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VINE VOICEon 14 September 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My initial thoughts on this game were, how a building demolition simulation could be entertaining and enjoyable?
When I first started it up after installation it was a little slow yes, but I thought I will persevere as I knew things should get more interesting as much bigger demolition vehicles start to become available later. You start the game in career mode at lowly novice level without much equipment or skill to do anything but basic jobs. As your money and skill start to increase by progressing through the game you start to unlock missions and vehicles not previously available.

Playing over a long weekend I couldn't wait to get back and play a new session each time. You start with the absolute basic tools and no money. Your first port of call is the training yard (which you can go to train yourself up every time you buy a new and more sophisticated bit of machinery. There loads of different and varied equipment available to try, certain machines only becoming available once you have enough money, and also have amassed sufficient skill level. There's even a couple of tools thrown in which are pure science fiction for later thrills and spills but I wont spoil your fun if you haven't already seen them. Alas although there a number of missions to complete, there are perhaps too few to aid longevity of the game.

Overall the game has plenty of varied and jobs to attempt in a number of different locations and scenarios. these steadily become available to you after your skill steadily builds up after completing the available jobs. Jobs often require skilful play so as to avoid causing too much unnecessary damage (for which there is a penalty).

The game is played fairly openly in that you go into the office choose from whatever contracts are available and the go off and do them using the equipment specified beforehand (later in the game (after getting to a certain level of skill) you can actually specify which type of equipment you what to use). Once you have finished the job in a satisfactory manner (ie you haven't caused more unnecessary damage than you are allowed) and have fulfilled the objectives of the brief, then the job is deemed complete. You can choose to end the mission there or choose to explore the site and find bonus items like scrap metal for extra cash.

So what are you waiting for? Hard hats on and wrecking ball at the ready for some heavy duty fun as you vent your frustration on a load of bricks!

Pros: varied jobs, plenty of equipment choice, realistic, graphics, sound
Cons: Longevity (game finishes too quickly)
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 September 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I found the play of this game quite tiresome and irritating. In fact, I did not even complete tutorial due to the slow tedious process.
You are expected to complete a tutorial on which you smash things with a hammer. Each hammer stroke took a good 10 seconds to complete and after the first 3 or 4 crashes, I already had the idea, I didn't think it required the further 4 or 5 smashes. I'm not sure if each crash was supposed to last as long as they did or if it was some sort of lag in the processing speed of the game.
While it is perfectly plausible it was indeed my machine causing the lag in the processing speed, I have not had any issues with any other software installed on it to date and my machine was bought new earlier this year top specs at the time.

The slow gameplay made me give up soon after.

Not recommended
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VINE VOICEon 26 August 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When we tried to install the game, the graphic card update suggested did not work. This meant that it had to be installed on a computer with a newer graphics card. It then worked with full functionality.

The game involves mastering techniques to destroy buildings using a variety of items and vehicles, including sledge hammers, wrecking balls and giant bulldozers. The activity is initially fun but not especially challenging because the time limits are more than adequate to complete every task. The graphics themselves are impressive, for example when you blow up a smoke stack you can see the individual bricks and it feels very true to life (only not as dangerous as in reality). There is a welcome lack of sadism also and this was pleasing. The only real problem is that the level progression is very basic and there is no especial joy to be gained from movng from one level to the next.

I think that I could recommend it for children under twelve because it would be enjoyable and is reasonably "innocent" in content. Adults would need more of a challenge.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 September 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This isn't so much a game; it's a series of tasks you have to complete. But, being able to knock the heck out of buildings is fun.

Getting started is a bit tedious, but necessary. You have to go to the training school to learn how to use the demolition items, like the sledge hammer and the hammer drill thing.

Onto moving around. It is quite difficult at first, and takes a lot of practice. However, you can, if you have one, use an Xbox 360 controller (if your PC supports it of course) and it would be easier that way. I have to stick to the keyboard, it's OK using it but you need to remember what buttons to press.

