Also on: PC
Publisher: Ultimate Games
Developer: Demolish Games S.A.
A couple of years ago, I reviewed Demolish & Build 2018. It was awful in every respect. The fact it was called “Demolish & Build 2018” yet it came out on the Switch in 2020 was indicative of how much care was put into the game.
Now those same developers are back with Demolish & Build Classic – which, as far as I can tell, is a Nintendo port of 2016’s Demolish & Build 2017. It is, somehow, even worse than Demolish & Build 2018.
You can see this from the moment the game starts up. You’re tasked with driving your pickup truck somewhere to take a job. Along the way, not only do you have the horizon popping into existence, the road has trouble rendering. I’d say that it brings to mind PS1-era graphics, except I’m pretty sure those games didn’t struggle as much with rendering the ground beneath your feet – er, tires – as much as Demolish & Build Classic does.
What makes it even crazier is that this is a pretty barren, empty world. Occasionally another car will drive by you, or you happen upon a building, but for the most part, we’re talking about trees and fields.
On top of that, driving is a horrible experience. As far as I can tell – this game isn’t big on providing you with information, so there’s a lot of guesswork – there’s no dedicated gas or brake buttons, so you have to steer with the same thumbstick that points you where you want to go. You wouldn’t think this would be a major issue, and yet, it is. Driving in a straight line is next-to-impossible, but, bizarrely, turning is also a massive pain. And if you end up hitting anything that stops you from moving (and I do mean anything, since your pickup truck is no match for the world around it), it takes forever to slowly back up and turn away from the offending object.
Unsurprisingly, when you get into the core gameplay, it’s not much better. When you start off, you’re armed only with an ineffectual sledgehammer, and all you can do is hammer away at specific objects until they’re reduced to rubble. While this sounds satisfying, the reality is that you’re limited in what you’re allowed to hit, and once you’ve broken down the target objects, there’s not much else to do.
Once you unlock bigger and better tools (like, say, trucks), it doesn’t improve. I had one job completely waylaid by the fact that I ran over a propane tank that was sitting in the middle of the lot. I’m pretty sure my bulldozer blew up, because it turned bright red, and from that point on became unusable.
Further, Demolish & Build Classic has the same problems that sidetracked games like Castle Renovator or Motorcycle Mechanic Simulator: it’s a barebones port of a game originally designed for PC, which means there’s lots of little text, and eventually lots of little menus, and none of them look nice or are fun to navigate on the Switch.
Which means, ultimately, that there’s no reason to play it on the Switch. There are few things as fun as a game where you get to destroy everything, so you’d think that Demolish & Build Classic would be a slam dunk. Instead, it’s just a total mess of a game.
Ultimate Games provided us with a Demolish & Build Classic Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.