Bowling Bulb is the third plant obtained in Big Wave Beach in Plants vs. Zombies 2. They shoot half as quickly as a Peashooter (at the same speed of a Cabbage-pult). They can roll up to three types of bulbs (one at a time) of varying damage and recharge rate. Their bulbs bounce between zombies, crossing lanes, similar to Wall-nuts in Wall-nut Bowling. Initially, the order of the bulbs is aquamarine first, then blue, and finally orange. Bowling Bulb's attacks are only triggered by a zombie appearing in the same lane in which they are planted.
The aquamarine bulb is the weakest and has the shortest recharge time, while the orange one is the strongest and has the longest recharge time. However, the Bowling Bulb will only use their blue and orange bulb if enough time is given for them to recharge before a zombie enters the lane that it is in, except for submerged Snorkel Zombies which the plant will ignore and proceed to recharge their bulbs if they are the only zombies in the lane. If there is a consistent line of zombies approaching the Bowling Bulb, they will only use its aquamarine bulb. This can be changed by leveling up Bowling Bulb.
This plant's name is a portmanteau of "bowling ball," referring to their ability and the holes that it has and "bulb," the real-life type of plant that this plant is based on.
SUN COST: 200
SPECIAL: Bulb Recharge
Bowling Bulbs rolls shots that can bounce into multiple zombies.
Damage Details: larger bulbs do more damage
Guess which team has won the League Championship for five years running now? Team Bowling Bulb, that's who. They are on a ROLL. You and your pals think you got what it takes to stop 'em? Yeah sure. Keep dreamin, bub.
Aquamarine bulbs deal 2 normal damage shots, blue bulbs deal 6 normal damage shots, and orange bulbs deal 9 normal damage shots.
At level 1-2, the priority order of bulb recharge is Aquamarine > Blue > Orange. At level 3-6, the priority order changes to Blue > Orange > Aquamarine. At level 7 and above, the priority order is Orange > Blue > Aquamarine. The first bulb in the order takes 2.5 seconds to recharge, the second bulb in the order takes 5 seconds to recharge, and the last 10 seconds to recharge.
Plant Food effect
When given Plant Food, Bowling Bulb will get supercharged and armed with three explosive plasma bulbs. It will then proceed to rapidly fire them, unless there is no valid target in its lane. Each plasma bulb explodes on impact and deals 30 damage to all zombies in a one tile area, and can also bounce like normal bulbs. After firing all three plasma bulbs, Bowling Bulb will regain all of its normal bulbs back. Jesters cannot deflect these plasma bulbs, unlike the normal bulbs.
Any zombies that are in a 3x3 radius around it while is "charging" will be killed. Then, it will shoot out some projectiles: first, a fiery orange bulb which is the biggest and undoes slowing effects, then a white bulb that gives a slowing effect and has a medium size, and an electricity bulb which is the smallest compared to the other bulbs that stuns zombies.
|Sun Cost|| Recharge|
|Damage (Heavy)|| Special|
|1||0||0||200||5 seconds||3 bites||2 nds||6 nds||9 nds||Aqua > Blue > Orange||Multi-Hit|
|2||10||1,000||200||4.5 seconds||3.5 bites||2.25 nds||6.5 nds||10 nds|
|3||75||5,000||200||4.5 seconds||4 bites||2.5 nds||7 nds||11 nds||Blue > Orange > Aqua|
|4||200||10,000||175||4.5 seconds||4.5 bites||2.75 nds||7.5 nds||12 nds|
|5||400||20,000||175||4 seconds||5.5 bites||3 nds||8 nds||13 nds|
|6||750||30,000||150||4 seconds||6 bites||3.25 nds||8.5 nds||14 nds|
|7||1,000||40,000||150||4 seconds||6.5 bites||3.5 nds||9 nds||15 nds||Orange > Blue > Aqua|
|8||1,000||50,000||125||3.5 seconds||7 bites||3.75 nds||10 nds||16 nds|
|9||1,500||60,000||125||3.5 seconds||8 bites||4 nds||11 nds||17 nds|
|10||2,000||75,000||100||3 seconds||9 bites||4 nds||12 nds||18 nds|
*Order of bulb recharge. The first bulb in the order takes 2.5 seconds to recharge, the second bulb in the order takes 5 seconds to recharge, and the last 10 seconds to recharge.
Bowling Bulb is an interesting plant, as its damage capability actually increases with zombie density, but works better when supported with other offensive plants. This means that while it will struggle early on against lone Buckethead Zombie, Bowling Bulb can prove devastating against hordes of enemies at the end of the level. It can also last well into later Endless Zone levels unlike other projectile plants. Its Plant Food follows the same trend: It does not deal much damage to a lone Gargantuar, but will be able to devastate a horde of them with little trouble.
