ZombieSmash is getting its second major content expansion this Thursday. Multiplayer is coming to this zombie-flinging castle defense game, and we have early hands-on impressions of the game's new update.
The multiplayer mode, played online through Game Center, pits two players on their own house defense points, trying to keep their house from being overrun. The two players don't interact directly with each other, but both players will have to fight the same waves of zombies on their own screens.
Powerups come up that allow players to send a large zombie that must be killed by special weapons directly to their opponent. Thus, the strategy becomes in using the special items (which aren't necessarily the same for each player) carefully, so if any big zombies show up, they can be taken out. However, the regular zombies get stronger as the game goes on, so the longer a game goes, the more likely it will be that regular zombies will be the loser's downfall, not necessarily the big zombies. The game randomly selects maps from both the original house and Camp Nowhere scenario released earlier this year, as well as having levels where the zombies all come from one side, as well as the notorious two-sided zombie assault levels.
The multiplayer is played via Game Center matchmaking, and doesn't appear to suffer from any undue lag or other issues, so the play experience is smooth. Note that games can only be played between identical versions of the game, so the iPad version can't play someone on the iPhone version of the game. This is a combination of both Game Center restrictions and because the mechanics of the two versions of the game are different to accommodate the differing screen sizes. The game supports optional voice chat between players; a headset is recommended if not required. The update will be available this Thursday, and will be free for both iPhone/iPod touch and iPad versions of the game.