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Demolition Simulator Review
Review Score:

Inside all of us, there’s that little bit (ok, in some of us, quite a large bit) that likes to watch things explode; or even better, make things explode. We want to cause mayhem; we want to set things on fire; we want to make things go boom. Over the years, games developers have slowly cottoned on to this, and our consoles and PCs have been more and more graced with blessed destruction. As time goes by, even more of nearly every game can be destroyed; blown up, knocked down, etc…

Suddenly there comes Astragon. Why sugar-coat the demolition-side of a game with stories, characters, and…well…gaminess? Here’s a developer that gets right to the core. Demolition Simulator does exactly what it says on the box. Here’s a building. Here’s some machines and explosives. Bring it down.

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‘Great!’ You think, ‘that sounds like hours of fun! What could go wrong?’. This was my naiveté too, when I was itching my palms, waiting eagerly for the game to install. Even running through the tutorials kept my hopes up. Though it becomes apparent very early that Astragon are not English, nor are any of their main team very good at English, and nor did they ask anyone English to proof-read the game, this falls away from mind the moment you are let loose with TNT and/or a wrecking ball. Though the graphics leave a lot to be desired and, as stated, the English sounds like it was written in Spanish by a German, then translated into English by a Japanese man living in France, the general feel is still one of sure optimism.

Unfortunately, once entering the game for real, it became apparent very fast that realism in a simulator can easily be taken too far. Your first mission? Destroy a church. Your available tools…a pile driver. And annoyingly realistic physics to boot. Basically, imagine trying to bring down an entire stone building with a pneumatic drill. The entire thing consists of sitting down and patiently drilling around 100 holes around the base of the building. Not very thrilling work, I probably need not say. Add to this the phasing problems, resulting in getting your drill stuck part-way through the solid wall, and having to jiggle back and forth, up and down to pull it free, and the lack of manoeuvring room when driving round the building, and frustration mounts very fast.

But trust me, before the day’s out, you’ll be begging for more of that, if only to replace the next stage…cleaning up! So, after spending around 15 minutes drilling hole after hole, finally the building is down. Now, with the help of your trusty bulldozer and a truck, you have to sweep together, move, and bin every brick, scrap of mortar, and misplaced speck of dust. After an hour of this, I had cleared 60% of the debris, and my brain was causing some itself on the floor next to me. This would not be as bad as it was, were it possible, in mission OR free mode, to play any other levels – demolish any other buildings – without completing this one. Unfortunately this was not to be. Until you have taken down every brick, and cleared away every sliver of tile-grouting from that church, this is the limit of what you can access in this game.

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While I do not doubt at all that ne need for all of this is a very integral part of real life demolition, I feel that as a game, the designers should have taken into account that if people really wished to bore themselves that much with the non-boomy parts of the trade, they would have taken it up for real and be getting paid for it. Sadly, despite such a promising premise, Demolition Simulator…well…to be frank, what we have here is a game for post-lobotomy masochists. Between the highly disappointing graphics, freakishly low resolution, bad phasing, realism taken too far, and, to be blunt, horrific monotony, I feel myself unable to even force myself to give this game any more than a very generous score of 1.5/5.

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Rating: 5.5/10 (2 votes cast)
Demolition Simulator Review, 5.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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