Onto the game. As I have said you need to do the tutorial/practice levels and when you have done them you unlock the next level of the game. You have to carry out the next level of the game to earn enough money to enable you to buy better tools, which in turn unlock the next level. On each level you have to hunt out the piles of scrap which earn you money. You can play each level as many times as you want, so once you know where the scrap is you can just keep collecting it.

I have played a few levels now, but haven't unlocked the explosives yet. Really looking forward to knocking something down with that.

Now, what your computer needs: you need either Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, 1GB of ram and 1GB on the hard drive, 2GHz Intel or AMD processor, and the video card needs to be NVIDIA GeForce 6800 series, ATI Radeon X850 or S3 Chrome 430 GT with 256 MB VRAM.

Would really recommend this for kids, both little and big.
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VINE VOICEon 3 September 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a fun, accessible and satisfying simulation game with an immersive in-game cityscape world, and convincing sound and graphics. It has the odd flaw and limitation, but is nevertheless a solid game and a refreshing change.

I don't have a high powered games machine but still suffered no issues on loading. Game play and graphics are smooth. A glitch I uncovered was compatibility with my joy pad. Initially I could not stop my demolition worker looking up to the heavens, and heavens which span around at that. Walking, let alone operating demolition machinery in this state, was a challenge and not advisable. I reset the control settings to standard which worked for a short while, but then started again on one of the missions. I gave up the joy pad and stuck with keyboard for movement and actions and mouse for camera and some actions, which works well enough.

You begin in what appears to be and continues to be a very immersive and atmospheric in-game cityscape world, outside your house. You walk a short distance to a demolition training centre to practice your first tool, the sledgehammer. And the satisfaction to be gained from swinging the thing and bringing down walls is visceral. You can then begin your career, knocking out marked walls in a building and earning money, before graduating to more advanced tools and machines, when you have enough XP to use them, and money to buy them. More advanced missions give you higher XP and earnings, allowing you to access new areas of the game, including an airport. So, from the sledgehammer you move on to jackhammers (there are more powerful variations for tougher masonry later which are brilliant, giving you a real kick as you bring down entire sections of buildings with them), skid steers, dump trucks, wrecking balls (deep joy), and, hubba hubba, explosives.

Controlling the vehicles and the camera takes time to master but is a fair challenge, and there is a camera button that lets you toggle between different views.

The strategy and higher challenges of the game lie in controlled demolition; ensuring rubble does not hit designated areas (e.g. a street or airport runway, and beating the clock for a time bonus. So, you have to think, what are the building's weakest spots? What tools or machines can I use (most missions allow you to use a combination) and when? You may, then, begin to unleash havoc with a wrecking ball, but then have to go in and mop up with a jackhammer. One of the most pleasing moments for me so far was planting explosives on a building's corner supports (the corners I judged would allow it to fall away from the airport runway and then...blam! watching the building sag slowly to its knees to crumble in a cloud of masonry without being a hazard to taxiing aircraft.

Other reviewers have pointed to flaws that limit the challenge and I broadly agree. It wasn't long (roughly 3 hours game-play) before I unlocked the airport, one of the games newer areas, and being invincible does detract from what otherwise feels a convincing simulation (e.g. I can go into ruins and plug away with my jackhammer without fear of being buried alive, I can step off tall buildings without injury). Having real threats to your life would make it a far tenser experience and prolong the game play.
And not being able to use the joy pad was a frustration (could be a compatibility issue).

But all that said, this is a good and decent alternative to bloodshed and shoot 'em ups, more accessible and fun than other simulation games I've tried, with very impressive production values.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'll be honest enough to say that I'm not a huge games fan - I just dip in and out now and again. As this was sent to me for review I thought I'd better take a reasonable stab at it and thus I loaded it onto my computer and set too.

Firstly it loaded fine. This is always a bit of a relief as I've had the odd few hiccups over the years when I used to play PC games more often.

The concept of the game is simple enough - knock down a building which is around a 10 minute mission without taking the neighbourhood with it. If you are in the mood it can be quite addictive and you can set different difficulty levels (3) which, if like me you are not a hard core gamer but dip in once and a while is useful when starting out. Not knowing better I think that this must be one of the more unusual sims around so I guess it earns some brownie points for being different.

