Build-a-Lot 4: Power Source

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Information :
Big Fish Games

Help friendly towns to grow and glow by building neighborhoods and generating clean energy to make them run in this exciting Time Management game. Watch out for power overload! If you build too fast, you may experience blackouts and unhappy renters. Build solar towers, wind farms, and dispatch technicians to make sure everyone is energy efficient. Make your neighborhoods fit and fancy by building tennis courts, swimming pools, boutiques and more in Build-a-Lot 4: Power Source.

  • Beautify neighborhoods
  • Earn special awards
  • Make your cities green!

System Requirements :
Windows XP/Vista
600 Mhz
256 MB
Hard Drive:
107 MB

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Hints, Strategies, Walkthroughs :

Introduction :

  • Build-a-Lot 4: Power Source is the 4th title in the popular Resource Management game series from HipSoft.

  • For each level, you are given several real estate-related Goals, like constructing a certain type of house, or raising a specific amount in rent.

  • There are many different possible strategies for achieving these Goals: using resources like a Workshop to generate cheaper, faster workers; a Tech Center to supercharge your power generators; or a Garden Center to let you landscape the homes you construct and maintain public parks at lower cost.

  • On each level, you can work at a leisurely pace to get a Normal score, or beat the clock for Super Speedy Efficiency.

  • This guide is divided into two sections: General Tips and the Full Walkthrough.

General Tips :

  • At the beginning, you can choose from Tutorial Campaign (3 levels) or Main Campaign (45 levels). If you have played previous Construct-a-Lot games, you can skip Tutorial Campaign if you like.

  • After you have completed Main Campaign, you will unlock Challenge Campaign (10 levels).

  • After you have completed Challenge Campaign, you will unlock Expert Campaign (10 levels).

  • You can replay any previous level at any time by using the planner.

  • If you have to restart a level for any reason, or you go back to play it again through the planner, the arrangement of lots may be somewhat different, but the key factors will be the same.

  • The big new feature is power management! If your neighborhood uses more energy than your power generators provide, you go into a black-out. During a black-out you can still buy, sell, upgrade, add Energy Savers, construct, and demolish. But you don’t collect rent.

  • It is possible to get stuck in a black-out that you can’t get out of if you need to repair a power generator and you don’t have enough money to buy the materials to do so.

  • Most of the time you will be able to work your way out of a black-out by adding additional Energy Saver features to existing houses, building new power generators, or even demolishing some properties.

  • There is a special trophy for going seven levels in a row without a black-out, but it can be very difficult to get the Speedy Efficiency award for the level if you’re also going for no black-outs. So you may have to play some levels twice to get both.

  • If you’re going to construct a new house and you’re close to the black-out line, it’s a good idea to make sure you have enough materials to also add Energy Savers to the new house.

  • Most houses will be energy neutral if they have three added Energy Savers. If you’re waiting for a power generator to complete, you can still paint, upgrade, demolish, and add Energy Savers even during a black-out, so stay busy.

  • Once you start constructing Condos and larger houses you’re going to need a lot of power.

  • Shops and recreation facilities also require power.

  • If you’re going for the Speedy award on a level, you will generally start out by constructing one large house to sell for cash, a power source, and a large house or shop to keep for rent income.

  • The key to this game is multi-tasking. You need to keep workers and technicians busy, and keep power online.

  • Try to anticipate material or power shortages and buy what you need ahead of time to allow for continuous work.

  • When you hear the black-out siren, you have a few seconds before the generator goes offline. In that time you can try adding more Energy Savers, demolishing a property you don’t need, or building another power source.

  • The larger the generator, the more materials it will take to repair, anywhere from 100 to 1,000 units.

  • If a generator breaks and you go into a blackout, you will have to repair it before you can complete the level; so once you get to higher levels with more resources, try to keep enough materials in reserve to do a needed repair.

  • Apartments appear to require the most energy, but you can make them energy-neutral by adding three Energy Savers.

  • Fancy shops require the second most power, and there is no way to make them more energy efficient after they are built.

  • It is usually best to wait and buy materials in large lots, 1,000 units at a minimum. The exception is if you need to repair a power facility, or a single rental income property.

  • If you need to build a lot of large houses, say four or more Georgians or Apartments, it is almost always more efficient to build several houses first, then go back and upgrade them.

  • If a house is damaged, repair it right away, or demolish it if you are just going to build something else there.

  • If you are going to build a Recycling Center, wait to demolish houses until it has completed building, and you will get credit for some of the materials from the demolished property.

  • The Recycling Center saves you money by cutting the cost of materials in half. You can demolish it towards the end of a level if you have rental properties or sales making lots of cash.

