Game Review: Build-a-lot

Last night, I decided to break out of my video game rut. I've been playing way too many time management and hidden object games. So I downloaded Build-a-lot from Big Fish Games. The description reads: Become a real estate mogul and take over the housing market as you construct, upgrade and sell houses for huge profits! You can flip houses for quick cash or sit back and watch the rental income pile up. Travel to scenic towns and perform special tasks for the local mayors. Buy blue prints of new buildings to build bigger and better neighborhoods! Can you build an ice rink for the Olympics? A new cinema for the local movie star? Find out in the new strategy game, Build-a-lot!

I usually suck at strategy games but what the heck. It won't kill me to play an hour demo. The game actually turned out to be quite fun! I played through the first three towns. Well, I shouldn't really count the first town since that is the tutorial. In each town, you are given a list of goals to accomplish. They vary from things like 'Build 3 Colonial Houses' to 'Build A Library' to 'Hire 5 Workers.' While each of these sounds like really easy goals, you quickly find that you have to do some financial juggling in order to accomplish them. You start out with three workers, one housing blueprint and you need to purchase materials. To accomplish the 'Build A Library' goal, you need to juggle your finances enough to buy the library blueprint, hire two more workers and purchase 1500 units of building materials. In order to get the finances going, you need to build enough houses to generate enough rental income to buy everything you need. And, of course, there is a timer. If you accomplish all your goals fast enough, you get a blue ribbon for that section.

I know that I haven't really made the game sound as fun as it is. It plays a lot like a time management game but it's more than that. I found it to be a really enjoyable game and I just might purchase the full version so I can play some more.