Builder Simulator by Frozen Way is – as you can already guess from the game’s title – a building simulator in which you’ll be able to create every building you can think of. Check our Builder Simulator review!
Builder Simulator is a game for those, whose biggest dream always was to construct your own house from scratch. Prepare your plan, buy needed materials, and build a perfect residence brick by brick. Will it be an easy task? At first, yes! After all, you’re just a rookie in this serious building industry. A specially made tutorial will guide you step by step through the twists and turns of construction work. However, the more experience you get, the more demanding the challenges become.
Builder Simulator from Frozen Way is a simulator in which you’ll be in charge of constructing every building you can think of. This game is on the semi-realistic side, so there’s a lot to know and learn before you can dive into this journey by yourself.
There are a few game modes available as soon as you boot up the game: Contracts, in which you’ll have to build specific buildings according to set requirements and budget; Sandbox in which you can build whatever you want regardless of the budget; Interior Designer which, as the name suggests, will let you customize homes interiors; and Planner. As this game can at first feel a bit overwhelming, I definitively recommend you to begin with the Tutorial, available directly from the main menu.
As you start the Tutorial, you’ll begin by manually digging foundations in a test zone with a shovel. This will require you to keep the R2 button pressed as you walk around the predefined digging zone (which you will eventually do yourself with the blueprint/planner tool). Once you’ve dug the zone, you’ll put casing and then pour concrete (which you’ve mixed yourself) on it to have an area to work on.
As you’re learning how to build foundations for your test home, then building walls, a roof, and indoor partitions, then going as far as painting your home and adding furniture, you’ll be accompanied by a robot sidekick that was highly reminiscent of Claptrap from the Borderlands series. As I progressed through the Tutorial, I eventually got to appreciate his presence, although, outside of the predefined things he had to say, his “idle chatter” quickly became repetitive. I liked how he often broke the fourth wall, explaining how the development team addressed some issues when developing this game.
As for the game itself, I liked the realistic gameplay mechanics and how you design and construct buildings, respecting the steps required to build a real building. There’s an impressive quantity of materials available that can be installed, and all of them can be colored differently depending on how you want them to look in the end.
However, there are a few issues about this release that I need to mention, as not everything is perfect. I already mentioned that what you can build is impressive and seems to respect the building code, but building itself is not a comfortable experience on a DualShock controller as this game was ported from the PC world to a console, and the control scheme is far from perfect.
There are a lot of manual things to do, and the worst aspect of this game was the complicated control scheme that will require some time to get used to since a game console analog stick is way less precise than a mouse. Even in the early Tutorial, using a wheelbarrow was uncomfortable to play with the controller. I understand the developers tried to get it to be semi-realistic behavior, but it led to a poorly controllable cart that quickly became frustrating.
Using the wireless drill is also hard as you must target the screws in first person, and even if you’re a slight way off the hitbox, it won’t connect and will require you to adjust your aim. This could have easily been improved on the console port by having an auto-target so that when you’re in the general area of a screw, it automatically targets it. I also had an issue with the Planner mode: as I was trying to draw a straight line in the blueprint, I realized that the D-Pad wasn’t supported (which would have been perfect for straight lines), and I had to use the analog stick, which must be precisely handled to draw lines.
As for the presentation on the PlayStation 4 version of Builder Simulator, I thought that even though there’s a lot of customization available, the visual engine itself felt somewhat basic, and the frame rate seemed like it often dipped below 30 frames per seconds – even though I was playing this one on a PlayStation 5 console, which has more processing power. I must, however, praise the game for its realistic textures.
On the trophies side, this game features a ton of trophies, including a Platinum that will require some work to achieve. The list includes 52 Bronze trophies, 3 Silver trophies, and 2 Gold trophies for you to work on. The first few trophies are easy and will be quickly unlocked as you go through the overall Tutorial. Then, a few other trophies are tied to working on contracts, using the different features of this game a set number of times, and so on. Will you manage to add this Platinum trophy to your collection?
Builder Simulator is a fun and realistic builder game that has a lot to offer in the customization department and allows you to create any building you can think of. I liked the realism of what can be built, along with the realistic textures. On the downside, I thought that this port didn’t take into account how controls should be handled on consoles, and because of that, it felt like this game had poor controls that were harder to use than they should have been. Builder Simulator is out on PlayStation 4 with a $24.99 asking price.
This Builder Simulator review is based on a PlayStation copy provided by Frozen Way.