JayisGames.com is now available ad-free!
Jay is Games recommends Cheat Happens with 8,000+ games and 35,000+ trainers!

  • Review

  • Download Games


  • Currently 4.7/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 4.7/5 (31 votes)
Comments (58) | Views (8,270)


JohnBReal estate sounds about as exciting as tax accounting when it comes to casual games, but in HipSoft's latest tycoon-style title, Build-a-lot, managing your empire turns out to be quite entertaining. You assume the role of a contractor working for towns to improve property value. In each round you're given a set of goals by the mayor that must be completed within the time limit. Tasks include building houses on vacant lots, upgrading homes to higher-rent properties, researching new structure blueprints, and managing cashflow to feed all your ventures. The description sounds rather dry, but once you dive into the game, you'll have a surprising amount of fun.

buildalot2.jpgThe goal of Build-a-lot is quite simple: build a lot! The interface turns almost every chore into a one-click action, allowing you to focus on managing money, materials, workers, repairs and blueprints without distraction. To build a house all you have to do is click on an empty lot. If you have the resources the workers will hop to it. If you don't, simply float the cursor down to the menu and buy more. Income is based on the value of each lot you own, so upgrading houses to a more lavish setting will increase the rent and raise your cashflow. You can also flip houses for quick cash, but in the long run your bank account will suffer.

Your success as a real estate mogul depends on the choices you make, and Build-a-lot throws some tough ones at you each level. Empty lots and complete houses pop on the market at seemingly random times and must be purchased quickly before they fade. But what if you don't have the cash? Even if you did, should you expand or focus on improving your current properties? Micro decisions such as this spill into managing your workforce and materials and add up to a game with a surprising amount of strategy.

If you enjoyed this game, be sure to check out our review of Build-a-lot 2: Town of the Year.

buildalot3.jpgBut don't think you can just build a ton of houses and breeze through the game. The more you upgrade a building, the more upkeep and taxes it will require, sapping a little more cash than a basic home. The income is greater, but so is the risk, and if you can't keep everything in check, you'll topple at a blinding speed. In addition to the standard Career mode, Build-a-lot offers a Casual mode that allows you to compete with other players via an online scoreboard. Start in your chosen town and raise money as quickly as you can, posting stats such as amount of materials used and money earned.

Analysis: Perhaps the scariest thing about Build-a-lot is the foreboding (and dry) real estate theme. It sounds like such a headache, and the tiny, stark visuals do very little to make the game more inviting. But Build-a-lot is far from bland and offers a great tutorial system that walks you through the relatively simple process of managing your real estate empire step-by-step. Once you get started, everything runs smoothly and the real fun begins. You definitely feel a sense of accomplishment (and perhaps even power?) when you hit the big bucks and the mayor showers you with praise!

Download the demo Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the demo Get the full version

Build-a-lot is available to download from these affiliates:
Arcade TownBig Fish Games


hey j.... quick one whats ur contact email for this site? i look around but it is harder to find than the solving of the puzzle of the feed machine in chicken grow w/out walkthrough...40+plus manuveurs well done bonte...anyways just want to give u some props.


Contact email is at the bottom of the left sidebar on most every page of the site. :)

Thanks for the props! :D


This is a really good game. I downloaded it after the review of Farm Frenzy last week, though it does get a little bit repetitive towards the end levels.


Are the Weekend Downloads not counted as real reviews, like the Friday Link Dumps? (since this was in a Weekend Download a few months ago...) I downloaded the game way back when. It's a little confusing to see a previously minimally reviewed game reviewed again (without explanation), or a fully reviewed game reviewed in a Link Dump without mentioning the fuller review.

Or maybe I'm just easily confused.


Correct. We don't consider the dump-style posts as full reviews. And rarely will we link dump games that were previously reviewed, though sometimes that has happened, mostly by oversight.

fuzzyface January 5, 2008 8:02 PM

""The interface turns almost every chore into a one-click action,""

Well, I needed at least two clicks to do most stuff..

