[REVIEW] Build-A-Lot Lite

Discussion in 'iTunes App Store Reviews' started by Akiyama Mio, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. Akiyama Mio

    Akiyama Mio Member

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    Price: Free

    Version: 1.1 (iPhone OS 3.0 Tested)

    iTunes Store link: Build-A-Lot Lite

    Developer: Glu

    Build-A-Lot puts the world of real estate right into your iPhone. Build, buy, and sell houses to put the real estate market through the roof! Work your way up to commercial areas and build fire stations, ice rinks, cinemas, etc. Sadly, you can't do all that in the lite version. Which I'm reviewing. (For those of you who want to know "Yes or No", check out my new section - "The Bottom Line"

    Gameplay

    This game is easy on the newcomers, and provides plenty of general instructions throughout the campaign as you progress. Build-A-Lot starts off nice, slow, and easy - but don't let that fool you. Every level adds on another gameplay element, adding more challenge! You get a limited amount of time to complete each mission, which involves building certain things, drafting different blueprints, and getting your income to a set amount of money. This game puts you in a residential sim city builder of sorts. Your job is to build up neighborhoods by building and selling various houses and buildings.

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    Hey look, it's the first part of the game! Yay!

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    Nice, I completed the tutorial. That was nice and short, the perfect tutorial.



    You have to hire more workers to do things such as building bigger houses, repairs, and to buy materials. Hiring works requires to train them, which costs from $50,000+. Workers generally tell you why you can't do something, such as upgrading a house because you have less the the required materials.

    The goal of the game is generally 1 of 3 things: Reach a certain sum of money, gain a certain amount of rent income, or build a specific house a set amount of times. The missions vary per neighborhood, and many times will change on the fly based on progress. In order to move onto the following neighborhood, you must complete all of the objectives. These usually consist of something like the following:

    Draft a [Building] Blueprint
    Own 1 [Building]
    Rental Income of [amount]

    Rental Income is usually what gets me. Rental Income is based upon on how much buildings you have built, how much you get each time you get your rent, and how much a building is upgraded.

    Depending on the amount of buildings you have built, your rental income will increase depending on how much each building is worth. For example, say you have one rambler built, your income would be $750. Add another rambler, your income is now 1500.

    Upgrading takes away from material and can occupy more then 2 workers. Depending on the size of the house, it can take up too 4 workers to upgrade! Upgrading also adds to your income. You upgraded that first rambler once, then the other rambler twice, your total income from the two should be around $2,000 ~ $4,000. Colonials are different. Your income from a regular colonial is $1,500. You upgrading that Colonial as much as possible, 3 times. Your income from that one colonial now is $3,000 ~ $5,000. You've know reached your set amount of income for that objective, which is no longer needed. That's usually always the last objective completed since it requires the other objective, usually.

    Selling houses allows you to get money, quickly. A normal rambler is $25,000. That $25,000 goes to the money that you can hire workers with, buy materials, etc. Have a really nice Colonial built? That's a nice $75,000, right there. Don't get too c*cky, though - enough material will suck you on $75,000 quickly. Lots can also be sold. Lots are land unoccupied by houses. Lots can be sold for $25,000 to $75,000 (In the lite version, I believe.). You can also buy houses and lots that others are selling - but I warn you, they're not that cheap.

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    In this gif, I show you a few things - How hard this game can be, a message from the mayor, and a few panels. Do note my Career Earnings - $666,000.

    At the end of the Lite Version, you are presented with a screen explaining things available in the full version, and an option to go into the App Store and purchase it.

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    Ah, the end. Remind to get the full version.


    Graphics
    All of this comes in nice, sprite styled graphics. They're not quite amazing, but are certainly polished. They definitely could be upgraded quite a bit, but these kind of graphics fit with such a game.

    I love how detailed the homes are! You can see the windows, what type of home it is, again, I love the subtle animation of the wind blowing the flowers, the animated construction of the home and the Mayors themselves that I mentioned earlier that actually blink. These touches bring Build-a-lot to life!

