Video Game: Rebuild

Rebuild is a Turn-Based Strategy Flash game by sarahnorthway in which a group of survivors must take back and rebuild various cities after a Zombie Apocalypse.

Can be played here (here for the remake, which has some improved features and is available on iOS and Android).

A Kickstarter was run and funded in order to develop a third game titled Rebuild: Gangs of Deadville. This game spent some time in Steam Early Access before having its 1.0 release in May 29th, 2015.


  • After the End: The setting takes place after a Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Anti-Hero: Dr. Bryukhonenko aims to cure zombieism, but a visit to his lab has the observers remark on the unethical experiments he conducts. Refuse to help him and he will bomb the city before heading elsewhere.
  • Anvilicious: In R2 and especially R3, it is very, very, very, very frequently insinuated, with choice words and pauses and descriptions and air quotes, that the Pig Farmers don't actually farm pig. At least not regular pig. Depending on your definition of "pig."
  • Apocalypse How: Most of conventional society appears to have been wiped out, but survivors are scattered throughout and your aim is to rebuild it.
  • Awesome but Impractical:
    • Laboratory researches are this, at least for the early game. They can prevent food loss, allow survivors to randomly show up, and prevent fatal zombie bites, but can take weeks to accomplish. And they cannot be converted into different buildings once they are no longer needed; however, you'll need 2 of them to unlock the "cure zombieism" end, and the bonuses provided are ultimately worth it.
    • Schools in the first game were useful for converting a survivor into a different class, but they lost any of their already-known skills. This was fixed in the second game, when they could learn multiple skills.
  • Badass Biker:
    • The Riffs in Rebuild 2. Randomly show up to go on zombie-shooting sprees, and later help you out with taking out the Last Judgement.
    • The Last Judgement gang are a group of Catholic bikers that regularly pose a threat to the city.
  • Badass Bookworm: It's possible for scientists to train in combat and construction from the second game.
    • One of the perks in Gangs of Deadsville, "McGyver" adds half of a survivor's Engineering skill to his Defense, meaning that a survivor can have 15 Defense (the normal cap is 10) without any equipment or other perks.
  • Big Bad:
    • Father Kane, from the perspective of the Last Judgement quest in 2. While not responsible for the zombie outbreak, he is the head of a fundamentalist biker gang that harass you and enslave women, and thus the biggest threat in the game.
      • Gangs of Deadville keeps the Last Judgement, but this time they are led by Father O'Grady.
    • Mr. Clark, aka the Mc Manager, is this in Gangs of Deadville. Eventually you discover that Senator Davis of the Government faction is a Bigger Bad.
  • Bittersweet Ending: It ultimately depends on how many people die in your playthrough:
    • If you manage to take the city but trade the helicopter fuel for the "cure for zombieism", this occurs.
    • The ending where you cure the zombie plague will ultimately save hundreds and perhaps revive more, but you ultimately will lose at least two people in aiming for this.
  • Body-Count Competition: A random event will involve survivors have a shooting contest, using the zombies outside the walls as practice. Sometimes the Riffs will join on.
  • Canada, Eh?: The default city names are all Canadian, though you can choose your own at the start and throughout the game.
    • In Rebuild 3, the story begins in Washington State, but the protagonists drift as far east as Spokane before heading north into Canada and then back west to Vancouver.
  • Chainsaw Good: A chainsaw is an equippable item that increases offense and building skill.
  • Cult / Religion of Evil:
    • The Church of the Chosen Ones, for whom zombies are destined to replace humanity.
    • The Last Judgement motorcycle gang are rapists and pillagers dressed as Catholic priests going on about retribution. Killing them and rescuing their captives is a very satisfying moment.
  • Crazy Survivalist:
    • Some survivors will shoot at you when a recruitment attempt fails.
    • The third game subverts this: some survivors, when you try to recruit them, will freak out and start waving a gun around. If you have high enough Leadership, you can talk to them and they'll calm down and explain that they're not crazy.
  • Creator Cameo: In the second game, you can help a defector escape from the Last Judgement. Her name is always Northway.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: The helicopter ending has a zombie sneak up behind the pilot... before getting its brains blown out by a passenger.
  • Defeat Means Friendship:
    • You can invite the survivors of a faction you've destroyed to join your community.
    • One of the best ways to earn respect with the Riffs is to accept their challenge to a duel: their best fighter vs. your best, and if your guy is tough enough he wins and you gain a good bit of respect with them.
  • Disc One Nuke:
    • If you take the time to train five survivors until they have all skills maxed out, and give them the best items, starting anew becomes much easier since you can then give the items to your new recruits.
