As you’ve read before, I’m dying for good strategy games for my my Nexus 7. So along came Rebuild, a turn-based strategy title based on a previously Flash-only game. Up front, Rebuild is a pretty easy recommendation and with a constant requirement to balance your actions as you expand your town into the zombie-infested wilderness, you’ll easily find yourself buried in it, too.
Starting out in Rebuild, your task is simple: expand your diminutive safe haven to fifty blocks and find the town’s former City Hall so you can work to draft a constitution for the new world. Of course, starting off can be a little daunting as your manpower and supplies are low. To capture a new tile – whether malls, churches, or farmland – you’ll be required to fulfill some pre-requisite actions, like killing zombies. You’ll also be able to recruit new survivors and secure food from these new locations you’ve scouted as well. As your camp of survivors expands, you’ll need to keep close tabs on supplies so your best fighters or builders don’t starve to death. Random events will happen throughout your campaign that can help or harm you and you’ll be charged with making ethical decisions that sway the morale of your camp. You’ll always be making decisions you didn’t plan on, turning Rebuild into a very thought-provoking experience at times.
Despite the cartoon-y designs of the town you capture, the game is downright grim at times. From the reports you receive back from the field to the grisly details of zombie death and the soundtrack’s distorted guitar plucks, you’ll feel like you’re down in the trenches with the people you send out. Zombie attacks can come at random and if you’ve sent too many people out, you may lose valuable ground. Your characters grow in skill as they complete missions, allowing you to divvy up your roster easier on subsequent missions. While you can capture specialist buildings like labs and schools, you can also upgrade your structures internally to better serve the populace or specialize your survivors’ training.
Unfortunately for Rebuild, it’s over almost as quickly as it begins. While each game can last an hour or two, you’ll find that you can see everything in the game fairly quickly, even with a variety of victory conditions. You’re also always dealt a sea of urban structures, so there are no bodies of water or points of elevated terrain to take advantage of. That said, higher difficulties can force you to retreat from newly-acquired territories without any notice while requiring you to research new technology (something I’d skipped entirely in my first play-through) and manage your talent better.
For a game not reliant on microtransactions, $2.99 is a fair price. If you have a tablet, the experience is even better. It may lack some beef in its offering, but the replayability is pretty solid. If you’re tired of tower-defense games, Rebuild is a fantastic strategy game that the Play Store has been dying for.