Build-a-lot challenges players to become the ultimate property tycoon and take over the housing market, earning huge multi-million dollar profits along the way. Budding property developers must manage the purchase, construction, renting and selling of both commercial and residential buildings to generate large profits and kick start their empire.
Career Mode features 35 fun and challenging levels to complete against the clock. Players will travel to 8 scenic towns to accomplish all of the tasks set by demanding town mayors. Task objectives range from owning a certain number of specific houses, to reaching a target rental income, or building cinemas for local celebrities at premier locations. All tasks must be completed before time runs out and success slips back down the property ladder. Alternatively, the Casual Mode of play allows players to throw away the blueprints and create neighbourhoods to personal specifications without the pressure of the ticking clock.
Using the stylus to navigate through the game, players can select an empty plot and start building their property empire. The top screen displays current income, money available to spend, potential and current rent, a countdown timer and the tasks in hand. Using the bottom screen, players can purchase building materials, train workmen, buy blueprints and empty plots, construct houses and upgrade homes in order to generate higher rental income.
To carry on up the property ladder and create a successful empire, further commercial buildings must be constructed. Building a sawmill will enable players to purchase discounted construction materials; a workshop will allow workmen to be trained at a discounted price; and banks can be built for donating interest to avoid huge tax duty.
Rental income can be increased by upgrading homes with deluxe alarm systems, swimming pools and gymnasiums. Players can also unlock residential blueprints to construct premier buildings such as stately homes, mansions and castles. Commercial buildings that can be unlocked include museums, surf shacks and Olympic swimming pools.
Build-a-lot previously won The Zeebys creative award (the gamer’s version of the Oscars) for the Most Innovative Game. “With Build-a-lot’s broad appeal and addictive gameplay, we expect it to follow in similar footsteps and make the transition to the Nintendo DS with equal success,” states Simon Reynolds, European Games Director for Avanquest Software.
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