Build in Time


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Rating: 4/5 (23 votes)
| Comments (9) | Views (37)

Weekend Download

JohnBSick of slinging cakes in time management games? Want to build a real estate empire but don't feel like crunching numbers? Build in Time may be your answer. Combining some of the best features from big titles such as Build-a-lot 2: Town of the Year and Cake Mania 2, Build in Time blends resource management gameplay with a simple real estate theme to breathe a little life into a familiar genre.

buildintime.jpgBuild in Time puts you in the shoes of Mark Retro, a recent graduate eager to join the workforce. A large building firm hires him on the spot and Mark begins a career that spans 60 years of housing styles. As you play you'll follow the young man's life as he grows up, gets married and starts a family. Your skill at playing the game affects events in Mark's life, and the houses you build (along with the customers) reflect different decades as you play.

The basic skeleton of Build in Time sticks close to the time management formula. When a customer calls, answer the phone and wait for him or her to choose a house. Then, click the matching style and set your crew to work on an empty lot. Once the house is built you'll need to construct any additions and paint it the right color, then simply drag the customer to his new abode to collect your money. Work as fast as you can, as happy customers pay extra cash, which can be a crucial factor in meeting your revenue requirement for the level.

What resource management game would be complete without the ability to buy upgrades between rounds? Build in Time allows you to purchase faster work crews, new add-ons to increase the value of your houses, a receptionist to answer customer calls, additional work crews to build/paint several projects at the same time, and more. This is where individual playing styles can really flourish.

buildintime2.jpgAn interesting gameplay addition to Build in Time is the click assist that allows you to hurry workers by rapidly clicking on a job in progress. You can even build combos by constructing three homes of the same style or color with identical accessory (garage, pool, etc.), allowing you to click just three times to finish any in-progress construction. It shoves a spaztastic arcadey feeling to an otherwise precision/reflex-based genre, but mostly it's a welcome addition.

Analysis: Build in Time contains everything you need to know about its gameplay and theme in the title: constructing houses as fast as you can (enhanced by the frantic click assist feature), and building houses through six decades of architectural stylings. Paralleling the game's progression with Mark's life is a great touch and makes the experience feel a little more personal.

If you want to pick a few bones with Build in Time, it is a bit lacking in the graphical department and the gameplay itself could use a little spicing up. The visuals, while perfectly adequate and far from distasteful, don't offer anything special on any front. And after a few long sessions of house building you'll begin to feel as if you're doing the same thing over and over again. The upgrades change things around a bit, but you still feel a bit constrained as far as what you can do and how you can do it more efficiently.

The core gameplay doesn't stray from the beaten resource management path, but the theme leaps right out of the mold and takes a meandering walk through the daisies. I suppose a real estate-flavored game of this type was inevitable after the huge success of the Build-a-lot series, but Build in Time gets everything just about right.

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9 Comments

What a coincidence! a few hours ago, i played it! i got to year 1961

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Tranchera Author Profile Page June 27, 2008 11:37 PM

I think the power necessary to run a casual game is important. I doubt many housewives and family types will have a very strong computer.

That said, I played this a few weeks ago and it lagged like a mofo.

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I'm a housewife type and it runs great on my little computer. :)

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I found something good about earning stars:

If you replay a level to get more stars, you don't lose the ones you already got. You only have to get the ones you missed. :)

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Uh... I'm a housewife/family type. Actually what you'd call a stay-at-home dad. I look after the kids and I've been a game reviewer for more than three years. My computer has the guts to run anything thrown at it (at an average of two new games a day). It's not custom, it's not special, it's just a computer. I don't even know its specs.

That said, maybe you have the computer of a sad single basement-dweller. Uncalled-for generalisation, much?

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page June 28, 2008 7:27 AM

This game just is close to explode full of prototypical americanism, I wouldn't now where to start if I'd had to describe it.

Play it a lot, and your mind will be 100% american. Let your kids play them, so they sure will become nice americans too.

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So I better tell my kids not to play? Lol, I like them as normal Europeans. Have an american guy as son in law and eventhough I love him... I wouldnt want my wole family to be like this ;)))) (dont get that wrong please, its not meant rude. More with a smile and ;0))

Greetings, Kayleigh

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Thanks everyone from the JiG team! This is the game I've always wanted. It's easy (all start on '50s on the first try) but very fun, and with a enormous replay value. Thanks again! ;)

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Anonymous August 2, 2010 1:32 AM

I'm a housemom (not wife) and family type, and my computer that I built myself runs it like a charm. Stereotypes don't always fit Tranchera. Since your computer lags, would you like me to build one capable of gaming for you? LOL.

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