Developer: GameDoctors
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

The problem with castle defense games that are made for iPhone-sized devices is that they just don’t quite feel the same on the iPad. Flicking enemies around on a 2x-zoomed app on the iPad’s glorious screen just feels confined. Thankfully, ZombieSmash HD is here to provide therapy for your castle defense claustrophobia by giving you A LOT more room to flick zombies wherever you wish.

ZombieSmash HD is set up just like the original ZombieSmash, where you play as what is apparently the world’s greatest telekinetic shut-in, with the ability to fling the undead around with just his mind. Zombies have committed to spending 30 days trying to get at your house and consume your superbrain, and you have to fend them off by either killing them by splattering their undead brains against the ground, or using the special items you get, from rocks to landmines to sniper rifles. You can’t just flick the zombies off to their oblivion, you need to actually kill them by making them hit the ground at great force until a star appears that you can collect to buy upgrades. The game also presents situations where you have to use weapons to kill enemies, either restricted by the game or with enemies that can’t physically be flicked around.

Game Doctors deserve a lot of credit with this port to the iPad that they made the game work and feel natural. In fact, you might just think that the game is simply zoomed out until you go back to the original, and realize that the game compensates for the extra screen space by throwing a ton of extra zombies at you. As well, the game compensates its damage model for the iPad’s increased screen height to where you need to flick zombies up to the top of the screen, not just the same height that you would in the iPhone version. It feels natural to the platform, and it allows the zombie killing goodness to translate well.

The problem is that while ZombieSmash has made a great transition from the iPhone, it’s still the same ZombieSmash, flaws and all. It’s still hard to discern whether zombies are actually dead or not unless you see whether there’s a star that comes out for you to collect when they’re dead. And with more zombies than ever, it’s easy to miss one seemingly dead zombie body among the hordes of million dead bodies. As well, beyond the tweaks made to make the game playable on the iPad, there doesn’t appear to be any kind of content difference between this and the iPhone version, beyond support for Game Center.

ZombieSmash HD is a good example of what developers should do to port a game from iPhone to iPad properly. While there’s not much new here to entice veterans of the iPhone version beyond running natively on the iPad, this is still a solid castle defense entry, especially for iPad owners, who have fewer castle defense choices than their iPhone brethren.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Games, Reviews

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