Zombie Squash represents the sort of simple perfection that marks a damn fine portable game: an easy-to-digest concept, accessible controls, and bite-sized levels that are perfect for anything from a bus ride to a bowel movement. Players are cast as Peter Stompingtail, a lethal lepus who must defend his garden from the titular zombie squash with his own violent vegetables, an arsenal ranging from carrots to zucchini launched from a crossbow and replenished by his bunny brethren.
While at initial glance Zombie Squash may seem like a lot of other titles on the App Store, even bearing more than a passing resemblance to PopCap’s Plants vs. Zombies, it has a few interesting wrinkles to separate it from the crowd. The soundtrack, composed by Roy Z, is some properly headbanging metal that definitely adds a pretty substantial level of auditory mayhem to the proceedings, and even the theme song is both goofy and oh-so-catchy. Second, creator Attila Juhasz had the stones to approach Living Dead daddy George A. Romero to lend his voice and likeness to the game’s villain, Dr. B. E. Vil.
When you first start the game, you can’t help but smile at the uncanny caricature of Romero, sporting a pair of elfin ears and vampiric fangs, as he announces his plans for world domination with his army of zombie squash. The accent that Romero inflects is the sort of Eastern European hamminess that you would find in a high school production of Dracula, but it’s incredibly endearing, and the over-the-top goofiness of it is a perfect fit for a game called Zombie Squash.
Thankfully, the game itself holds its own even without the Romero appearance, with levels increasing the ranks of squash that charge towards your end of the garden while offering more destructive ammo to dispatch them. The later stages become positively frantic, but the dead-simple controls keep it manageable, alternating between launching farmer’s-market firepower and harvesting ammo with nothing more than a quick tap. It’s challenging, but never in that “it’s the controls’ fault” sort of way. You have no one to blame for failure but yourself, which is the earmark of a well-designed game.
Zombie Squash is available now for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. You can find more info and download links at http://www.zombiesquash.com.