Android App Review: Zombie Smasher

This week, in Apps That Would Also Be Great Names for Hardcore Bands, we present: Zombie Smasher.

This one’s pretty basic. It’s a free game where you defend yourself from hordes of brain-eating zombies.

Luckily the zombies are pretty small, and on your phone, so defending yourself can be achieved by just smooshing them with your finger.

We all know what happens with zombies – first there’s a few, then there’s heaps, and then there’s huge waves swarming at you with terrifying intensity.

This game follows that model, presenting you with a top-down view that gradually becomes increasingly infested. Partly a game of speed, partly a game of precision, Zombie Smasher is very basic, and that’s just fine.

There are different types of zombies that do different things – some of them run, some of them can duck underground, etc. If you’ve played any sort of zombie-based video game, especially the defend-against-waves type, it’ll all be pretty familiar to you.

Killing zombies earns you ‘brain’ points, which is the in-game currency for buying extra things like bombs and lightning to help defend yourself. You can also purchase more ‘brain’ with real money, if you’re that sort of sucker.

The game gets really challenging when the waves of zombies have the odd fleeing child interspersed with them – accidentally squash one of these uninfected victims and you fail the level instantly. This favours careful attention and precision, rather than indiscriminate screen-mashing.

Progressing through the ‘story mode’ will unlock the ‘survival mode’, but these are pretty arbitrary descriptions – the only difference I could see was that the story mode was divided into levels and the survival mode wasn’t. There’s a time mode which I haven’t unlocked yet which but which seems fairly self-explanatory.

The art style is neat – it kind of reminds me of Jhonen Vasquez (Invader Zim, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac). The zombies are cute in a bug-eyed way, but not so cute that you feel bad about smearing them on the concrete.

One complaint: when you achieve some sort of milestone (kill your first 50 green zombies or whatever) the game tells you this in a brightly coloured box that pops up on the screen. It’s nice to be told these things but it’s terribly distracting when the zombies you’re trying to smash are suddenly obscured from view.

Basically this game is just good, silly fun. There’s nothing particularly new or innovative here but it’s nice to play a free app game that actually manages to be fun and not feel like a cynical ad vehicle. And, you know, “Zombie Smasher”. It couldn’t really go wrong.

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