Amstrad Computer User1st July 1991
Published in Amstrad Computer User #80
A little construction a day, keeps the blues well at bay.
A very neat offering here from across the channel, again, using a very simple but effective scenario. Isn't it funny how the simplest games are usually the best? As a puzzle based arcade/strategy, the aim of Builderland is to guide your hero across six very different levels, each made up of 20 separate scenarios, with a very ugly monster guarding the end of the level.
Of course, the brute guarding the end of the sixth level is the biggest, baddest brute of them all but, by following the clues along the way, he's not as invincible as he seems.
Now, and here comes the tricky bit, to get your hero across these six levels, he has to overcome some very tricky obstacles in the form of hills and potholes.
Using the joystick, your task is to pick up and move various blocks and pieces of scenery to fill in the holes and make those hills scalable.
At first, this is pretty simple. A ramp moved in front of a hill makes progress easy, while blocks in the holes and golden airblocks in the ravines make your hero very happy indeed.
However, as you proceed, you'll find that the blocks and ramps don't add up to the gaps anymore, and this is where you'll need to put on your thinking cap.
There are various artefacts lying around that may help you out of your predicament, like picks, bombs and potions, but a good piece of advice would be to pause the game for a moment, enabling you to have a look around for hints without your hero getting stuck behind a block and running out of energy.
Using the bonus objects are also a must when the dogs and mosquitoes attack.
At the end of each level, you must construct a little white house in order to meet the monsters. Here, you take control of your hero, using the joystick to grab flames to help destroy the baddie. If you manage to overcome the monster, be sure to grab his heart - it could come in very handy later on.
All in all, Builderland is one of those games that'll infuriate you. You certainly won't succeed at the first, or second, attempt, but you're going to want to keep on going until you do.
With some pretty exceptional graphics, Builderland is a very cleverly thought out game, even though, at times, you may get a little frustrated waiting for your hero to catch up with your construction work.
However, in terms of entertainment value, it shouldn't be missed.