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ZombieSmash Review
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The premise of a Castle Defence game is so simple and we have seen so many over the years, with there seemingly being a huge market to exploit on iPhone and handheld platforms. The aim of a game such as this is to defend an object from an oncoming horde of enemies, with each level getting increasingly harder until you eventually get over swamped with baddies and fail your task. The stand out game in the genre has to be the terrific Plants vs Zombies; until now that is. Developers Game Doctors introduce ZombieSmash and have a huge impact on Castle Defence genre.

Just like the majority of other Castle Defence games, ZombieSmash has you defending a house against a horde of vicious zombies. I can’t quite put my finger on what makes this so much better than other games in the genre. Possibly it’s the comedy element involved in the game… You’re bound to have a few laughs as you slaughter the zombie horde due to the humorous ragdoll engine Game Doctors have implemented in ZombieSmash, known as the “SplatterEngine”. As you can probably guess by the name, the SplatterEngine allows you to end a zombie’s life in a bloody way with limbs and heads flying everywhere and the lifeless bodies bouncing everywhere. Dragging a zombie high into the air with your finger and slamming their body to the floor results in hilarious consequences as limbs tear off the body. To take further advantage of the fantastic SplatterEngine technology, the last zombie kill you execute in each level will occur in slow motion, allowing you to further watch the destruction occur and more importantly, take a picture at any point and either email it to friends or upload it to your Facebook account for all to see! You can have some great fun with this feature and it brings a community factor to the game; something that isn’t present in many other Castle Defence games.

Defending has never been so much fun due to you having over 20 “special abilities” at your disposal. Some really innovative and fun ideas have been implemented in ZombieSmash such as a laying mines of the floor, using a pistol/shotgun out of your houses window, dropping boulders from the sky, dropping liquid nitrogen on the poor foes, or my personal favourite, activating a wrecking ball to swing and screen and wipe out any present enemies. This all happens with the SplatterEngine in full flow, and there is nothing like seeing a group of Zombies limbs fly everywhere after they foolishly step on one of your well-placed mine fields. To help aid your defence in latter levels, you are able to upgrade your special abilities via stars you collect. Stars are released into the sky everytime you eliminate a zombie and you simply click on the star to add it to your collection; it isn’t so simple however when you have tons of zombies to worry about at the same time. Along with upgrading your weapons for menacing effects, you can fortify your house so that if the sneaky zombies do manage to infiltrate, you’ll have longer to resurrect the situation and bring peace back to your yard!

There is a good variety of zombies to kill and each zombie type requires you to use different tactics. For example, witch zombies run at your house with great speed and need to be stopped as soon as possible, whereas a complete contrast would be the larger zombie which lazily makes his way to the house but is far tougher than the other enemies. The larger zombie can’t be flicked with your finger and therefore you have to use your special abilities such as the mines and wrecking balls to eliminate them, and this also means you’ll have to think intelligently about when you use these abilities. The amount of times I had used up all of my abilities and there was still a large zombie left… Frustrating, but my own fault because I used the special abilities on weaker enemies. Having to think ahead adds strategy to ZombieSmash and makes it much more than just a mindless pick-up and play game.

Three game modes are included in ZombieSmash. Firstly, we have the Campaign mode which has you defending your house for the 31 days of March. The games difficulty rises as the month progresses and you also unlock new abilities as you move through the month. Don’t expect an easy ride though, as the latter days will have you tearing your hair out! After you beat night 17 of the campaign, you unlock the “Endless Siege” game mode which as the name suggests, you are bombarded with an endless supply of Zombies until your house eventually runs out of health. Last but not least, a great addition to the game and the mode you’ll possibly have most of your fun in; Sandbox. Sandbox lets you choose which zombies you have on the screen at any one time and eliminate them in anyway you wish. Your house is invincible and therefore you can concentrate and practice making the limbs fly and experiment. The special abilities and limitless in Sandbox mode, meaning you can lay as many mine fields as your heart desires or have 5 wrecking balls appear at the same time, bringing along some serious carnage.

The artistic style of ZombieSmash is brilliant and unique to other games. The cute yet gory look suits the game extremely well and is a pleasure to the eyes. The menus are set out with simplistic ease which makes getting into the game very quick, and the main menu displays how many zombies you have slayed in your time with the game. The audio in ZombieSmash is a joy to behold. The musical soundtrack composed by famous Chris Hulsbeck fits the game perfectly, and the sound effects such as zombie bones crushing as you slam them to floor adds a comedy factor and finishing touches to the game.

To conclude, ZombieSmash is a fantastic Castle Defence game and easily one of the best overall games I have experienced on the iPhone. The presentation of the game is fantastic, along with the SplatterEngine creating truly hilarious ragdoll physics. 3 game modes will have you playing this addictive game for hours, and at a price of £1.19, I can’t recommend ZombieSmash enough.

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ZombieSmash Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
4 Comments
  • MisterWinter
    March 25, 2024
    #1
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    This is a really fun game, but I think that—especially in later levels—it becomes less about strategy and more about how fast you can flick your thumbs. For a player like me with arthritis, this takes a lot of the fun out of the game as I literally cannot keep up with the hordes.

    I’d like to see a little more strategy implemented into later levels. For instance, if players were allowed to kill zombies by throwing other zombies into them? Currently, the game allows you to throw a bomb-wielding zombie into a group (with the impact setting the bomb off killing all zombies in the immediate area). So why not extend this a bit so that the impact of a body flying into another body causes damage?

    Also, are the special weapons spawned completely at random or is there some technique to insure that you get a weapon. I am aware that certain weapons are associated with certain zombie types (for instance, the chimneys can only be spawned by bomb-carrying zombies), but what I’m saying is that if you are out of weapons, players should know that they can spawn more by performing certain actions (e.g. throwing a zombie extra high in the air, tossing a zombie from one side of the screen to the other, etc…).

    But this minor suggestions aside, I agree that its a great game. I give it an A minus. If they could make a couple of improvements, I’d easily knock it up to an A plus.

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  • Alan Baxter
    March 26, 2024
    #2
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    I agree on the throwing zombies into each other as another method of defeating them, and this tactic worked great in Stick Wars. I see where you’re coming from on the point of having so many hordes resulting in you not being able to flick them fast enough, but that’s the whole point of a Castle Defence game at the end of the day. Maybe you could use the special abilities more wisely? And I believe they are spawned to coincide with what zombies you face - i.e the large zombies you can’t flick will result in a boulder/wrecking ball spawning.

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  • MisterWinter
    March 26, 2024
    #3
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    With regard to the comments posted by Alan Baxter, I have to respectfully disagree with you that fast flicking is the “whole point” of castle defense games. There are many, many castle defense and tower defense games where it has nothing to do with speed, but rather, strategy. For instance, in GeoDefense and GeoDefense Swarm (two of the best tower defense games out there) the later levels have nothing to do with the speed by which you can place weapons but rather, how well you’ve executed this task in earlier levels. With regard to your second comment, as noted in my original comment, I am aware that certain weapons coincide with certain zombie types, but what I am saying is that players should be aware that x-action will always result in it spawning a weapon. As it stands now whether or not a zombie spawns ANY kind of weapon is completely random.

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  • Alan Baxter
    March 27, 2024
    #4
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    I agree MisterWinter and thanks for the comment. I’ve yet to play any of the GeoDefense games, I’ll have to check them out.

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