Version Reviewed: 1.02
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Castle defense games, along with tower defense, are my favorite game genres on the iPhone. To me, these two genres epitomize what people really want out of an app… something that they can pick up and play in short bursts without needing to become heavily involved with a story or some kind of complex control system. Typically these games are based around buying weapons for your castle and moving them around (a la Lords of the Realm), but on the iPhone, these games have become a different creature all together.
Instead of just placing a weapon down and letting it fire on its own, it's up to you to physically flick the oncoming attackers way up in the air so they will drop to their untimely death (or second death in this case). In the case of Zombie Smash, the attackers are zombies and it is up to you to defend the cabin that is inevitably in the middle of nowhere. Over a monthlong period where zombies attack every night (giving you a months worth of levels), you must save yourself from an all sorts of oncoming zombies, ranging from slow moving behemoth zombies to quick moving lunatic zombies that seem to be recently resurrected from the loony bin.
To help you on your quest, you get to use all sorts of items that are dropped from the dead zombies. These items range from giant anvils that you can drop on a large group to hand grenades that you can use to explode a group of zombies, to sniper rifles that can be used to take out individual attackers. Each zombie that you kill drops a certain amount of money that you must collect before they vanish, giving you just a bit more to worry about. At the end of each night, you get to upgrade your weapons or armor, adding the necessary RPG element that you expect from a castle defense game.
What really makes the game appealing is the quality of the presentation. Gamedoctors did a great job making Zombie Smash look like a top notch game, adding a bit of character in to each individual zombie type. The colors are extremely vibrant, but still on the spooky side, and the zombies are all cartoony and quite fun. With the addition of giant boulders, anvils, and rocks to use as weapons, as well as zany zombie types, there is a definite comedic flair that really makes the game work. Progressing from level to level gives you not only a sense of completion, but also a bit of wonder with where the developer is going to go next.
The downfall of Zombie Smash, which is unfortunately the downfall of most games in the flick to kill genre, is that repetition starts to wear on you. Even with the fun graphics and entertaining weapons at your disposal, the core of the game really just involves flicking zombies up in the air. The more zombies that come, the more you flick things into the air. It gets old fairly quickly.
It's hard to not appreciate the overall quality that Zombie Smash provides, but at the same time, it is hard for me to come out and say that this is a must have game. If the flick castle defense genre doesn't interest you, I wouldn't really bother with this one. While it does offer more than any other game in the genre, it doesn't do anything that is so special that you will change your opinion. On the other hand, if flick castle defense is your thing, this one should be on your iPhone in the next 10 minutes. Being only a dollar, I would recommend picking this one up for sure, and if you don't enjoy it, just know that you are supporting a good developer on their future endeavors (hopefully a good tower defense app).