The moment I started playing Zombie Defense: Smash & Crash (out now, $0.99), it struck me as being very similar to Chillingo’s Knights Onrush. It’s been a few years since I played the latter, but I recall it fondly and can’t escape comparing the two games.

Sadly, Knight’s Onrush hasn’t been updated since 2009 and it is not a universal app. Despite this, I found its newer cousin, Zombie Defense, to be lacking in comparison.

screen480x480The biggest difference between the two games lies in the artwork. Zombie Defense is appealing, if you aren’t already overwhelmed by the deluge of zombie games. You’ve got a pink-haired princess and a cute pet dragon to defend a witchy castle. The zombies are pretty varied and tough enough that it will often take a few hits (or throws) to off them. Watch out especially for zombies with special abilities.

To me, the sound effects are rather dull, especially in comparison to Knight’s Onrush, and there aren’t as many upgrades, although there’s still a decent number. You can upgrade your pet dragon twice, from the original Red Dragon that breathes fire to a Blue Dragon that freezes enemies in blocks of ice, and lastly, a nightmare Green Dragon.

As for defensive weapons, there are some you are given within each game, such as boulders and walls. Boulders crush zombies near the castle, while walls are dropped a bit farther away to block the zombie hordes. There are nine weapons you can upgrade in the store, beginning with the basic revolver and grenade. Following that, you can fire an uzi, a bazooka, shotgun, Tommy gun, grenade launcher, M60 machine gun, and something called Death Kiss. Whenever you kill zombies, you’ll be rewarded with gold coins, which you can use to finance your upgrades.

Overall, Zombie Defense is a decent castle defense game. While it’s not as fun as the then-very-original Knight’s Onrush, at least Zombie Defense is new and a universal app. Currently, there are 36 levels.

iFanzine Verdict: Zombie Defense: Smash & Crash isn’t as well designed as the original game that inspired it, but if you’re looking for a new castle defense game and are fond of zombies, you can give this a try. You can first check out the free lite version.