UPDATE: If you like zombie stories, please check out my novella, Deadlocked! Click HERE to check it out.
I have officially become addicted to a Flash game. I started my addiction innocently enough, dabbling in infrequent jaunts over to Kongregate.com to mess around with a silly time waster like Toss the Turtle, or an engrossing tower defense game like Don’t Touch My Gems! But then I stumbled upon a zombie game called Rebuild, and all of my free time disappeared. So imagine my addiction rattled delight when I discovered that a sequel to one of my favorite free time wasters had been released!
Sarah Northway released her sequel to her excellent first Flash game recently, and I have poured over it endlessly since. Having spent as much time as I have in playing this game, I figure I should make use of my extensive knowledge by writing a Strategy Guide. In part 1 of this guide, I will go over some basics of gameplay as well as take you through how I build my city over the first twenty turns. While part 1 is spoiler free, part 2 of this guide will go over each of the various endings in great detail. Part 2 will also contain Tips and Tricks to help you make your stay in the city as easy as possible.
Or you could just skip it all and go play Rebuild 2 now!
WHAT IS REBUILD 2? This simple to play, hard to master flash game is reminiscent of a board game in which the pieces change upon every play (think Settlers of Catan). You have survived the zombie apocalypse and need to band together with other survivors to take back control of the city. Each part of the city is broken into pieces, giving you areas representing commercial areas, residential zones, and other odds and ends, and capturing each of them will give you different advantages. As you slowly build the city back together again, the zombie horde is constantly attacking you, banging on the walls and trying their best to kill your meager crew. Now that you know what we’re dealing with, let’s start playing.
STARTING THE GAME: At the beginning you will get a few choices in describing your character. You can choose your name and sex, but then more importantly you can pick a piece of equipment that your character starts with. Here are the choices you are given: Dog (which will give you a slight bonus in your attack strength and leadership ability), wrench (1 point bonus to building ability), cowboy hat (1 point bones to leadership ability), pistol (1 point to attack strength), or binoculars (1 point to scavenging.) All of these are useful, but I tend to choose the dog, if for no other reason than to see the cute Pug standing beside me in my character screen.
Next you will get to change the name of your city as well as pick the size and level of difficulty. When picking the size, you can choose small, typical, big, or huge. The smaller the city, the quicker your game will be – so I always choose huge, because the longer it lasts the happier I am. Your difficulty choices are pretty easy, kind of tough, challenging, seriously hard, and impossible. Perhaps on your first playthough you can go ahead and take the wimp route and play on kind of tough or challenging, but you aren’t really having fun until you tackle the seriously hard difficulty or the IMPOSSIBLE setting (which I’ll give more details on how to defeat in the Tips and Tricks section in part 2 of this guide). Choosing a more difficult setting will change how aggressive the zombies are as well as how many supplies, survivors, and happiness percentage you start with.
You are always going to start with the same four pieces, but everything else around you is randomized. Half the fun of Rebuild 2 is forcing yourself to deal with the cards you’re dealt in the beginning, but when trying to tackle this game on the seriously hard difficulty or harder, it is worth quitting your game if you don’t get a good starting hand.
In the picture above, the starting city on the left is no good, whereas the one on the right is far better. When starting a game, there are a few things that I look for. First, is if there is a good supply of farms nearby. Gathering food is going to be a big part of the game, and starting without any farms nearby means that you are going to have to survive on scavenging, which can quickly become problematic. Also important is that there are residential areas nearby. In your opening hand you have an apartment building (the yellow one) and a suburb. Look around and see if there is another suburb or apartment connected to your first four squares. If you have a farm and a residential zone right next to your first four squares you’re in good shape. The next thing to look for is a hospital. If there isn’t a hospital within one or two zones from your first four, than you can expect to lose a few survivors to tetanus or injury before you get a chance to lock one down. If you have these first things covered then you can ensure that you aren’t going to be handicapped from the beginning.
Finally, be careful with the shopping malls. As a fan of the first game, I always loved gathering up shopping malls to help build defenses, but in this game a character has to be at least a level 3 builder in order to turn those malls into defense posts. That means when you start a game with shopping malls connected to you, you aren’t going to be able to use them for a while.
FIRST TURN: The first thing to do is click on the layers button at the top left of the screen. Doing this will reveal your knowledge of the surroundings, showing which areas have been scouted, which have survivors hiding in them, which have supplies waiting to be scavenged, and what level of danger (green, yellow, red) is present. Next, click on the areas that have survivors in them, which will pull up more details on that square. Look to see if one of the areas with survivors have more than one person hiding there, which will be represented by a picture of a couple people standing in the area. The ideal situation is to find a residential or farm zone that has more than one survivor hiding there.
