Let’s face it, there is something very satisfying about tearing things down or breaking them. Most of us probably haven’t flattened an entire building, but we can envy those who have. So when I saw the opportunity to take on that role in a new Nintendo Switch game called Demolish & Build 2018, I was ready to break something! Will the game live up to my fantasies as a demolition expert?
After being laid off from a construction job, a friend comes to you to find a new job, and before you know it, you have your own construction and demolition company! Demolish & Build 2018 is classified as a construction simulator, and you will quickly be thrown into the shark tank of managing this new commercial venture.
Equipped with your trusty blue van and a sledgehammer, you begin your first chores, which consist of demolishing old toilets, tearing down walls, and hauling trash into a large dumpster. It’s a dream job! Okay, maybe not, but it won’t be long before you unlock your first real piece of equipment, the bulldozer, and it starts tearing down abandoned bars and other derelict buildings.
The game mainly consists of building your construction company by taking orders, running various errands and, if you wish, buying and selling commercial goods to make a certain profit. The climb to the top of the market leader is very slow. You’ll spend much of the first few hours of the game doing menial tasks that quickly become repetitive. Unfortunately, these first few hours will also make you discover the game’s many flaws and shortcomings.
Graphically, the game is pretty bad. I would best compare it to a game in the mid-90s. The distance to the Toss is obscured by fog and is only a few miles ahead of you, and you see pop-ups at every point along the way. The texture resolution is incredibly low, and since most buildings are designed to be broken into pieces, you can see the lines breaking into pieces even before the wall or object is broken. The whole geometry of the game is also very bad in polygons, and not in this fun and creative way. It could have been the launch of a Dreamcast game, and even that would have given too much credit to the game.
Well, I’ve played some nice simulation games that don’t look great, but still simulate what they’re supposed to do well…. But once you unlock, say, a bulldozer or an excavator, you’ll find that these vehicles don’t respect physics! The massive digging arm swings like a noodle and exceeds its rigid limits by simply moving the cab left or right. The bulldozer suffers from the same broken physics, because when you hit the shield, even lightly, on an object, the whole thing swings with its shock absorbers in an unrealistic and almost comical way. I didn’t like watching it, but it reminded me of a surgical simulator, but with building materials. The difference is that this game isn’t trying to be clever or funny. It’s just bad.
Unfortunately, the problems don’t end there and you will find many more areas of irritation. The game has a card system, but the mini card is often misaligned during the game. I was driving on the road to my destination, and the mini-map showed me that I was driving in the middle of nowhere. It is also difficult to use the map on the pause screen because the navigation controls are cumbersome.
Plus, the game doesn’t really offer any clear objectives, let alone to reach the level of company D. As you scroll through the map, you’ll find clues about what you can do in the game, but there’s not enough clarity about your achievements or the progress you’re making. The options menu graphic is there, but again there is almost no context for what it means. I found it very confusing myself, because after successfully completing half a dozen missions, I had no idea if I was making progress or not.
Surprisingly, the game also suffered from performance issues and semi-frequent shocks when played in manual mode on the Switch. I noticed that given the poor visual accuracy of the game. Another drawback is that you usually only hear the sound of the drone engine from what appears to be a passing vehicle on the road (although in many cases there is nothing nearby).
Demolish & Build 2018 is a game that seems well suited to VR. After seeing it on the Nintendo platform, I wanted to see if it was really an RV port in the game, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. There’s always something satisfying about destroying buildings with a crane or other heavy machinery, but it’s not enough to make you forget the game’s glaring weaknesses for a long time. Better yet, you want to plug in the Nintendo 64 and launch into Explosion Corps.
Demolition and construction 2018 Overview
- Charts – 2/10
- Sound – 3/10
- Gameplay – 4/10
- Late complaint – 4/10
Final thoughts : AFDB
Demolish & Build 2018 tries to offer something in the kind of simulation that many players would appreciate, allowing you to blow up buildings, break objects and then create replacement buildings as the demo expert. Unfortunately, the game lacks realistic simulation, combined with rather raucous graphics and sounds, and confusing progression systems and secondary gameplay. The only scrapping I’m going to do now is take the game out of my Switch.
Alex has been involved in the gaming industry since the release of Nintendo. He’s turned his hobby into a career, spending just over a decade developing games and now serving as creative director of the studio.
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