wonderful week :) Cheers!

P#90019 2021-04-05 16:11

Very nice work on this demake, captures the original spirit very well.

P#90291 2021-04-09 17:33

Great demake of the original PvZ. I wish PvZ never changed the feel of the games and stuck with the original concept.

P#90366 2021-04-11 18:30

KUDOS! It feel so great to revisit PvZ. I'm a big fan of PvZ 1, it was the first game I got really into on a Computer! <3 Thx for the cool game. I like the difficulty of the pressure and the fast build up. Thank you<3

Holding against the pressure...
I got it in one shot! Glad I remember from back then and learned strats from watching speed and challenge runs. On first real attempt (first I quit after level 1 to do other things or something along that.)

P#92267 2021-05-21 07:15 ( Edited 2021-05-21 07:17)

lo que no me gusta es que aveces voy a poner una planta le doy click arrastro el mouse y ni siquiera doy click y se pone la planta, le doy click a una planta por axidente y no puedo canselar plantarla, esta demasiao dificil

P#92939 2021-06-02 23:17

Hey guys! Thank you @slainte , @Gabe_8_bit and @SleepyNuigurumi ! I'm super glad you guys liked it!!

Our game got into the featured carts page :) This is actually such an honor. Thank you so much to everyone who played! I've been in the community since 2017 and enjoyed every second of it. Cheers <3

P#92966 2021-06-03 17:10

@MiniGamesAlan hi, I understand spanish but I'm terrible at speaking it, so I'm not gonna try, I hope you understand english. In the instructions, I say that you shouldn't drag the plant! Click on it, then click on the slot you want to put it in. And if you click on a plant by accident as you said, you can right-click to cancel it! It's in the instructions too.

I'm sorry for any misunderstandings. Thanks for playing!

P#92968 2021-06-03 17:12

Amazing effort! Definitely retains the feel of the original. Having not run into any bugs the only suggestions I'll make are aesthetic:

Perhaps some sound effects when collecting the suns, and when the zombies take damage, to give the player more feedback.

P#92972 2021-06-03 17:44

Haha so fun! Great work. I played the whole thing. Takes me back and now I'm thinking I need to revisit the og full game.

P#92980 2021-06-03 18:37

@rawfishandbeer SFX would be great, but the PICO-8 sound doesn't let it happen. The music fills all 4 sound channels, and even without music, there's so much going on that the sound effects would start interrupting each other. But I completely agreee with you! SFX would only enhance the experience. Thanks for playing!

Love to hear that, @summertimealice ! The og does deserve a new playthrough :)

P#92981 2021-06-03 18:54 ( Edited 2021-06-03 19:22)

@FlyingSmog ahh yes I should have know all 4 channels would be in use. Nevertheless I really enjoyed my playthrough. Thank you for sharing your hard work!

P#92985 2021-06-03 19:42

@FlyingSmog: You can play sfx even if all four channels are in use by the music. I understand your concern with how many things are happening at once---but you could come up with a system to only allow a few high priority sound effects to be heard at once, or, perhaps make extremely short sound effects for pellet/zombie impacts etc. Where there's a will, there's a way. :D Very nice demake!

P#93597 2021-06-16 12:26

I think i found a problem where i accidentally click on the shovel with no plants on and i get stuck and are not able to do anything

P#93610 2021-06-16 16:10

@gradualgames there might be, for sure, I just couldn't do it hahaha. All the ways I tried to, the music clipped too much, or the SFX would be inconsistent. I was always really bad at the programming part of sound and music in PICO-8.

@Dvan just press right-click :)

Thank you both for playing!

P#93611 2021-06-16 16:39

Nice demake. The tunes are instantly recognisable, And I love the zombie artwork.

P#93688 2021-06-18 07:12

@SquidLight I'm glad you enjoyed it! You stumbled into the two things I might be the proudest of in the demake.
I was very fortunate to find out that PvZ has an insane musical fanbase and almost every piece of music in it is properly scored and transcribed on the internet, so writing it in PICO-8 was just a matter of inputting the sheets and finding the right sounds.
And @Gimbernau did an AMAZING job on the zombie artwork. He says it was the most difficult part of the project for him, but that extra effort was incredibly worth it.


P#93694 2021-06-18 10:07 ( Edited 2021-06-18 10:57)

This kinda reminds me of the ds port haha I love it

P#94577 2021-07-08 07:39

Very playable on the Pixel 4 XL using touch.
They did a great job of fitting all of this in, and it feels complete end to end with the pacing of new plants and enemies. 10/10

P#94585 2021-07-08 10:09

@Oshabot16 I'm glad you liked it! I've never played PvZ in the DS, but the screenshots make it look like it's a great time hahaha

@null0_222 oh, that's great to hear! Love me some PICO-8 physical consoles. Thank you so much for your kind words :) I was also astonished by how much we were able to fit in a single cartridge hehehehe

Thanks for playing, y'all <3

P#94589 2021-07-08 12:14 ( Edited 2021-07-08 12:14)

Can you do a download? pls :)

P#96799 2021-09-02 18:36

@DenisBodeaXD oh, sorry, I don't really like making a downloadable copy of the PICO-8 games... but the code is CC-licensed and you also can make your own download of it by accessing it through the PICO-8 console! Cheers :)

P#96825 2021-09-03 11:54


P#96832 2021-09-03 14:37


P#101638 2021-12-06 18:13

this is a pretty good "de-make", but I wish this game had sound effects... unless the music tracks took up all the patterns

P#109519 2022-04-01 14:51

Hey, @Nbrother1607 !
Yeah, I also wish it had! Thing is, even though the music doesn't take up all the patterns, it takes all the sound channels...
Since PICO-8 has only 4 sound channels and the track uses all 4, any sound effect chops the music.
I actually started programming in sound effects, but saw it wouldn't work later in development. I also thought of making a all sound effects, no music version, but again, since PICO-8 only has 4 sound channels and there is so much going on in the levels, the effects would clip themselves up either way.

Anyhoo, thanks for playing! :)

P#109527 2022-04-01 18:29

lowkey, this music is kinda fire.

P#111515 2022-05-08 16:05

i made a playthrough of this game

P#117144 2022-09-10 14:53

I really tried to like this game, but its just not fun. the slow pacing, the cooldowns, the tanky enemies, the unpredictability. Maybe its becouse i haven't played the original, but i just cant get far.
Also there is no restart or speed up button.

P#121107 2022-11-21 16:16

Can someone make a mod of this? The mod should be a pvz2 demake.

P#124823 2023-01-25 12:54

hey @FlyingSmog I really enjoyed your PvZ game. I'm starting to learn about making games in Pico-8, and I was wondering if I could borrow some of the sprites from it to use in a different type of game? Cheers!

P#125906 2023-02-15 18:59

@likelyculprit hi there, thanks for playing! I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

Yes, of course, feel free to use them! If you could credit me and @Gimbernau for the sprites, that would be much appreciated.


P#125907 2023-02-15 19:20

@FlyingSmog thanks so much. Of course I would include a credit for the two of you, if I end up making something remotely worth publishing lol

P#125914 2023-02-15 23:12


P#134489 2023-09-17 13:27

Day 10 final wave zombie massacre.

P#138186 2023-12-03 18:27

Beat this with no zombies triggering lawn mowers the entire run and finished with a full field of plants.

P#141744 2024-02-21 18:35

Does this require a mouse? I was hoping to play on an RGB30, but it looks like I’m out of luck with only physical controls.

P#142011 2024-02-26 20:54

Hey, @FlyingSmog !
I looked inside the game and I saw that the music uses all but ONE sound pattern.

P#146621 2024-04-14 15:29

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