App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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As though this fantastic zombie sim needed more content, but more content it is. Lots more stuff is being thrown into the mix with this update including seasons (crops won't grow in the winter, etc), more random events, and my personal favorite: cannibalism. Yes, now it's possible to offset the lack of crops during the winter months by eating other survivors. I personally think it's a little creepy that this feature interests me so much but it should add a fair amount of moral-driven strategy to a given scenario.
My initial foray into the world of Rebuild began with some trepidation. I was never familiar with the original Flash game or the sequel. To me it was a rather simple-looking zombie apocalypse/city building sim with a lot of unexpectedly high user ratings. Then I played it. Now the avalanche of positive reviews makes sense.
Like any good zombie apocalypse game, Rebuild puts players in the unfortunate shoes of the survivors. They'll have to scavenge for supplies, recruit new people, assign jobs, defend against the walking dead and living looters, scout out new areas, and an absolute ton of other stuff. The overall goal is to reclaim fifty buildings to create a safe haven large enough to begin life anew, which is no easy task, even on the lower difficulty setting.
Rebuild is a shockingly robust city-management game that just happens to be set in a world overrun with zombies. Each and every survivor has his or her own specialty and will only get better as he or she performs more tasks. They can also be trained more directly if players take control of a school. As expected, certain skills are better for certain situations, and having a diverse pool of talent to pull from is essential. Anyone can do any job, really, but things go much faster with the right person assigned. Similarly, new equipment (firearms, toolboxes, etc...) can be found and given to specific characters in order to increase their effectiveness. I can't stress enough just how much time this game has taken from me, and I'm itching to go back for more even as I'm writing this. It may very well be a zombie-loving wannabe city manager's dream come true.
If it weren't for the fact that the visual end of things was so off-putting, I'd imagine Rebuild would be getting even more attention than it is now. I wouldn't say the graphics are terrible, but they're incredibly rough around the edges. Survivors look rather odd and the in-game text for mission descriptions and other miscellaneous happenings is super-duper tiny on my 3GS screen. About the only thing that offsets the tiny interface and bland imagery is the artwork that pops up during the random zombie attacks. What can I say? I'm a sucker for intentionally rough illustration styles.
If anyone reading this likes games with a focus on micromanagement, and either loves or doesn't mind the inclusion of zombies, I'd urge them to buy Rebuild right away. Anyone who's curious should check out the Flash-based precursor at the very least. Just be aware, it'll most likely make an entire day disappear in the blink of an eye.