Build-a-lot 3 for G5 Entertainment brings you all the fun of becoming a world class real estate tycoon with none of that pesky real work everyone’s always talking about. You’ll travel around various countries in Europe, buying, selling, building, and restoring to your heart’s content.
The basic premise of Build-a-lot 3 is simple and easy to pick up. You are taken to a country and given a task there by the local mayor. At first, these are things like like buying and selling a certain number of houses. This is accomplished by first buying a lot (you’ll generally start out owning just a few), and then buying materials for your workers to build with. Before you can build a new type of building, you’ll also need to purchase a blueprint for it. There are all sorts of houses, from a simple cottage to a spacious chateau. The larger the house, the more materials and workers are needed to complete it – but also the more rent you’ll receive from it each cycle.
Once built, houses can also be upgraded, up to three times. Each upgrade increases the rent collected, but also uses up materials and worker time. You can also eventually do things like paint and landscape the houses, which raises the appeal of your neighborhood (which is often one of the tasks set for you). You’ll have to strike a pretty good balance of spending and collecting if you want to meet the goals set out for the level in time.
Each level has a list of goals that you must meet before the timer runs out. The simple tutorial at the beginning of the game does a great job of explaining how to play, and the progression in difficulty of the game is quite natural. It does get quite difficult to meet all the goals the longer you play, but if you do fail you can repeat the level as many times as you need to. You also can go back and replay levels if you like, by selecting the passport option from the menu.
Build-a-lot 3 isn’t just about building and selling houses. You are really creating a whole neighborhood. As you progress in the game, you’ll start to deal with issues like house fires, rowdy neighbors, and more. You can pay for the police to come or a fire truck to respond, or you can build a police station or firehouse right in your neighborhood. People need mail; people need hospitals (wow, these people are demanding). You are kept very busy, right from the start, trying to strike the right balance between building and upgrading houses to collect enough rent, while finding enough time and money to fit in the required tasks to meet your goals.
You can also build things like garden centers to provide landscaping, workshops to get workers faster, or sawmills for more materials – even a world bank. To add appeal to the neighborhood (and raise your rating), there are various landmarks you can build that, while they won’t help you out any with rent, will significantly raise the appeal of your town.
Build-a-lot 3 is a great time management game that really keeps you hopping. You have to make difficult decisions each level in order to both meet your goals and earn enough money to do so. The real estate theme is a lot of fun, and easy for people to understand and get immersed in. There are loads of levels to play, spread all over Europe, and you’ll get hours of play for not much cash. If time management is your thing – or if you just want to try out the genre – Build-a-lot 3 is a great game to get you on your way to tycoon status.