Flick, shoot and explode zombies in Zynga’s ZombieSmash, now on Android

ZombieSmash is a castle defense-style title developed by the Zynga owned German studio Game Doctors.The game has been available for iOS devices in separate phone and tablet versions for some time now, but has just this week been ported to Android and is now available in Google Play. The game is currently on sale for a launch price of $0.99, but is set to rise to $1.99 soon.

ZombieSmash casts players in the role of Joey, who is a lone survivor seeking to defend his house from incoming hordes of zombies. This is achieved by “flicking” them off the screen, with more power being added to the player’s flicks for using more fingers at once. As the game’s campaign mode progresses, players unlock the ability to use various special items to help hold off the undead hordes. These range from rocks to drop on their heads through landmines to more advanced ballistic and explosive weapons.

Occasionally, players are challenged with a “shoot-only” level where they are not allowed to flick zombies, only shoot them. The shooting mechanic requires players to “pull back” in the opposite direction to where they would like to shoot, sort of like a slingshot. It’s a very imprecise method of aiming and makes the shooting levels very frustrating to play, particularly since most zombies require several shots to down with the early weapons. Fortunately, after several failed attempts, the game will offer to unlock the “flicking” capability and take over control of the weapons for the player. This is a welcome addition, though it would have been preferable to simply have a shooting mechanic that was implemented better to prevent the frustration in the first place.

As players defeat zombies, they can pick up stars which are used as the game’s currency. These stars can then be spent on purchasing and upgrading new equipment — though most items of equipment must be unlocked by progressing through the campaign first. Progression also unlocks several other game modes, including Sandbox, where players may simply summon zombies and make use of unlocked weapons at will, Bonus Nights, which offer additional challenges, and Endless Siege, which is a simple survival mode. The game features two differently-themed campaigns to challenge, and also offers a series of in-app purchases providing additional firearms, gravity-based weapons and the ability to immediately unlock all content from the two campaigns. The multiplayer mode that was added to the iOS version in August 2011 does not appear to be present at this time, however.

ZombieSmash is a well-presented game with attractive graphics, a fun ragdoll physics system and an excellent soundtrack by veteran video game composer Chris Hülsbeck (Turrican, Giana Sisters, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron). Its gameplay is simplistic and rather repetitive, making it an ideal timewaster, but those seeking a deeper experience will likely tire of it quickly. The awful shooting controls also mar the experience considerably, particularly in levels where shooting is the main focus.

That said, the game’s iOS version has enjoyed highly positive reviews from App Store reviewers and professional press alike to date, so it’s possible it will enjoy some success through word of mouth. There is certainly a good amount of content on offer and the developers seem committed to continually improving the title with new campaigns and gameplay upgrades, so as long as players come into the game not expecting deep, complex gameplay they will likely find something to enjoy for a while, even if the novelty wears off quickly.

ZombieSmash is available now via Google Play and the App Store, with the latter distributed in separate iPhone and iPad editions. Google currently reports the Android version has been installed a questionable 1-5 times at the time of writing, while a detailed breakdown of the iPhone and iPad versions’ performance may be seen using our traffic tracking service AppData.