Like selecting the ground then selecting the build option.


Leave it to you to point that out, fuzzygrid. :p

I believe his point was that once you select what it is you want to operate on, the resulting action can be accomplished with a single click.


I can't remember how I came across this game, but after playing the timelimited demo, I bought the full game. It is simple, fun and quite addictive.


I downloaded this from reflexive a while ago and played it. It's fun, but once you're done, you're done, and the levels and goals don't change really appreciably once you learn how to build the bank, workshop, and lumber mill.

Armedgaurd123 March 24, 2008 2:08 PM

I have a question. I heard of if you get stars on all of the game that it unlocks another searies. I have completed all of the series up to 29 and I am stuck. would like some help with getting the star on it and any help on getting the star on the rest. thanks


I like the game but i have been stuck on level 26 for so long that i'm almost to the point of wishing i hadn't bought the game. I'm all for a challenge but this is getting ridiculous.. i can't get the rent high enough... have tried many different things....what's the sequence that i'm missing.. would appriciate the help


Just wanted to let you know that I found this game available for Mac. As a Mac user, it's easy to feel left out the weekend download section (but of course that comes with the territory of being a Mac user), so here's the link for any other Mac users out there who want to play:

Build-a-lot for Mac

Love the site. Keep up the good work. (And add more links for finding games by category.)


@ Kelly

Dont know, if you finally found out, but here is a walkthrough from level 26:

# LEVEL 26
Goals: (1) own 1 Castle (2) rental income of $275,000 (3) three 4 star Tudor (4) four 4 star Estates

# Build a workshop and train 2 additional workers.

# Build a saw mill and buy 5000 materials after the mill is built.

# Build 3 Mansions on regular lots and upgrade them each with one star.

# Sell one Mansion when there are none or just one property for sale at the moment.

# Buy the smallest premier lot ($180,000) if it's available at that time or wait until it comes up.

# Buy 5000 materials and build a bank and designate it as a charitable institution.

# Buy a Colonial house, demolish it and then soon after and build a Tudor on it instead.

# Buy the Castle blueprint train 2 more workers and demolish the premier property and build a Castle on that instead. Upgrade the Castle to 4 stars and inspect it.

# Start buying as many properties as you can afford, demolish them and start building the Estates and the Tudors that you need. Upgrade three Tudors to a 4 star rating and upgrade four Estates to a 4 star rating.

# Buy the next premier property that is available (the Mansion will cost approx $720,000) . Keep that property as is and upgrade it to 4 stars.

# Buy the next premier property, it should be an Estate house, don't demolish it because it will count towards one the houses that you need for your goals. Upgrade it 4 stars and inspect.

# Keep buying 5000 materials as needed and keep upgrading the houses and inspecting them.

# There should be another Estate on a regular lot that will come up for sale at approx $330,000. Buy it and start upgrading it to 4 stars right away.

# Since you have 9 workers you will be able to do multiple jobs at once. Do several upgrades at once to maximize your time.

# Buy whatever property comes up at this time. In the end you should own every single house on the lot, with the exception of maybe one. Demolish the real small ones and upgrade the bigger ones, like the Estates and the Mansions.


I can't get past the last level. I have played the level over 20 times with no success. I can get the castles on the premiere lots, I can get the marina built, and get the rent up to $500,000 but can't amass the $15 million cash. The closest I get is 7 or 8 million dollars cash. Any hints on the order of steps to make this happen??


Hi Lea,

maybe its already to late, but for in case someone needs this or you have a look again, here are a few tips:

#Build in this level only castles.
#Try to buy what ever comes on the market, when you have the money for it.
#As soon as you are asked to repair them, demolish them and build a castle instead
#Train at least 12 workers
# When your total reaches over 9 million and your rental income is over $700,000 and you've met all the requirements, it's time to start selling.
# You should be able to sell 3 of your 4 star castles. You should sell it when no other houses are up for sale and you should get $1,680,000 for each and it will only take away $60,000 of rental income away from your total for each house you sell.
# If you have not purchased all the houses in the neighborhood and one comes up for sale while you are trying to sell your 4 star castle, just buy it right away and your full price will be offered.