Due to Bowling Bulb's ability to bounce through zombies/obstacles and cross lanes, you can use it against zombies that can shield themselves such as Barrel Roller Zombie and Excavator Zombie as an advantage to help defeat other dangerous zombies such as Pirate Captain Zombie and Turquoise Skull Zombie. In addition, Bowling Bulb can be used early on in Ancient Egypt or Dark Ages to break a field of tombstones quickly, especially if the tombstones are in adjacent rows. Bowling Bulbs are also useful on minecart rails in Wild West, as you can move the Bowling Bulb into a lane clear of zombies so it can regenerate its stronger bulbs instead of firing the weakest one repeatedly. Bowling Bulbs work very well against flying zombies such as Seagull Zombie, Jetpack Zombie, Bug Zombie and Balloon Zombie as their attack can bounce through groups of them. Bowling Bulbs are also effective against Shield Zombie. The zombie cannot fully shield itself as the bulbs can cross lanes and damage it. Bowling Bulb's plant food effect can be used to quickly get rid of ice blocks and arcade machines pushed by Troglobites and Arcade Zombies respectively.
Avoid using Bowling Bulbs against Chicken Wrangler Zombies or Weasel Hoarders when the Bowling Bulb has only the aquamarine bulb (unless you feed it Plant Food). That is because when these zombies release their flocks of Zombie Chickens or Ice Weasels, they will eat up your plants very quickly, since the Bowling Bulb's firing time is quite slow. Another zombie to not use it against is Jester Zombie, which can deflect the bulbs and have them bounce through your plants, dealing serious damage to the player's defense, especially if the Jester Zombie reflects the orange bulb. Do note, however, that it cannot deflect explosive bulbs back at your plants. Although Bowling Bulb cannot damage Snorkel Zombie, it can recharge its other bulbs so it can be ready to deal massive damage to them when they're on the surface.
Bowling Bulb's main weakness is its bulb recharge. Initially, the aquamarine bulb will recharge first. Being the weakest bulb, it will not do much damage against the zombie hoard, especially in worlds such as Jurassic Marsh or Big Wave Beach. Most levels will constantly spawn zombies in every lane, making it difficult for Bowling Bulbs to recharge their bulbs efficiently. Garlic, Sweet Potato, and Escape Root can help Bowling Bulb, as they allow zombies to move away from it, or allow Bowling Bulb to move itself, giving it time to recharge its bulbs. However, this weakness can be ultimately fixed by leveling up Bowling Bulb, as its bulb order will change at certain levels.
It is a good idea to use Bowling Bulb against Tomb Raiser Zombies, Disco-tron 3000, Octo Zombies, Hunter Zombies or Imp Porters (if it has all 3 bulbs) as a group of them can quickly destroy any tombstones, summoned Disco Jetpack Zombies, frozen blocks, tents or thrown octopi with their bouncing shots, preventing major threats (especially Imp Porter's case), as well as, deal some damage to these zombies if the bulbs do manage to hit them. It is best to support this plant with heavy duty plants like Winter Melon or area-of-effect plants like Laser Bean so they can perform a combo to groups of these zombies.
In the Brain Buster Bulb Bowling, you must use the four types of Bowling Bulbs against the incoming zombies (like in Wall-nut Bowling in the original Plants vs. Zombies). Save the charged and orange bulbs for dangerous zombies (Surfer Zombies and Deep Sea Gargantuars) to deal more damage. Use the weaker bulbs for everything else.
Plants vs. Zombies Wiki has a gallery for Bowling Bulb.
- Bulbs deflected by Jester Zombies will bounce between multiple plants.
- The same thing happens with Grapeshot's projectile.
- If the player feeds Plant Food on a Bowling Bulb and there are no zombies in that lane, the Bowling Bulb will wait until a zombie appears in that lane. This is similar to how Citron acts, as it will hold the plasma ball until zombies appear in its lane.
- Its facial features resemble the three holes in a bowling ball.
- When Bowling Bulbs are used in Pirate Seas and Big Wave Beach, they will cross directly over a path of water rather than falling in.
- Bowling Bulbs are physically connected to the soil but still can be planted on Lily Pads. It shares this same attribute with Potato Mines, Spikeweeds, Spikerocks, and Phat Beets.
- Although it is buried in the ground, it can still be planted on planks in Pirate Seas.
- It, Kernel-pult, and Strawburst are the only plants to launch different projectiles and deal different normal damage shots.
- Out of these, Bowling Bulb and Strawburst are the only plants that can shoot three different projectiles.
- Bulbs normally cannot damage submerged Snorkel Zombies.
- Additionally, energized bulbs can only damage submerged Snorkel Zombies via splash damage.
- All bulb types can damage submerged Snorkel Zombies in Bulb Bowling levels.
- It, Fire Peashooter, and Laser Bean are the only plants to have their damage output changed in a subsequent update.
- It, Coconut Cannon, Oak Archer, and Guacodile are the only plants to have a Brain Buster with them as the central plants, not counting Special Delivery levels for new plants.
- When Plant Food is given to Bowling Bulb, the explosive projectiles are about the same size as the small bulb, even though each bulb has a different size.
- The aquamarine Bowling Bulb shares the same idle animation with Magic Mushroom and Sun Bean.
- It is one of the plants with three heads, with the others being Threepeater, Three-Headed Chomper, Lily of the Valley, Snake Grass, Pea Pod (in its three headed form), Horsebean, and Triplet Sunflower.
- When a bulb recharges, its idle animation will reset in a non-smooth animation. This is likely an oversight.