    • Some of the leader perks from Gangs of Deadsville. One, for example, reduces build times to one day. That's right, reclaim any building in one day, no matter the skill of the builder.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Naturally happens if the city is overwhelmed.
    • Allowing the Church of the Chosen Ones to preach will result in your survivors being sacrificed one by one until all but a few are left, at which point you lose.
    • In Rebuild 3, many endings are this, including a number which involve the main character dying, or, at best, going completely insane.
  • Drop the Hammer: A sledgehammer gives attack and building skills.
  • Elite Zombie: Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville has a faction called The Rotten, which is composed entirely of Zombie Persons. They can blend in with the other zombies, and the living are, naturally, afraid of them, so they hide in the subways to avoid contact with them.
    • The main subplot of Gangs of Deadsville involves a Dastardly Plan by a conspiracy between Mr. Clark and Senator Davis to engineer a super-zombie virus, the "Omega-virus," which will turn people into pliable, ruthless super-soldiers.
  • Embedded Precursor: The Deluxe Edition of Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville, comes packaged with the first two games, among other things.
  • Everything's Cuter with Kittens: In Rebuild 2, one of the items (obtained by beating the roulette game) is a cat that boosts every skill but offense.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The game's setup lets you choose your character's name, starting item and difficulty via their diary.
  • Greater Need Than Mine: Sometimes a trade caravan shows up, but on seeing your supplies insists on giving you free food. Your food stockpile has to be very low or outright non-existent for this to happen. Otherwise he'll only want to trade.
  • Hold the Line: What the survivors do every night against the hordes of zombies surrounding them. Several of the endings have massive hordes show up every night until the objective is completed.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: In 3, you can punish criminals by "capital cannibal punishment". And the Pig Farmers are an entire faction of cannibals. They kidnap people, butcher them, and sell the meat as "pork".
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: The level is chosen by the initial survivor wondering how hard it'll be to take back the city.
  • Intrepid Merchant:
    • Gustav the trader comes around every week to sell items for food, buy items for food, or propose the services of his Band of Brothels.
    • Food caravans pop in and offer to trade from time to time. If you're out of food, they'll give you some.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The Riffs sometimes use these during their regular zombie killing sprees.
  • Kill It with Fire: According to your soldiers, jury-rigged flamethrowers are quite useful for clearing blocks of zombies.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Bryukhonenko. He makes his presence known by arriving and demanding your help as soon as you have a lab, then works on a cure for zombieism which causes a lot of loud screaming for some unknown reason. He will also ask for a lab partner every week. This ultimately results in the death of both himself and whoever you send to help him, with the lab being swarmed by zombies. Ultimately, however, his work pays off.
  • Master of All: In Gangs of Deadsville, your character can reach 10 in all skills simultaneously. You can do this with other survivors as well, but it's more difficult since they have to train in a school before they can improve in any skill besides the one they currently have active.
  • Memetic Badass: In-Universe. Characters reaching level 10 in a skill are treated as such, like soldiers able to kill zombies with a glance.
  • More Dakka: Machine guns and assault rifles provide the highest offense bonus.
  • Multiple Endings: Five of them in Rebuild 2: Curing zombieism, creating a new nation by retaking the city hall and drafting a new constitution, fixing a helicopter in order to flee the city, defeating the Last Judgement gang, and everyone converting to the Church of the Chosen Ones. The mobile version of Rebuild 2 added a sixth where you hoard food and run away from everyone else.
  • Name of Cain: The Last Judgement is headed by a Father Kane.
  • Never Found the Body: In the first game, scouting missions weren't entirely safe, so this was the outcome if a scout didn't come back.
  • New Game+: The good endings have you choose five people to go to a new city to rebuild. You can choose the difficulty and the items your envoys are equipped with. Choosing to continue the game after other endings also gives you a nice boost: the zombie cure keeps new zombies from appearing, a constitution makes everyone very happy, and defeating Last Judgement keeps them permanently out of your hair.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Laboratory upgrades range from zombie biology to electricity and electronics to agronomy. The items that increase science skill are equally disparate, from medkits to chemistry kits to science textbooks.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: In Rebuild 3, an entire opposing faction, the Rotten, is comprised of semi-still-human zombies (who resent the name being used on them). In certain cases you can even gain one of them as a member of your faction.
    • Also, there is Mr. Clark, and his horde of trained zombies.
    • Gustav also has a "zombie trainer" sideshow act with a zombie trained to do tricks. It doesn't end well, potentially.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Defeating the Last Judgement gang shows you what happens to them. Corpses piled up, one guy's eyeball beaten out of his face, one guy tied to a pole and shot full of arrows...