In the city in the picture to the left, I chose to recruit the survivor sitting on the Big Farm square (which takes two spaces and provides 4 food supplies per turn. Having this square connected to my initial four in this randomized game was a huge advantage). When you choose to recruit survivors, you will get a chance to choose which members of your crew you send off onto this mission. The more people you send, the safer it gets and the better chance you have of accomplishing the task. I always send my entire crew of survivors onto my first recruitment mission, just to ensure that I am doing everything I can do be successful and not waste any time dealing with a difficult recruitment.
NEXT TEN TURNS: Recruiting survivors and scavenging food is immediately important. The more people you can gather within your walls, the more people will be there to help you kill zombies. The first ten turns for me is always a mad dash to get as many people on board as possible while also gathering enough food to support them. For this reason, I tend to try and take over a suburb or an apartment complex quickly, so that I can increase the limit of survivors I can house. First, you need to clear out the zombies in the square, and then you’ll have to set upon reclaiming it, which is going to take at least one survivor away from you for the next 4 (if the survivor is a builder) or 5 turns! It’s not worth setting a large group of survivors on the task of reclaiming a single square early in the game. As things progress, it will get easier for your survivors to reclaim squares, but in the beginning it is a long haul.
Don’t forget about the hospital! Remember above when I mentioned how important it was going to be to secure a hospital early on? Well here I am in my own game on turn 6 and one of my survivors has come down with a stomach illness. The game chides me for not already having a hospital because now poor old Ralph is going o have to suffer through his illness. We sure hope he survives (he does). This means he is either going to die or, at the very least, be laid up in a bed in one of the suburbs for the next three days.
During these first ten turns, you’re going to experience an attack on your city. Each night you have to worry about how many survivors you’ve left back in the city to defend the walls. There’s no need to assign people to specifically guard the city like in the original. This time, thankfully, simply not assigning people to a mission means they will take up arms to defend the walls. Keep an eye on the danger percentage at the top of the screen. As you assign more people to missions, you’ll see that percentage go up. What this stands for is the likelihood that zombies will overrun your city if you are unlucky enough to get attacked. I like to do everything I can to keep that number under 30%, but you can expect to have a zombie break in at least a few times during even an expertly played game.
TEN MORE TURNS: We’ve survived eleven days now. In this guide, I’ll take you through another ten turns just to make sure we cover all of the basics to starting a good game, but the great thing about the Rebuild series is how every game you play will be different. Random events will dramatically change your experience, giving this game a fantastic replay value. After we go through twenty turns, I’ll delve more into some important aspects of the game.
At the end of day eleven I have managed to secure a hospital and a suburb. I am also just about to take over that Big Farm on the upper left, which is going to make my food situation much better. However, food is my biggest concern right now. As you can see, I have plundered all of the surrounding zones, which means I have no readily available food source that can sustain my city. Every day I am losing 7 food, but after the next day I will have control of the Big Farm, giving me another 4 food each day. However, I still need to start paying attention to the food shortage. There is one farm nearby, but even with that I am still going to need to scavenge, and in order to do that I need to start scouting. Assigning a survivor to a scouting mission is 100% safe (another nice change from the first game) and will change those pesky question marks on your map into useful areas.
Each different building has varying degrees of likelihood to find supplies. For instance, Police Stations will likely contain weapons, but no food, so in my current situation I don’t need to bother scouting them. When searching for food, look for Super Markets, Shopping Malls, Farms, Restaurants, and Schools. They tend to have the best chance of containing a stash of food in them.
Early on in the game you are going to get confronted with a choice that will affect the rest of your game. These choices pop up from time to time, and the first one is always about banning a book. It seems that some of the survivors have started to look at the zombie apocalypse as a GOOD thing! Given time, these people can become a real problem for you, but early on in the game they are pretty harmless. Your first decision concerning them has you deciding whether or not to ban their book, The Zombie Condition. At this point, there is no good reason to ban it. Let the people have their book and you’ll get a nice reward of a 10% increase in overall happiness. For more information on the Zombie Worshipers, check the section in part 2 titled Embrace Zombieism.
Happiness is the next thing we need to start paying attention to. The boost from the Zombie book is nice, but all it takes is a few unlucky nights and the overall happiness of your city is going to plummet. Keeping people happy is going to be a big concern, and what
better way to solve it than placating people with religion and booze? Every time you reclaim a bar or a church, your city’s overall happiness shoots up 5%. In dire circumstances, you can assign a survivor to permanently maintain the bar or church, which will give you a recurring happiness percentage that will happen up to once a day, depending on the leadership ability of the person assigned. Hopefully you don’t need to utilize this option early in the game, since your low number of total survivors means that everyone is sacred, but it’s a nice option to have.
