Rebuild The Ruined World, One Zombie-Infected Tile at a TimeS

I've been playing a lot of Civ V on my PC lately. That's probably why it was the first, immediate point of comparison that leapt to mind when I started playing Rebuild. Only really, they're not very much alike.

Sarah Northway's Rebuild posits the zombie disaster with which we are now so intimately familiar: the world is covered in nasty undead, and the survivors need to band together to, well, survive. But in this version of the story, survival is a strategy game.

Survivors are units. Each can equip an item (gun, binoculars, dog) and perform tasks, which take turns. Two turns to clear the zombies from a square. Three to scavenge food, or to recruit more survivors to your safe zone. Sometimes, missions fail.

You deploy as many survivors as you can, trying to apply them to the tasks at which they'll be most efficient. After you scavenge an assault rifle, you can send someone to clear out the nearby mall. Send the person with the dog to rustle up supplies from an abandoned building. But it's not necessarily wise to deploy all of your survivors; zombies will rally for an attack every so often and you'll be glad to have defenders manning your walls.

The whole thing is very cleverly bundled, having the opening "diary" serve as character creation and game setup with a few swift clicks. After that, simple, cheerful graphics for city tiles combine with dark, angry artwork for zombie attacks, and it works surprisingly well.

Here's what Rebuild really does have in combination with playing a Civilization game: that sense of, "well, just one more turn..." Turns out it's not really possible to play a game on your iPod and make a cup of coffee at the same time. Things get messy. And when things get messy, zombies win. Don't let the zombies win; coffee's not that important.

Rebuild [$0.99 (sale), Google Play]

Rebuild [$2.99, iTunes]