That should help to get your goal.


I am stuck on Summit Ridge. I dont know the level but the goal is ; 1 bank, 18 empty lots and 5 mill.dollar.
I'm getting crazy, pls help !!


To Plien:

I'm not sure exactly what kind of trouble you're having on that level. Basically, you need to build houses, sell them until you reach $5 million, then demolish them to have empty lots.


Hi Plien,

maybe a walkthrough will make it easier (btw:Its level 29):

First build 2 Estate houses and sell one right away. The other one upgrade to 2stars, then sell it.

Buy the max amount of materials(5000 units)

Build a saw mill and a workshop.

Build a bank and designate as a charitable institution.

Train 6 workers.

Always buy the max amount in materials as you can.

Start building as many Castles as you can and upgrade to 4 stars and inspect them.

In between doing everything ,buy property, demolish your smaller houses and build bigger ones. Buy everything that comes up that you can afford because you will have to destroy all of them at the end.

Train at least 3 more workers. You will be able to do multiple jobs at one time and they will come in handy as you're demolishing your houses.

In the end you should have at least
Six 4-star Castles
Four 4-star Estates
Five Mansions with 2 stars or more

When your money gets close to 5 million (4.5 or so) You need to follow these steps in the following order:

Demolish the workshop and the saw mill first

Do NOT demolish the bank or you will not meet your goal.

Start demolishing all your small properties first and then proceed to demolish the bigger properties.

You will keep earning rental income on the houses that are still standing until you destroy them. That is why it's important to keep your bigger houses until the last minute.

I had to do that level also a few times, before it worked.

Success, Kayleigh


Thanks Kayleigh. Much better than my advice. :)


Hi, i choose Autumnville as a bonus level. Help me, I saw the targets but I can't seem to find a way to begin...to less money. Anyone??


Sorry, my question was about Build a lot II.


I just downloaded this and am about to play it, but i wanted to state somewhere how much Bigfish Games impresses me. They send little postcards with coupons and today sent me an e-mail alerting me that i had accidentally ordered a game twice and, as a result, had paid for the same game twice. They gave me a coupon code to download one game free. I'm very pleased with them, and i can bet i'll be just as pleased with this game.


Hi schmooz,

glad to hear, that you enjoy bigfish. A lot of the good games come out at bigfish in the first release :))

Im pretty sure, you will enjoy build-a-lot and if there is a problem, let me know, I ll be glad to help you

Greetings, Kayleigh


I need help with Level 19. can anyone tell me how to pass it?

samwaltonjr October 29, 2008 10:40 AM

I have walked through the levels on Build-A-Lot. Now I need to beat time on the game.

samwaltonjr October 30, 2008 5:53 PM

If anyone knows how to beat the time for the levels of 27 and up on Build-A-Lot. So if some one knows how to please comment here. I have the walkthrough, I just need to beat the time.


I've managed to get stars upto level 30 but level 31 is foxing me!


If anyone can please give me some help with level 14 on Build A Lot.

This is the level w/the tax guys for the first time out. You start w/100k and 4 workers. You need 500k and 5- 3 star estates and no empty lots.

weirdnettie December 8, 2008 6:49 AM

This is for Claire. Not sure if you've managed to get a star for level 31, but this is how I managed it (after having repeated the level about 15 times! - yeah, alright, I don't have a life...). I hope the spoiler tag thing works, first time I've used it...

Goals are:
At outset: 1 Premier surfshop, 12 workers.
Later on: 6 four-star ramblers.
Last minute: 1 Premier colonial.