Another choice that will pop up early in the game is whether or not you want to hire the wares of a nefarious local pimp named Gustav. He comes around from time to time, sporting a caravan of lovely ladies that are willing to trade sex for food. It’s a pretty nasty little option, and one that I expected would have negative consequences, but truth be told there seems to be no drawback in the game to partaking in the Love Caravan, other than being derided by the text here and there (and getting a mostly harmless STD itch). Still though, putting up 15 food in exchange for a 10% happiness boost is just not worth it early on in the game. Later on, if your city is turning sour and Gustav comes calling, don’t feel bad about giving him some business – everyone needs a little loving here and there. However, you will also get the choice of whether or not to trade one of the women in your camp for two rocket launchers! Sure, those rocket launchers are powerful, but can you live with the decision to send her off to be a part of the Love Caravan?
In the first 20 turns, I like to get going with my scientific endeavors. The science aspect of the game can reap great rewards, but they require long, long, long wait times. Getting things going early will help you take advantage of these perks quickly. Look around for a nuclear power plant and take one over so that you can get moving. Once you have one, consider choosing the Zombie Vitals option first. This will help you fight off the zombies quicker and easier.
FROM HERE ON OUT: After the first twenty turns you should have a builder in your crew that has made it to level 3. This means that the Shopping Malls can now be used to build defenses against the zombie horde. Seeing as the attacks are going to get more frequent and more intense as the game goes on, you’re going to need to focus on strengthening your defense. Police Stations give you an immediate boost of 15 points upon reclaiming them, and shopping malls give you another 15 when they are fortified, so grabbing these spaces up can be helpful.
Rebuild 2 is a balancing act between keeping your survivors fed, happy, and ready to fight. You’re going to need to master a constant increase of supplies and new recruits as the encroaching mob grows ever stronger. Next I’ll cover some of the other basics of the game.
SKILLS: Here is a list of the 5 different skills that each of the survivors have and some extra information about each of them.
OFFENSIVE: This skill determines how good a survivor is at killing zombies. This is an extremely important skill, but it’s also not very hard to get your survivors to increase it. You’re going to be sending your survivors off to kill zombies at unreclaimed sections all the time, and every time you do it the people you send will get a bonus to their offensive skill. As long as you don’t make the mistake of sending the same people on kill missions each time, this stat should increase pretty quickly for your crew. One great way to steadily increase your survivors Offensive stat is to rotate people out of the Guard Duty at one of your defensive buildings frequently. As zombies attack, the people on guard duty will gain offensive strength, so placing a low Offensive rated survivor in this role will ensure that they steadily increase without requiring your attention. However, be careful not to rely on them as your only defense or you’re going to end up losing some territory on the next horde attack.
You will need a good amount of skilled soldiers to complete The Last Judgement Gang ending described in part 2 of this guide.
SCAVENGING: While reclaiming farms is the best way to ensure your city is well fed, Rebuild 2 has taken steps to make scavenging for food much more profitable. When scavenging for food you now have the chance of discovering extremely valuable items that can be attached to your survivors, described in greater detail below in the Equipment section. This is a great way to beef up your survivor’s stats, but it can also be a great way to get more food as well.
As you progress through the game and your survivors become more talented in the Scavenging skill, you will begin to amass quite a collection of odds and ends. Your first instinct will be to equip each and every one of your survivors with something or other, but you have to be careful about this. Once a survivor reaches level 10 in any stat, they can’t benefit from a piece of equipment that affects that stat. It’s easy to overlook this issue as your survivors progress in their stats without you even realizing it, and if you have items uselessly sitting on survivors that can’t use them, you are losing the chance to trade them with Gustav in exchange for food.
Gustav will stop by from time to time and offer you food for an unused piece of equipment. Because of this, it is always a good idea to leave at least one piece of equipment unused, just in case something happens to your food supply. If you don’t have an unused piece of equipment, Gustav won’t even bother stopping in!
SCIENCE: This is one of the harder skills to master, and is used the least of all in the game. However, the benefits of having several survivors skilled in Science can be great, and are necessary to stand a chance on the more difficult settings.
In order to take advantage of the Science skill, you will need to own a laboratory. Once you have one you can expect to lose it to the mad scientist that is wandering around, but any research that you achieve is saved, and getting kicked out of your lab won’t change how far along your survivors were in their research.