    The interface is very nice and fit for the iPhone/iPod Touch main screen in Build-a-lot consists of 4 different colored tabs.

    * Money & Goals (Green) - Cash total & what goals are to be done
    * Workers (Yellow) - Total of workers you have if any
    * Materials (Red) - The number of Construction Material you have
    * Blueprints owned (Blue) - Total amount owned

    The Money & Goals tab tells you if you are collecting rent and also tells you your current objective, so if you forget what you are supposed to be doing, simply click on this green tab. The Workers tab let’s you see how many workers your current cash flow will allow you to have. Blueprints tab is self explanatory if you want to see how many Blueprints you have acquired.

    Extras
    Audio/Sound Effects​
    I nearly forgot about yah! The audio is quite soothing and isn't as annoying as it is in some games. Simple beats and nice little tunes - Where it's all at. Sound Effects, such as wind blowing can also be heard throughout the game.

    Ratings

    Gamplay - 9/10 - Completely addicting. I have absolutely no complaints. Didn’t really know what to expect when I first started playing, and before I knew it an hour had passed. I’m not normally a TM type of guy, but this game has a lot of polish and charm to it. Interface is excellent, and the fantastic “teach as you go” aspect is perfect for noobs like me. It's only 9/10 because of the restrictions of the lite one - I'll be getting the full version as soon as I can!

    Presentation/Graphics - 7/10 - The graphics are sprites, which definitely could be upgraded a little, but the details are very nice. Small effects such as wind blowing in flowers make it nice. The presentation is nice, but it's what you'd expect, which is somewhat pulling down the rating on this one. Menus are color coded which makes me happy ~

    Sound - 6/10 - Good music and sound effects. Nothing is amazing, but it works, and doesn’t get annoying.

    Replay Value - 4/10 - There isn't quite much to replay for the Lite version. What I've read from the full version though, is that it's very nice - and casual mode makes it even more worth replaying.

    Overall - 6/10 - Build-a-Lot takes a casual time management game and combines it with the charm of Sim City. It is a great first game for newcomers to the genre, and still a great challenge to those with experience.


    The Bottom Line
    Build-a-lot is a unique game, I found it delightful in that you have to use strategy, common sense and take risks as well to climb the ladder to Real Estate Success. If you like Tycoon games, business sims or time management games, I highly recommend Build-a-Lot to you. I recommend this to any gamer who is adventurous and wants a quality game. I suggest this game and it’s fun to get away from reality for awhile and try to be a Real Estate Mogul!**

    **Lite version is somewhat restricted.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    My god, I had such reviewers block. Enjoy. IMHO, I found it really hard to review the lite version. Maybe I'll be back with a review of the full version eventually?

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  2. iamkewl

    iamkewl Banned

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    Damn. you reviews are good!

    Why aren't you a member review thingy?
  3. Akiyama Mio

    Akiyama Mio Member

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    It's either someone is paying you or I'm reaaaallly tired. Or I guess I have low confidence when it comes to my reviews? ~

    I'm uploading a thumbnail now, I forgot completely. So tirreeeedd.
  4. Education

    Education Member

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    An excellent review once again! Keep up the good work and I really think you can make it into the MR Team.
  5. studangerous

    studangerous Super Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    Nice review. Your scoring looks to be a bit off though. I'll soon be putting up a sticky on scoring reviews using the same method the MR Team are using.
  6. Akiyama Mio

    Akiyama Mio Member

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    Yeah, I'm not quite sure how to rate perfectly.

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    Usually I just guess...x: I was really tired last night though, I fixed the rating for Overall a bit.
  7. Manic Nimrod

    Manic Nimrod Well-Known Member

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    wow, detailed review.

    I might have to try the free version..hmm.
  8. Akiyama Mio

    Akiyama Mio Member

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    Please do! It's convincing enough to make me get the full version. I get to pay taxes, yay!
  9. teehee123

    teehee123 Banned

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    VERY NICE REVIEWS! I will have to check this out! I think you would be good on th MR Team...
  10. Radish

    Radish Banned

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    This is my favourite game at the moment. ;D

    Gewd jerb.

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