1. Build a workshop, and as soon as it is finished get 2 more workers (I literally had my cursor hovering over the Train 2 Workers button).
2. Build a Mansion
3. Order 500 material units.
4. As soon as the Mansion is finished, build a sawmill.
5. Put the Mansion up for sale as soon as there is either none or only 1 other house up for sale (if there are 2 or more, you may prefer to wait until this changes to one). If you get lumbered with taxes while waiting to list it, restart the level!
6. Once sold, purchase 5000 material units, get 2 more workers, and pick up any cheap (up to Tudor) houses that might come up on the market.
7. Build a castle.
8. IMMEDIATELY build a bank and start Donating.
9. Start upgrading your Castle.
10. Demolish any of the properties you may have picked up as they need repair (or once you've done all of the above), and build a castle on it. At this stage you want to have 2 or 3 castles (but no more), which you should upgrade as soon as convenient - you want to have at least one 4-star castle.
12. Also, get the other 3 workers you need, as soon as convenient. They'll help with the building process.
13. Once you have 2 or 3 castles, you can start demolishing the smaller properties to build ramblers and upgrade them.
14. When one of the premier lots becomes becomes available, sell one of your castles, buy it and upgrade it.
15. Do the same for the second premier lot.
16. You should by now have enough money to buy the blueprint for the surf shop, so do so.
17. Once you've got nearly all ramblers (4 or 5) and have enough money to buy any other property that comes on the market, demolish first the mansion and start building the surfshop.
18. Obviously, pick up any property that you can afford, demolish, build rambler and upgrade to 4 stars.
19. Finally, demolish the premier castle and build a colonial (no need to upgrade).

You may need to get more workers in during the later stages to make sure you can do all jobs concurrently.

Key is to build and sell a mansion at the outset, and have at least one 4 star castles earning money fairly early in the game and throughout until you've got both premier lots bought, so that you can snap up any cheap properties as you go along. Once you sell your first castle, make sure there is another one on the go fairly quickly, until you've bought both premier lots. Once you've either got 2-3 castles or have already purchased the premier lots, you can start building ramblers and upgrading them. And you could even demolish any non-premier castle and replace it with a rambler if you're short of cash, but bear in mind they take quite long time to pull down...

This is basically the stategy that managed to get me a star for this level, but even so, it required several attempts to get everything done in time.

I hope this helps...

Doris Sayers December 25, 2008 11:15 AM

I have been stuck on level 25 for awhile can anyone help with a sequence.


Hey all,
Bought Build-A-Lot 3 and have been stuck at level 28 for two days. Hitting that 2 million means I cannot hit the unhappy lots. Anyone have a creative sequence?


BuZhaiLe - If you have questions about Build-a-lot 3, then you might have better luck finding answers on the Build-a-lot 3 review page:


You will even find a walkthrough guide there that might help.


I am trying to get the expert star on level 14 but the timer always just passes the dash before I can get up to 500,000. Any hints?


I purchased Build-A-Lot 3, and thought I was doing pretty good. Until I reached level 31, and have been at this level for a week! I'm at a stand still, and getting soo frustrated. Please Help!

[Edit: We have a review specifically for Build-A-Lot 3. Please ask your question there. Build-A-Lot 3: Passport to Europe Thanks! -Pam]


I need help with getting a gold star for level 33. I went online and found some help from Gamezebo, but its very confusing. Does anyone have any tips or steps I can do?

sudsrule April 21, 2009 8:26 AM

I'm stuck on level 21.
Help me please!