    • One of the progress reports states that you blow a hole in their perimeter walls, allowing zombies through.
    • In Gangs of Deadsville, defeating a faction leaves you with the options of driving them out of the city, inviting them to join you, or killing them all. The last option can be rather tempting depending on who you're dealing with.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Dog: Throughout Rebuild 2, you'll find dogs on scavenging missions as well as the fact before starting the game, a dog is one of the items you choose to use. Also from time to time, there would be wild dog attacks made on the fort which could lead to one of the survivor's death if there isn't enough fort defense.
  • Randomly Generated Levels:
    • Cities are completely randomized, though you always start with a police station, housing and a farm.
    • Character names and appearances in the second game are similarly randomized; it's possible to end up with, for example, a man in a business suit and a keffiyeh by the name of Satoshi Gomez.
  • Reinventingthe Wheel: You lose all your scientific upgrades after starting a New Game+. Justified, as the infrastructure that let you use them is back in the first city.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Several reports note this is the only way to deal with the zombies.
  • Scavenger World: Before you get enough farms to produce more food than you eat, your food and equipment must be scavenged from zombie-infested city blocks.
  • Screw the War, We're Partying!:
    • A bizarre variation: if the Church of the Chosen Ones is allowed to proliferate, they will shut down the city every two or three days to celebrate someone joining the Chosen Ones teeming outside their walls, when they aren't joining them of their own free will.
    • Occasionally the survivors will do this, increasing happiness at the cost of food. Sometimes it's a zombie shooting competition, which lowers the danger.
    • This is an option for Rebuild 3 when a couple gets married.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: If happiness or food levels are too low, some survivors will leave and try their luck elsewhere.
  • SequelDyeJob / SequelSpeciesChange: In Rebuild 2, both the Last Judgement and the Riffs are biker gangs. But in Rebuild 3, the Riffs are re-cast as a dojo full of noble karate experts.
  • Sex Slave:
    • The Last Judgment gang enslave their women in this way.
    • It's implied that the women working for Gustav's "love caravan" aren't there voluntarily. He will at one point ask to recruit one of your female survivors. Agreeing earns you a rocket launcher.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Units Not to Scale: In Rebuild 2, suburbs, motels, apartment blocks and trailer parks can all only provide housing for two people.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • Gustav may offer you a substantial reward for trading away a handsome female survivor, but you can refuse simply because it's the right thing to do.
    • Converting your useless buildings into a church is a good way to make citizens happy. You can also build bars, and even assign a survivor as a bartender.
    • Gangs of Deadsville introduces children characters, who consume food, can't do missions, and must be cared for by an adult. They also subtract a point from all stats, and count as equipped items (so you can't give someone, say, a hammer to offset the stat penalty). You'll probably take them in anyway, because you won't be able to look yourself in the mirror after sending a little 7 year old back out into zombie-town. You do get a Mercy Reward, in that kids eventually grow up into adults, usually with higher skills than new recruits, but this takes a long time.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • If you choose to allow the cult to form, you are sentencing your society to death. You can, however, ban and attack the cult after it starts going out of control; this will lose the author and a couple of survivors.
    • Sending out poorly-trained survivors as cannon fodder.
      • Especially useful in Rebuild 3, in which sending out weaker units as decoys can help draw "Roamers" away from core missions.
    • When Gustav arrives and offers you a deal to trade a female survivor for some valuable rewards, you can accept For the Evulz.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • The Bad Ending requires you to allow a book claiming "zombies are our friends" to proliferate and allow the author to commandeer a church to preach their beliefs. It's actually worthwhile to do this, since it boosts your city's happiness, as long as you crack down on the church once it starts turning crazy. You'll lose a few survivors, but that happiness boost can be crucial for the early game. They'll also convert an otherwise unusuable graveyard into a church.
    • One of the good endings requires you to allow an obvious Mad Scientist inside your fort, give him a lab, ignore the screams coming from the lab, and continue his work even after it explodes. Turns out his cure for zombieism actually works.
  • Voodoo Shark: While it's plausible that zombies might find out about the helicopter repairs and swarm your fort, the fact that they do so when you're trying to form a democratic government is not.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Dr. Bryukhonenko is committed to dealing with the zombie plague, but his methods are very unethical at best.
  • Zombie Advocate: The Church of the Chosen Ones are, at first, advocates for friendship with zombies. Later, they become outright zombie-worshippers.
    • One of the progress reports for the constitution's drafting has one of these, which slows down the debate.
  • Zombie Infectee: A possible fate for the survivors, and are put down in plain view of the other survivors unless you researched the antivenom.