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Samurai vs Zombies | Android App Review

By on 20 March 2012

With an increasing number of Zombies vs {Insert Here} games and an even bigger number of tower defense games being released at all times, does Samurai vs Zombies manage to stand out amongst the pack?

Let’s face it; brains are a hot commodity these days. With the success of Plants vs Zombies, developers have recognized the opportunity to cash in on the trend; we’ve seen a steady stream of these games featuring zombies in tower defense games.

Samurai vs Zombies is the latest such game in the genre, as far as we know, and it comes to us by way of Glu Mobile. Being a Glu Mobile game, there are two features that we know will be a part of the game. First, it’ll be free to acquire and start playing; second, you will be tempted to buy credits later in the game when the difficulty ramps up.

As previously stated, Samurai vs Zombies is a tower defense game. More than that though, it is also an action beat em’ up. You command the hero, whom you can control directly from end to end in a 2D battlefield (more like a road), to fight the zombies head on and as you control the hero, he will gain resources called Leadership. Leadership allows you to call forth units to help you in the fight against the zombies and demons that are trying to attack your village.

The game is lost if the zombies manage to kill the hero or break the gate which leads to your village. Your goal is to defeat all the waves of zombies and demons that dare attempt to attack your village, destroy all the waves and you move on.

The graphics for Samurai vs Zombies are fantastic, the hero has big head mode from NBA Jam activated and this fits in well with the slightly humorous tone underlying the game. Even though the screen can often be filled with enemies, your own army and your playable hero, I never experienced any slowdown. What’s also great is that because each enemy is so clear, it’s easy to tell what type of zombie you are facing and plan your strategy accordingly.

For all the action that occurs though, there are many issues that bring dishonor to this Samurai themed game. For one, there are points in the game where the difference in difficulty between one level to the next shoots through the roof. Whereas you were able to manage the Zombies creeping towards your direction, now you are fighting for your life as the very same Zombies have somehow managed to become much stronger. This is obviously included to have you start looking at available upgrades, the cost to get them done and considering spending your hard earned money if you want to even the odds. If you are patient enough however, you can slowly earn the credits you need to upgrade your hero and your units enough to break through the insane difficulty jumps. Luckily, even when you lose, you still earn credits to spend on those upgrades, so you can essentially farm credits by repeatedly trying the stage. You are pretty much required to purchase Glu Mobile Coins, you can earn them in-game but it’s an excruciatingly slow task.

Samurai vs Zombies can get quite repetitive, through the first 20 stages, the stage still has yet to change. Sure the tree leaves, and decoration changed colors from time to time. but everything is exactly the same. Also, once you defeat a boss, a weaker version of it will be included in the waves going forward from that point. It would be nice if the stage design, paths taken or anything at all changed at times. The only changes to the game are the evolution of your units, your hero, weapons and of the enemies. One positive thing I’ll say is that the zombies do look bigger and badder as they get stronger, and visually that can cause you feel like you are dealing with an escalating problem.

If slicing and dicing zombies is your thing, Samurai vs Zombies will keep you satisfied for a very long time, that is if you don’t mind the repetition. The game doesn’t have the flair and character of Plants vs Zombies but it brings in different ideas, and great graphics to keep you fully immersed.


  • Graphics, this game looks great!
  • Constant action
  • No slow down even with a large number of characters on screen
  • Special effects are exaggerated and look great
  • Difficult bosses take time to figure out
  • Fire sword is on fire!

Didn’t Like

  • Running, laughing bomb thing.. I hate you!
  • Only one stage that has changing decorations over time
  • Enemies get repetitive, due to lack of variety
  • Difficulty from one stage to the other can sometimes change dramatically

Kiss it or Diss it?
Kick ass Samurai? Check! Zombies? Check! Sword with fire on it? Check! This game rocks, Kiss!