@sudsrule - Level 21

Goals: 2 Estates on premier lots, build a fire station, 4 million in cash

  • Build a sawmill

  • Buy the maximum amount of materials you can afford. You should be able to build 3 Estates, one at a time with the materials and workers you have

  • Sell one of your Estates

  • As soon as the first premier lot becomes available, buy it. Make sure, that you do not get lass than $300,000

  • Build a workshop and train 6 additional workers so that you can perform multiple jobs at once

  • Buy as many properties that come up for sale as you can

  • Start building as many mansions as you can and upgrade them to 3 stars and inspect them as soon as you do the last upgrade

  • Buy a bank and designate it as a charitable institution so that you don't have to pay the taxes

  • Buy the blueprint for the fire station towards the end once you've accumulated a large amount of cash. You can demolish your smallest property or if you still have an empty lot, build on there

  • Demolish small properties that you've purchased and build bigger houses. Once you've built your 2 Estate Houses and the Fire Station, start selling your mansions first, one at a time to get the best offer

  • Don't sell your 2 Premier Estates or demolish your Fire Station or you will not pass the level

Greetings, Kayleigh


How do you make a Premium Lot?


To Help:

You don't make premium lots. They are already designated when you start a level that features them.

Paulette307 July 26, 2009 3:23 PM

I'm stuck on level 17 and its driving me crazy! Can you help with a walkthrough?
thank you.


Paulette307 -

Build a Tudor and immediately put it up for sale. Build a second Tudor immediately while waiting for the first one to sell. Once the first one sells buy 1000 materials and build a workshop. Once the second one sells buy 1000 materials and three new workers. Build an estate and sell it. Build a second estate and sell it. This should get you enough money to get another 3 workers and materials. Build a mansion and sell it. Buy any low cost houses that are for sale at this point and demolish. Build two banks, one set to donate. Start building Mansions and upgrading them. Try to build 5 mansions and upgrade them to the maximum. Sell one of them if you need to to make the $1,000,000.


Please can someone help me get the star on level 33. I have been trying for over a week now. Haha, this is how I spend my days off from work - getting close but no cigar every time - what am I missing?

Anonymous January 1, 2010 2:20 PM

hi i am stuck on level 17 and have been for some time. i really , really need help.
thnx!! :}


Level 17

  • Build 2 Tudor, upgrade both to 2 stars and sell them.

  • Buy the first premier lot coming on the market.

  • Buy 5000 units material and build a workshop

  • Train 3 additional workers.

  • Build an Estate, upgrade to 1 star and sell it.

  • Buy the Mansion blueprint.

  • Tear down the house on the premier lot and build a Mansion instead.

  • Buy the next permier lot as soon as you can afford it/it is coming on the market.

  • Tear down the house and build another palais on it.

  • Build as many Mansions as possible, upgrade to 3 stars and make the inspection.

  • Buy lots as soon as they come on the market.

  • Buy always as much material as you can afford.

  • After 2 Mansion, build a bank and click the button for charity.

  • When you buy smaller houses, tear them down latest when they need to be repaired - build Mansions instead.

  • You your rental income is around 140.000 and your cash over 500.000 sell one 3-star Mansion to reach the cash goal.

Greetings, Kayleigh

Anonymous January 3, 2010 10:22 AM

Kayleigh, what do you mean by "Palais"?

[Edit: Sorry, it is a while ago I played it. CASTLE it should be ~ Kayleigh]


I found that if you need to get a lot of money fast, just build a bank and donate it and then just build a few more banks and they get in a lot of money fast.

Anonymous January 5, 2010 10:48 AM

hiya i am stuck on level 25 can any one help me

thnx :}


Level 25

  • Build a sawmill and buy 2500 units material.

  • Build a workshop and train 3 additional workers.

  • Build an Estate and sell it immediately.

  • Buy 5.0000 units material.

  • Build 4 Mansions and upgrade them to 1 star.

  • Sell one of the Mansions.

  • Buy the smallest/cheapest premier lot.

  • Upgrade your Mansions to 3 stars, buy permission and add a 4th star.

  • Inspect the Mansions.

  • Buy the Museum - blueprint, tear down the house on the premier lot and build the Museum instead.

  • Buy premier- and other lots as soon as they come on the market and you can afford it.

