The premise is simple, keep the zombies that are advancing towards your shrine at bay. The more you kill, the more coins you earn, the more help you can hire, upgrades you can buy, and strengthen your character. This edition does come with an alternate Zombie version, where you play as one of the zombies, though I didn’t find it anywhere near as fun. I’m not certain how many levels this game has exactly, so far I’ve counted about seventy. The main thing here is that you need to complete wave 50-1 in order to go back and replay stages. This isn’t so much a problem at first, but if you don’t level up your character, weapons, or assistants properly, you will really struggle around the wave forty, even wave thirty mark. I found myself having the most trouble at wave 43-1, not being able to get the help I needed out quick enough because of the lack of funds to upgrade required skills, and the zombie strength increasing to where my favorite special moves were essentially ineffective.
Every once in a while you go up against a larger boss, and special items you earn such as increased strength, luck, or spiritual friends, which are larger versions of the assistant characters you unlock such as a farmer or master swordsmith, really come in handy to take it down. These are also linked to achievements, so a quick run can net you some petty points. But, if you’re an achievement junky like me, there is a good deal of replay value in the form of two long achievements. One for clearing the ninety-ninth version of a certain wave, (I’m currently at wave 1-32 for it), and then another to complete the ninety-ninth part of the first fifty waves. Again, levelling properly becomes a focal point since the higher you get in a wave, the tougher the foes, making survival on the harder latter stages even more impossible. I have a very strong warrior the way it is, and I haven’t even ventured much beyond wave fifty due to how badly I get destroyed.
Samurai Vs. Zombie Defense ends up a surprisingly fun little game that actually becomes really addictive. I found myself playing this when I had a lot more time on my hands I could have dedicated to completing the many Xbox Live Arcade titles I own, or even put towards that copy of DMC I’ve been dying to play since the demo hit the Xbox Marketplace some time ago. all in the pursuit of two simple achievements. But, even then, it’s just a fun waste of time that looks nice and handles easily even with a keyboard. If you happen to have the Windows 8 operating system, be sure to head into the glitchy as all hell Windows store and pick this one up.