Build-a-lot: On Vacation is the latest installment to the Build-a-lot franchise. There are a lot of similarities to the other games in this series. In addition, the storyline isn’t much of a change, other than the fact that you are building vacation homes.
The basic premise of the game is to build houses, recreation areas, and lighthouses all before time runs out. The goals are your basic monetary and building requirements. You can expect to find cabins and chalets to fit the vacation theme; however, there really isn’t a connection with a vacation theme. It is like they borrowed too heavily from their other games to create this one.
While lighthouses can be a symbol of vacation destinations, this addition doesn’t really do anything other than meet a basic requirement to have them built. They take up space on premier lots that generate more rent, but they don’t add to happiness or generate an additional rent income. In fact, they are less useful than the parks, which at least add a little to morale. So, this addition is practically useless.
The details for the graphics are mainly in the trees. The rest is merely mundane and carbon copies of the other games in the series. Even the lighthouses are generic, but they are clearly proportionally bigger than the rest of the houses – even the Victorian ones.
The music is generic and completely forgettable. Voiceovers are about the same. Play the entire game with the sound off, and you wouldn’t miss anything.
The biggest disappointment is the distinct lack of a vacation feel about the game. You are stuck in the same neighborhood improvement mode without the fun of beaches, sand, sun, or anything else that would signify you are on vacation. Instead, you get parks, lighthouses, and some tennis courts.
The distinct lack of creativity on franchise games has claimed another victim. Don’t pick this game up unless it is bundled or deeply discounted. At best, this game is merely an add of additional levels to the first.