  • The Workshop not only saves you money by letting you train workers for half-price; it also provides Lightning Efficiency training which makes your works work much faster. This saves you a lot of time. It’s important any time you have to paint, landscape, upgrade, construct or demolish houses.

  • The Garden Center lets you add landscaping which improves Appeal rating and also automatically maintains recreations. This can save you time and money on levels with several recreations, but you can still probably demolish it before the end of the level if necessary.

  • The Tech Center lets you train technicians for half price, saving you money, and is also the only way to assign workers to supercharge power facilities.

  • Once the workers are assigned, you can demolish the Tech Center and the facilities will stay supercharged.

  • However, if you are using the Genius Certificate upgrade to the Tech Center to make the Tech Center works work faster, you will lose that if you demolish the Tech Center.

  • The Business Center handles staffing for Fancy shops so you get continuous income. It’s only important on levels where you need a lot of shops.

  • Once you get up to level 20, a standard strategy for many levels will be the Workshop First Strategy. Construct a Workshop. Buy Lightning Efficiency training so the workers work faster. Train 3 workers. Construct 1 expensive house, paint it, and upgrade it 2 times. Buy 1,000 units of materials, which will pay for the 3rd upgrade on the cash house and the Recycling Center. Upgrade the house to 3-Stars, then sell it for cash. Construct the Recycling Center. Buy 5,000 units of materials. Construct a power source. Construct another big house and keep it for rent. Then get down to the specific requirements of the level.

  • An alternative for levels where you need to build really big houses and you have fewer materials is the Cash Sale First strategy. First train 2 workers. Then build a large house and sell it for cash. Build the Recycling Center. Buy 15,000 units of materials. Build the Workshop. Buy Lightning Efficiency training. Train 2 more workers. Build a large power source. Build a large house/shop for rental income.

  • You will use the Cash Sale First strategy to make Speedy on most of the Challenge Campaign levels.

  • If you start the level already owning a big house you can upgrade and sell, you just skip that construction step in either standard strategy.

  • If you need a lot of cash quickly, upgrade before you add Energy Savers.

  • If you are close to going into a black-out, add Energy Savers before upgrading.

  • If you are need to finish quickly, try to keep both Workers (who do upgrades) and Technicians (who add Energy Savers) busy, by working some properties with upgrades while other properties are getting Energy Savers.

  • In levels where you need to get a high Appeal rating, it will be useful to build a Garden Center early in a spot between two houses where you will eventually place a recreation facility. Use the Garden Center to landscape a number of houses, then demolish it and construct the recreation facility in its spot.

  • Recreation facilities (also called "recreations" in the game) add a positive Appeal value for the lot they are on, plus the same amount for any house they influence. So an Amphitheater gives you +25 Appeal when you build it even if it’s not near any houses. Put it between two houses, and it has increased the Appeal by +75, +25 for its own lot and +25 for each of the houses.

  • The more houses you will have on a level, the more valuable the painting and landscaping bonuses are towards making an Appeal goal.

  • 4 painted and landscaped houses will cancel out the negative Appeal factor of a Nuclear reactor.

  • It’s almost always worth buying an empty lot as they become available.

  • To view your trophies, you must be in a level, but it doesn’t matter which one. Click on the Trophy symbol in the top bar and the Trophy list will open up. Each Trophy slot is clearly identified so you can see what you have to do to earn it.

  • If you really need to buy a specific property and it’s too expensive, you can try putting several of your own properties up for sale and then offering a low-ball price. However, this strategy works best for fast clickers, as it requires a lot of click maintenance to respond to the offers on your own houses.

  • In addition, while a house is up for sale it collects no rent, so you may lose more money from lost rent than you gain in low-balling another property.

  • If you demolish a power generator at the very end of a level, you will have a few seconds before the neighborhood goes into black-out. If you have made all your goals at that moment, the level will end and you will get credit even though it’s about to have a power failure.

  • Demolishing a Nuclear Reactor at the very end of a level can be an important strategy for making an Appeal Goal.

  • There are many different strategies that work for every level, so feel free to experiment!

  • All walkthroughs are designed to get the Speedy award for that level.
  • To match the terminology in the game, we will say "upgrade" to add a star and "add Energy Saver" to add a light bulb. A "Triple Energy Saver" has 3 light bulbs.

  • To match the terminology in the game, "house" means any single lot residential unit, from an A-Frame to Apartments.

  • The screenshot for each level shows the completion stage when all goals have been met unless otherwise noted in the text.
For walkthroughs and more visit Big Fish Games.


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