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Everybody's dead, Dave

Product: Rebuild | Developer: Sarah Northway | Publisher: Sarah Northway | Format: Android | Genre: Strategy | Players: 1 | File size: 31.4MB | Version: Europe
Rebuild Android, thumbnail 1
At one time or another, we've all made contingency plans for the zombie apocalypse. We've worked out where the nearest gun stash is, calculated how much food we'll need, and decided where the safest place to hide will be.

Rebuild is a game about the period after your cunning survival plans have paid off. It's a city-rebuilding sim with the added danger of hordes of flesh craving undead monstrosities.

It's your job to recolonise a randomly generated city, keeping your followers alive and happy, and protecting them from the hazards of life after most of the population have taken up cannibalism.

Hello, is there anybody there?

Your isometric city is only a few buildings at the start of the game, and only a few scrappy humans live within its fortified walls. The aim is to extend your city to 30 buildings, including the City Hall, and write a new constitution.

As well as protecting the citizens of your fledgling state from the reanimated corpses of their former friends, you need to keep them well-fed and reasonably happy. Starvation and desertion are just as much of a threat as being eaten in this bleak future.

Each new day, you can allocate tasks to the survivors. You'll be sending parties out to scavenge for food, scout out new areas, and recruit others to your cause. And, of course, you're going to have to kill an awful lot of zombies as well.

They're coming to get you, Barbara

Killing the undead isn't just a pastime, though. Once you've cleared an area of the stumbling corpses you can set to work reclaiming it, extending your ramshackle walls and using the buildings to your own end.

Suburbs and apartments provide extra housing for your growing band, and farms produce extra food to keep them nourished. Research labs let you search for scientific solutions to everyday problems, and bars and churches provide solace and booze.

Reclaiming an area before you've scavenged it means you'll miss out on any equipment it held. This might be a weapon, but it's just as likely to be a hammer or a wrench that speeds up your building time, or a megaphone that helps you to recruit new humans.

Town planning

Keeping your fort defended is important as well. Some tasks take up more than a day, and if your walls are poorly defended when a horde arrives you're going to suffer some casualties. Diseases and injuries slow your progress, too, knocking out characters for days at a time.

Rebuild is a game of risk and reward. It's all about balancing the happiness and hunger of your population with the need to expand. It's a cerebral exercise, rather than a visceral one, and while the zombies are a constant threat, a lack of supplies is often of more pressing concern.

There are a few too many lulls in the game to make it a classic. Once you've incorporated enough farm land into your settlement, for example, things get a little too easy. Nevertheless, it's a fun, addictive city manager, with just enough undead frisson to make things interesting.

Reviewed on iPhone.

Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 7 March 2012
While its resource-management gameplay won't be for everyone, there's a pleasant rhythm to Rebuild that makes it difficult to put down
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