PlayWay, the publisher behind innumerable weird simulators, today announced one of their most curious yet. WW2 Rebuilder is a game about cleaning up and rebuilding European city streets in the aftermath of World War 2's devestation, and w h a t. In the manner of Train Station Renovation or House Flipper, the game will have us clearing rubble, scrubbing walls, salvaging supplies, rebuilding everything from plumbing to railways, repainting, and redecorating. What. See for yourself in the trailer below.
Today's announcement explains:
"Clear the city of debris so that you can start rebuilding. Cut wrecks and smash ruined walls. The resources are scarce, so try to recycle everything you can. Undamaged bricks can be reused and even ordinary rubble will be useful for filling cavities in the streets.
"If you manage to repair major damage without spending all your resources, you will have the opportunity to redevelop the city space. Use the variety of buildings and decorations, paint the signboards, and plant new trees, so the people may finally forget the terrors of the war and be happy again."
Yes, I too hope the people may finally forget the terrors of the war. Goodness me. My initial reaction to seeing the game was surprise and a little shock, which was a weird reaction. I've ruined and razed innumerable European towns and cities myself in WW2 shooters and strategy games which rarely give a second thought to the life they once housed, or even a first. Yet because this is an unfamiliar context for WW2, suddenly it's jarring. Sanitised, sure, but what WW2 game isn't?
WW2 Rebuilder sure looks to have a lot of actions and objectives familiar from other games PlayWay have published, but in an order and setting I can't say I ever imagined. I should know not to be surprised by PlayWay by now, considering their lineup has games as diverse as Barn Finders (basically the TV show Storage Wars as a janky sim), Ink Simulator (a tattoo shop sim), Contraband Police (a car-searching cop sim), and Electric Love (a sex robot repair sim). But I am. Which is kinda nice.
PlayWay have the vibe of those browser games for kids which endlessly reassemble parts and themes different forms with different characters. This isn't a criticism. I'm not here griping about "asset flips" (a tedious term). I find it fascinating. It leads to loads of niche games which are evidently delight people who find it is precisely their thing. I know Alice Bee was baffled by Train Station Renovation in a way which delighted her and I myself bought Barn Finders. They're like digital versions of kids playing make-believe of different jobs.
No release date for WW2 Rebuilder yet, but it'll be on Steam. The developers are Madnetic Games.