The first three research possibilities are: Signaling (increases chances of recruiting survivors), Zombie Vitals (makes killing zombies easier), and Preservation (get more food from scavenging and stop it from going bad).
The next three research possibilities are: Radio (creates a signal that attracts new survivors), Stealth (makes it easier to scavenge and kill zombies from far away), Pesticides (farms will produce more food and prevent crop failures).
Finally, you will be able to research: Electricity (makes everyone happier), Anti-Venom (makes fighting zombies safer), Fertilizer (farms produce 1 extra food).
You will need to complete all of these missions in order to achieve one of the endings, The Cure for Zombieism, as described in part 2 of this guide.
BUILDING: This skill is the most important one to focus on at the beginning of the game. Having a 0 Building skill means that reclaiming a square will take 5 turns! A skill of 1 will reduce that to 4, but adding a large group of low level Builders to one square can help take the time down quickly. If you focus on this skill early on, then it won’t take you long to get to the point where reclaiming squares takes you just 1 quick turn each time. This is essential to starting the game strong.
Building also helps you build defenses, as a level 3 builder can start taking shopping malls and turning them into defensive strongholds. It’s a good idea to spread the building responsibilities around and get several survivors up at least a few points in this skill, that way they can help you take over the city quickly, as well as repair the damage that a zombie horde might do when they break through.
You will need a lot of builders to complete the Helicopter ending that is described in part 2 of this guide.
LEADERSHIP: This skill is used to recruit new survivors to your cause. While you can increase your likelihood of recruiting new people by using survivors that do not have any leadership skill, I strongly suspect that the percentages are false. It seems as if your likelihood of collecting recruits with non-leaders is dramatically lower than the percentage implies. To be safe, it’s good to have someone that is focusing on this skill that can help you bring in newbies quickly. Luckily, there are a good amount of items that help boost this stat.
As the game progresses, this stat becomes the least important of all of them. It becomes much easier to recruit people as more and more survivors begin to accumulate meager leadership skills. There is, however, one huge bonus that a high leadership skill can give you: Bartenders and Pastors!
I suggest taking one of your good leaders, who is not well skilled in other areas, and begin training them in a school to be an excellent leader. Once they are leveled up to 10, take them to a bar or church and place them there permanently by turning them into a bartender or a priest. This will give you a huge, daily happiness increase!
Having several survivors that have a decent leadership skill is required to achieve the City Hall ending described in part 2 of this guide.
EQUIPMENT: One of the biggest additions to this sequel is equipment. Scavenging territories can now uncover some very useful items that can be attached to your survivors, one per person. Certain squares have a higher probability of giving certain types of items, for instance, scavenging a police station will usually give you weapons. Also, it’s easy to miss some great items by assuming that when you scavenge a square and only get food that there is nothing left there to be had. If a square gives you the option to scavenge for items, that means there is still an item there to get. Once all of the items have been taken, it will cross out the ability to scavenge there. Following is a list of all the equipment and what they do for your survivors.
Building Equipment: Saw = 1.5 / Wrench = 1 / Chainsaw = 1.5 (+1 Offense) / Sledgehammer = 1 (+1 Offense) / Toolbox = 2
Offensive Equipment: Dog = 0.5, 1, or 2 depending on the dog / Baseball Bat = 1 / Pistol = 1 / Chainsaw = 1 (+1.5 Building) / Crowbar = 0.5 (+1.5 Scavenging) / Sledgehammer = 1 (+1 Building) / Hunting Rifle = 1.5 / Shotgun = 1.5 / Light Assault Rifle = 2 / Submachine Gun = 2 / Machinegun = 2.5 / Rocket Launcher = 4
Scavenging Equipment: Dog = 0.5 / Crowbar = 1.5 (0.5 Offensive) / Pair of Binoculars = 1 / Backpack = 2
Science Equipment: Medical Kit = 1 / Science Book = 1.5 / Chemistry Kit = 2
Leadership Equipment: Cowboy Hat = 1 / Dog = 0.5 or 1 depending on the dog / Megaphone = 2 / Top Hat = 2.5
There is also a secret pet that can be found in the game and gives you a 0.5 bonus to Building, Science, Scavenging, and Leadership. To find out how to get this pet, go to the Tips and Tricks section in the second part of this strategy guide.
That encompasses the basics of gameplay. To learn more about the various plots and endings of the game, as well as some Tips and Tricks that make playing a lot easier, check out part 2 of this strategy guide. Also, if zombie based videogames are one of your favorites, make sure to check out my dissertation on how to create the greatest zombie videogame of all time!