  • Tear down the houses, lastest when they need to be repaired and build Mansions.

  • Build an bank on a "normal" lot and use the "charity" button.

  • Always buy the max. amount of material.

  • Train more workers when needed and upgrade all house to the max. to reach your rent goal

Greetings, Kayleigh

Anonymous January 7, 2010 1:35 PM

i need help on level 27, can anyone help me.


Level 27

  • Build a sawmill and buy 5.000 units material as soon as it is done.

  • Build an Estate, update to 2stars and sell it as soon as you see the first premier lot coming up on the market.

  • Build a workshop and train at least 6 aditional workers

  • As soon as the house on the premier lot needs to be repaired, tear it down and build a castle.

  • Build 3 Mansion, upgrade as much as you can afford and sell them to have cash for the next premier lot coming up.

  • Also buy the third premier lot.

  • Buy all other lots, tear down the smaller houses and build the biggest you can afford.

  • Train additional workers to multi task.

  • Upgrade all houses, till you reach your rent goal

Greetings, Kayleigh

Anonymous January 24, 2010 5:30 PM

build a lot 4 - stuck on expert level 3 -any help? - thanks


this is really embarasing beacuse youve all got so far but im stuck on level 11 on the 1st one it says build to estate i buy blueprint then buy all land and houses get income enough but it says i havent completed 2 estates how od i do this as i had bought all properties and canot see what else i have to do thank you


Hello Laura,

no reason to be embarrassed :)
The game wants you to build these houses. When you do not have empty lots, you will have to tear down two houses and build an Estate on these lot.

Greetings, Kayleigh


Can anyone tell me were are the premire lots on level 27? It does not show them like the other levels.

Anonymous August 18, 2010 7:38 AM

can someone leave a spoiler explaining how to complete level 35 please


Any tips for getting a star on level 10?


help im stuck on level 13! I can never seem to reach $40,000 rent income in time


My level 21 has no premiere lots. What is up with that? All lots are available to me immediately and none are listed as premiere.


^ Scroll Up | Homepage >

Leave a comment [top of page]

Please consider creating a Casual Gameplay account if you're a regular visitor here, as it will allow us to create an even better experience for you. Sign-up here!
  • You may use limited HTML tags for style:
    (a href, b, br/, strong, em, ul, ol, li, code, spoiler)
    HTML tags begin with a less-than sign: < and end with a greater-than sign: >. Always. No exceptions.
  • To post spoilers, please use spoiler tags: <spoiler> example </spoiler>
    If you need help understanding spoiler tags, read the spoiler help.
  • Please Preview your comment before posting, especially when using spoilers!
  • No link dropping, no domains as names; do not spam, and do not advertise! (rel="nofollow" in use)
chrpa Jayisgames needs your help to continue providing quality content. Click for details Welcome to the Roundup 66 - Retro with four games! After you find the ten monkeys in the chapter, look in the inventory. You will find a...  ...
chrpa Jayisgames needs your help to continue providing quality content. Click for details Welcome to the Roundup 65 with three games! As mentioned in the previous roundups, only odd-numbered episodes are featured since even-numbered are for Robin Vencel's patrons (the...  ...
chrpa Jayisgames needs your help to continue providing quality content. Click for details Hi! Weekday Escape and Weekday Puzzle are here! First we have two new cans from tomoLaSiDo and then two small rooms from isotronic. That's all for this...  ...
chrpa Jayisgames needs your help to continue providing quality content. Click for details Welcome to Mobile Monday! We have another beautiful game from Nicolet and it's a winter game as it should be. Tasuku Yahiro have released another of their...  ...

HELP Jayisgames.com

Recent Comments


Display 5 more comments
Limit to the last 5 comments

Game of the week

Dark Romance: Vampire Origins Collector's Edition

Your Favorite Games edit

Save links to your favorite games here. Use the Favorites editor.

Monthly Archives