Shane Rogers | Nov 12 2012 04:00 PM
Halloween has come and gone, yet there are always a few timeless Halloween baddies that just never seem to go out of style. In this day and age, I would be so bold as to say that chief amongst those critters of the night (and day, of course) would be the irreverent zombie. Fortunately, we have at our disposal plenty of entertainment choices to opt for should we want to survive a zombie-pocalypse and the latest to cross my desk (phone?) hails from developer Sarah Northway
and is called Rebuild
The premise is pretty simple: you are tasked with taking control within a section of a town or city that is in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. You and your ragtag team of survivalists will need to scout out new city blocks, scavenge for whatever is left and occupy new territory to expand your walls. Since Rebuild is a strategy game there isn't a whole lot of action that you control, but you do at least get to make all of the decisions - and that’s what it’s all about.
Within Rebuild, each member of your community has a few stats: Scavenging, Leadership, Offense, Building and Science. Scavenging is basically what it sounds like - how successful will that person be when they go to scout out a new block? How likely are they to be able to bring back food? Leadership is useful to assist with recruiting new people to your community, in particular those people that you’ll find who are holed up in zombie infested buildings. I would assume that the Offense stat would need no description, needless to say you’ll want to send people with a high offense number to clear out and dispatch those zombie infested buildings. The Building stat comes in handy because the higher this stat is then the quicker you can recover and take control of new city blocks as well as converting useless blocks into something more useful - like a bar or watchtower. The Science or research stat comes into play when you have access to a laboratory and want to research new game items, like the previously mentioned watchtower, or come up with fertilizer or pesticide for your farms.
Your survivors will, over time, level up the skills that you set them to use - quite possibly the easiest skill to level up will be the Offense stat, which makes plenty of sense since it will be used rather often. Skills can also be leveled up when you gain access to a school house, at which time you’ll be able to have people study up and get better at each statistic. In addition to the previously mentioned Laboratory and School, you’ll find plenty of buildings to occupy in Rebuild: Farms, Graveyards, Malls, Retail stores, Motels, Trailer parks....you get the idea. It’s best to send a decent scavenger in first to scout things out, then see what (or who) can be brought back and added into the fold. Some buildings will be more dangerous than others, so you’ll find it best to send more than one person in for support. Just make sure that you do leave enough people hanging out to guard the rest of the fortified areas from other marauding gangs and of course those pesky zombie hordes.
There are multiple end game scenarios to be found; in my first play-through I was able to find two of them (you have the option to continue playing at the end of the game, or quitting and starting over). The only requirements that need to be met thus far are that you have control of 30 city blocks, one of which needs to be City Hall.
The game play is easy enough to figure out and I would recommend that the first time you run through the game you leave the tutorial tips turned on. The interface is tap and click, as expected, and simply tapping on a building will bring up an information panel about that block as well as give you what - if any - commands that you can perform at that location. Tapping on a command - Scout, for example - will then bring up a list of people that you could send to perform that task, with the best person automatically selected. It is on this screen that you can gauge the difficulty of each mission, the number of zombies that are around and basically see how likely the success rate will be. You can either select another person to send out, or send in multiple people, which will usually end up lowering the difficulty rating to acceptable levels.
Graphically speaking, Rebuild looks pretty good. The main game screen is of the classic isometric view that many games of this genre sport and the buildings are all drawn well. Things can get a bit repetitive as each building type will be seen over and over in the landscape, but honestly it’s nothing that is going to detract from the enjoyment of the game. The game music is pretty good too, and is appropriately moody enough to set the tone and keep things nice and dark. It’s refreshing, to me, to not have the desire to turn the volume down on my phone or immediately want to hit the settings to turn the sound off, so kudos to the developer on this one.
As far as replay value goes, the bar is pretty high on this one. Each city is randomly generated and there are seven different endings to find, along with five difficulty levels. I’ve had Rebuild on my phone for quite some time now and I don’t imagine that it will be removed any time in the foreseeable future. For only 99 cents I would have to say that Rebuild is a bargain. There are no in app purchases and of course no advertisements. I highly recommend that if you love zombies or strategy games that you should go pick up Rebuild.
Rebuild is available for $0.99 on the Google Play Store