Once you’ve built a lot of houses throughout modern times, the Elizabethan era, and a fairy tale world, what’s next? Why, the world, of course! Build-a-lot World expands the classic Build-a-lot resource management formula with some new tricks learned from modern mobile games. It’s still the same house upgrading, money collecting game at heart, only now, it’s international.
The over-arching goal in Build-a-lot World is to make lots of money. You do this by snatching up vacant lots, building houses, improving those houses, then collecting rent or flipping properties for a profit. The main resources you’ll manage are workers and materials, both of which can be expanded by a simple click on the menu. You’ll also keep an eye on appeal ratings and world points, but unless the level has a specific goal relating to either of these, you’ll probably just ignore them and keep on building. The key to winning at Build-a-lot is to move fast and make a profit. Easy, right?!
The real challenges come into play when properties go up for sale. You can purchase vacant lots for the asking price, or you can try offering a lower amount, see if the seller will agree. Depending on the state of the market that may or may not work in your favor. If people are really desperate to move their land, you can extend a lowball offer to pick up property at a fraction of the coast. It’s exciting when this actually works, but again, you have to keep an eye on the market movement to know if it’ll be a success. Or manipulate it yourself by putting a bunch of your houses on sale. Wink wink.
True to its name, Build-a-lot World moves through multiple environments representing different parts of the world. The change of scenery is great, even though the core game doesn’t shift that much with the new terrain. Also, later in the game you’ll get to manage things like power output, parks, and shops, all of which enhance your up-and-coming neighborhood’s income and appeal. It slightly increases the complexity, but it’s worth it.
Build-a-lot World utilizes several freemium aspects common in modern mobile games. Playing stages requires energy, for example, which refills automatically over time. You can also opt for pre-level boosts to give you a head start on the stage. The Partnership purchases let you buy buildings that give your entire game a bit of a boost. You can obtain them normally by building the structures in a town, but in case you want the bonus early, it’s there. These features are optional and can be skipped with the click of a button. Honestly, using them feels a little bit like cheating, though maybe that’s because other Build-a-lot games didn’t have this feature.
The freemium aspects seem a little out of place in a Build-a-lot game, but thankfully World doesn’t rely too heavily on them. Once you get into the swing of building, flipping, upgrading and selling, Build-a-lot World provides a great resource management experience that’ll keep you entertained for hours.