Last summer we played a lot of Knights Onrush, a game where you flick and smash attackers who are trying to break down your castle door. That was probably the best example of a ‘castle defense’ game on the iPhone, and it set the bar very high. Since then we’ve played lots of similar titles, and ZombieSmash adds just enough new, like absurd weapons and goofy physics, to make it worth trying as well.
ZombieSmash has no story to speak of, and a very cursory setup. You are holed up in your secluded cabin for 31 days, trying to survive the zombie hordes. Instead of just using an arsenal of conventional weapons to delay the brain buffet, you have access to comical props like wrecking balls, boulders, and giant I-beams that fall from the sky.
Good thing we keep that crane parked nearby.
You can also flick zombies to kill them, although there is a type of giant zombie that is impervious to those attacks. For those brutes, you can use a powerup that lightens the gravity, or just smash, shoot, or explode them with your other special weapons. Since special weapons appear randomly, you’re sometimes at the mercy of the game to get you out of tight spots.
The 31-stage campaign mode is enjoyable, and you’ll continually unlock new powerups and earn credits towards upgrades. At times, the amount of action onscreen is downright inspiring, with frozen zombies smashed by heavy objects, sent into graceful slow-motion with shattered limbs flying.
It’s raining dead! Hallelujah!
ZombieSmash is a tidy little package, but it doesn’t quite contain the ambition we were hoping for. There’s only one location, around half a dozen zombie types, and 31 short levels that you can probably beat the first time in two hours (although you can replay them on a harder difficulty mode). The sandbox mode is a great addition, where you can load up on powerups and send zombie waves your way, and these are also tied to Crystal achievements to reward your creativity.
Hopefully, more content for ZombieSmash is coming soon. For example, we thought a puzzle mode might make sense, to play off of the physics engine and special weapon combinations. We have the feeling that there could be a lot more to ZombieSmash than what you’ll find in this initial package, but time will tell if this game remains a snack-sized gaming bite or a full-on brain buffet.