City builders on iOS are fairly common, as are tower defense games, but combinations of the two are still fairly rare. In comes Zombie West, a game that outwardly appears and even plays much like a simple city-builder set in the old west, but contains tower defense elements to always keep you on your toes.
The majority of gameplay sees you completing quests by constructing homes and businesses, planting and harvesting crops and tending to animals in your wild west town. The more buildings you construct, the more opportunities for safe haven survivors will have from the zombies that are roaming free outside of your city's limits (unfortunately, the cause of the apocalypse is unknown). However, your perimeter isn't completely solid, as zombies will randomly appear to attack your city, forcing you to put your cowboys to work in taking them down before they can destroy your town's buildings or worse.
The tower defense action happens automatically, with zombies following set paths on the ground, giving you a good indication of where you should place your larger structures that can house cowboy defenders. You'll earn coins as profit when defeating zombies, giving you a chance to build more structures and hire more cowboys, and so the cycle goes as you rack up more kills on the in-game meter and make your town ever-larger and grander away from the bleak world outside.
Gallery: Zombie West on iPad
All things considered, Zombie West deserves a lot of credit for trying something new, but the interface is a bit unintuitive at first, leaving you to figure out the tower defense gameplay on your own through practice. It's also disappointing that we can't actively fire on zombies during these battles, as it would have given us something else to do other than simply watch as zombies are mowed down by our brave cowboys.
Unfortunately, while Zombie West combines city-building and tower defense, both elements are fairly basic, so the novelty of the combination does wear off rather fast. Still, if you just like the theme (either the wild west theme or zombies in general), there's probably enough entertainment value here to warrant the free download.
Click here to download Zombie West on iTunes ---->
Have you tried Zombie West or another game that mixes these two genres? Sound off in the comments!