When you read a title and see a quick game description, it is easy to make assumptions about what to expect. That is certainly the case with Build It Miami Beach Resort, which immediately made me think of the Build-a-Lot series we’ve reviewed here several times. However, while there are certain similarities, the games are distinct – and Build It Miami Beach Resort stands on its own quite solidly as something worth checking out!
Type of app: Strategy / Time Management Game
Platform/where to buy: iPad (iPhone version here); Available in the iTunes App Store
Developer: Cerasus Media /G5 Entertainment
Here are some of the features:
– 60 challenging levels across six decades
– 32 amazing achievements to earn
– 18 incredible buildings to construct
– Design on a big, scrollable game field
– Game Center Support
– iPhone 5 support
Claire Parker is an office worker who spends too much time thinking about making things better and telling everyone her ideas, and too little time doing the tasks she is assigned to perform! Just as she is being fired, a messenger arrives to tell her that her uncle has died and left her a large inheritance along with a large area of land. Of course, there is a catch – she has to enter the hotel business!
When you start playing the game feels similar to the Build-A-Lot games, you are constructing either lodging, leisure facilities or recreation areas, which you place in a sensible location to have the largest impact on your properties. For example, cottages should go on streets and a life guard tower on the beach. Within each category there are several building types that consume different resources and generate different amounts of revenue.
Once you complete the first ‘year’, you are rewarded just as you would expect for this type of game – and then you will discover just how different this is from other games in the genre! Because rather than just getting a new challenge, you start the next year with everything in place from before, which will help you reap the benefits as you continue to grow your community through the years. If you are used to taking a ‘winning ugly’ approach, that might hurt you here – you want to plan for the long term!
Another departure from other genre games is that you are playing as Claire – she doesn’t get a horde of workers to command, nor does she ‘level up’ and gain new skills. She is singly responsible for making sure everything gets done on her property – and as a result you won’t be multitasking building and updating and so on. Since Claire is the key and the game is measured in time, it is no surprise that the game ends when Claire retires.
The game offers an ‘expert’ award for each time period if completed by July 2nd, but to pass the level all you need to do is finish your tasks within the year. Of course, as always there is the double-edged sword that by getting expert rank for a level you get awards and benefits that would actually be more useful for players who are struggling to complete the tasks. The pacing gets quite frenetic at times!
Ease of use/Overall performance:
Because there are so many building and time management games for iOS you will likely have no issue jumping right into this one. You choose a category, then a building, and finally a location … and then you wait. But generally you are not waiting long – the interface ensures you will always know your goals and tasks, what properties you need to build and so on.
Visually the game is well done and is fairly standard for the genre. My only nitpick on presentation is that in a genre full of animated towns and cities, Claire is alone in the world as she builds up her world. This makes the world a bit stale visually, but since you are watching things over a long time it isn’t really tiresome.
Would use again/recommend?: Definitely recommended! I was a bit disappointed that Claire retires and then the campaign is done, but I do like Riot mode in which you get to tear down what you have built as quickly as possible.
Suggested changes/wish list for updates: The world could have more life going on!
Source: Publisher provided review code
Price: Free download for iPad , or iPhone with $4.99 / $6.99 in-app purchase. Currently on sale for $2.99/$4.99 through June 1st.
Here is the trailer: