KickStarter Spotlight: Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville

KickStarter Spotlight: Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville

Oct 9, 2013

While the “impending” zombie apocalypse does nothing for me personally, there is definitely a large faction of people who find it very compelling. This is obvious by the large number of games, movies, TV Shows, and books about the undead. Thinking of zombie games the first things that come to mind would probably be first person shooters or maybe Plants vs. Zombies, but this week’s KickStarter Spotlight, Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville, has taken a fresh take on the genera by combining the Sim City and Civilization experience with the Walking Dead.

The Rebuild world is pretty bleak. A zombie apocalypse has wiped out most of earth’s population and a few survivors are barricaded over a few small city blocks. While managing resources, retaining sanity, and staying alive the player must try to expand their stronghold one building at a time all the while dealing with the ever-present zombie threat. Adding to this are the rival gangs throughout the city, and a deep personal connection with each character that really places emotional weight on each decision. In Rebuild conflicts with zombies are not handled directly, rather a member or a group of members go out into the city to scavenge for supplies and each mission carries the real possibility that they will not return.

The creator of Rebuild, Sarah Northway, has come out with two versions of the game over the years; the first a free-to-play flash game, and the second, Rebuild 2, a popular mobile game. Both of these games pale in comparison to the new depth and scale of Gangs of Deadville. This KickStarter is mainly to fund the hiring of artists and writers; both of which were not involved in previous efforts. I am excited to see the “whole novels full” of story lines that unfold during the course of the game. Unlike the previous two Rebuild games, Gangs of Deadsville is going to be a full release for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS. As of writing, this project is still a little under $5,000 short of its goal with 22 days remaining. There really seems to be a ton of work going into this game and I am really looking forward to constructing my last beacon of humanity. So, check out the project, and for those who want a taste of Rebuild action right now, Rebuild 2 is available on the Play Store for $0.99.

Rebuild Review

Rebuild Review

Feb 20, 2013

Rebuild is an interesting apocalyptic game from Sarah Northway that brings survival, end-times and zombies together in a fun, atypical way.

It had the major zombie staples: zombies are running amuck, and I had to make it to a sealed off bastion of humanity, and guard against the undead that would just love to welcome us, uh, personally to their fold.

Graphically, the developer did well to ensure that the zany artwork became a part of the gameplay, instead of distracting from it. There was a weird sort of bleakness to the abandoned All Mart that lent itself to the storyline. The hand-drawn art was from from unpleasant, and the game animations worked well. The musical score from Talking Book fit in well.

I loved how the game started; it had a a creative opening scene, that allowed me to mix and match elements of the game and my character. Using adjustable spots, I could pick gender, special tool and difficulty of the game. I could name the refuge, and what type of city I wanted it to be. This level of customization was very nice, and did well to pull me in from the beginning.

The tutorial also helped things come together, and was a nice addition. The game menu measured inputs like food against consumption, and gave an overview of our survival needs. I also had a list of equipment, survivors, dangers and a measure of our community happiness (funnily enough, this could be helped by preaching or tending bar).

At its basic level, Rebuild was a survival life simulation. There were tasks to be completed, and they were mostly logical and somewhat interdependent. I had to help expand the city, fortify newly acquired structures, produce enough food and keep the residents happy. Oh yeah, and repel zommbies and other entities interesting in destroying our community.

The game had enough variations and leveled play to make it hard to put down. Decisions made today affected the gameplay down the road. For example, admitting and encouraging sketchy people could have dire results down the line. Do you convert the school to a hospital? Or a bar? Should I tie up a body to produce more food, or have him/her work on a science project? Questions, questions…

One thing that I wished would have been included was infinite growth. There was an option to leave the city; it would have been nice for an interactive map that allowed continued interaction (and maybe movement back and forth) between home city and new satellites.

All in all, Rebuild is a really nice game that has challenging gameplay that allows for plenty of different forks in terms of outcome. I liked it WAY more than I expected to.