Most zombie games are viewed from a sole survivor perspective often running around shooting FPS, or top down twin stick style. If you zoom out to a bird´s eye point of view you get a Sim City survival city building experience. Rebuild is all about trying to survive, nurture a society back to health and at the same time eradicating the undead presence. It might sound complicated, but the game design is so well balanced between strategy, luck and random encounters that you don’t have to have a degree in city planning to play the game. This is Rebuild, and you are the mayor trying to restore order in the madness.
As mentioned Rebuild shares the perspective with other great games such as Sim City, and it gives it a unique spot in the massive zombie game genre. Turn based with the number of survivors as the actions that can be performed is a perfect way to solve the pacing of the game. You start with a small plot of land, and for each turn you have to decide how to expand the territory. Unexplored tiles can be scouted, attacked or scavenged. To get more survivors you have to scout a tile to find them, and then order some of your people to go on a recruitment mission. To make a tile part of your expanding territory you have to first kill all zombies, and then reclaim it.
All actions take different amount of turns to accomplish depending on the number, and skill of the survivors allotted to them. Furthermore the quality of recruitment, scavenge or attack mission is shown before ordering the mission.
There are lot of different quests, and endings to the game. You can research cures, weapons and upgrades when you have a laboratory for example. Getting a City Hall, and drafting a constitution is another path to take. Depending on the size of the city, and difficulty you will be forced to choose a path. The game gets better the harder difficulty you go for, as the outcome of missions become less positive. It all feels more “realistic” that your survivors get slain regularly.
Rebuild is the kind of game that hooks me completely until I finish a city. It can take 30 minutes to an hour depending on how well I plan ahead. If you spread your forces too thin initially you might get some problems. Slow, and deliberate approaches work better on harder settings. Once I have finished a city I put the game away, and then I get the urge a couple of hours later to play again. With a random city engine the game always feels fresh.
The presentation is gritty, and reminds me of the classic Romero zombie flicks. At times the lack of polish seems poor, but most of the time it keeps me in a zombie survival mode. The soundtrack is also really atmospheric setting an apocalyptic vibe. The interface click sounds on the other hand can be quite detracting from the experience.
Rebuild is a fresh entry in the zombie genre letting you play from a top down city planning perspective. Random cities with a lot of variation give each play trough some new challenges. A part of me would still like to see a campaign mode, and I keep my fingers crossed for a Rebuild 2 in the future. Recommended.
Rebuild $2.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Seller: Sarah Northway