Graphics are reasonable and the machines well modeled. Not going to set the software world alight but then it's not a premium price game either.

Of course, as always there is a downside and the downside of this game is the lack of variation. Fun for a while knocking down stuff or blowing it up but I certainly ran out of steam after a few sessions. So, overall a decent enough distraction at reasonable money for a short period of time.
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VINE VOICEon 25 August 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I wasn't expecting much from this game and that's what I got - not much. The idea is that you run a company where you knock down buildings for rewards.

In practice there is a 1st person view of a variety of urban scenes where you complete "missions" for the next things to bash down. The graphics are simplistic. The gameplay is infantile. Literally it is find thing to be smashed, then smash it.

There are a variety of tools for the job. You start with a sledgehammer, graduate on to a jack hammer. You can get into a JCB and drive that with hammer tip on the mechanical arm. I didn't play for long enough to get to the explosives or the wrecking ball. I was put off by the slowness of the gameplay. Knocking down walls brick by brick - point mouse, click, nothing happens, point mouse, click, brick breaks, point mouse to next brick, click, nothing happens, point mouse, click again, brick breaks, repeat until bored to tears.

In most first person games, breaking containers or walls is a side-issue that you might do to gain extra bonuses. In this game, it is the only thing that happens. Again and again and again.
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VINE VOICEon 7 September 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Originally I didn't think I would like this game too much. It seemed that it was all about destruction - what could be fun about that? I was wrong.

I very much enjoyed knocking over buildings, especially by using the explosives. The last level in particular was very inventive in the way you needed to demolish the building.

But before that I had to work my way up through all the different hand tools and vehicles. The sledgehammer was the first tool I was allowed to use. Frankly this was disappointing. I had to hit a wall with it and bits would fall out, but always unnaturally rectangular sections. Surely destroying a real wall wouldn't be as uniform as this? But then I advanced in my career. I started to enjoy destroying things with the explosives and the wrecking ball and the other vehicles.

The game did get a bit tedious looking for various piles of scrap metal in the game, particularly the stages in the large airport level, although this part of the game is optional. However the destruction element of the game, bar a couple of fiddly levels, was a good little time-waster.
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VINE VOICEon 13 September 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I thought this game would be a lot of fun but sadly not. First I had to sort out the controls; using the keyboard is annoying and fiddly, trying to drive an excavator, control its arm and aim for the correct bit of wall is a struggle. I don't recommend trying this game without a gamepad, but even with one its not the easiest game to control with accuracy and you still need to use the mouse for some actions. When I did get the controls sorted I worked through the tutorials and tried a few missions, to begin with this is quite fun but then you realise that you just need to carry out the same actions over and over again. There is a limit to how many times you can swing a sledgehammer before it gets a bit dull! Maybe it gets more interesting with some of the bigger vehicles, using a wrecking ball does seem a cool thing to do, but I got bored before reaching those. According to the game leaflet after level 7 you can choose any vehicles for a mission so maybe I should give the game another go and try to level up, then again maybe I can find something more interesting to do!
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VINE VOICEon 8 September 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have enjoyed playing Simulation games over the years, such as Sim City and Theme Park.

When I started playing Demolition Company, the first thing I noticed was the quality of the graphics - Stunning realism.

I started off slowly as it took time to get used to the controls. I am disabled and some of the key combinations were difficult. Fortunately, all commands are mappable and I soon set the keyboard as I liked it.

I found the game itself quite slow as its completed in real time. This means walking / driving occurs at the same pace as a real person / vehicle. It's not realistic however, if you fall off a tall building, you just carry on! Not a good example to kids who need to respect machinery.

Its great fun smashing things up and progressing onto bigger machines and most fun, explosives. On a powerful computer like this, the sound and graphics are super, I actually enjoyed exploring the city.

My two nephews aged 6 & 8 are hooked, wanting to carry on to unlock the airport quarter. I have decided I have done enough!
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