In college, I remember one of my absolute favorite classes was a writing elective on Fairy Tales and Urban Legends. It was a breath of fresh air when compared to some of the other classes this writing major had to take... British Literature, Technical Writing, and Grammar and Linguistics just didn't hold the same appeal as Fairy Tales.
I was always fascinated by them. My Grandfather held a long tradition of telling tall tales at the dinner table while sipping his red wine in the dark dining room lit only by the candles flickering in the evening light. Of course, I learned that the fairy tales we know and love today are not the same ones that were written long ago and shows like Grimm, which I love, do a good job in bringing back some of that original terror they once held.
However, there is something about the sweet stories that have been molded for us over the years to be cute and endearing and that's really what the Build-a-Lot: Fairy Tales characters embody. So, if you're looking for an over-abundance of butterflies, colorful fairies, and charming and lovable characters, then this game is perfect for you. It will practically vomit whimsical all over you when you play it.
If you've ever played any of the other Build-a-Lot games, then you'll have no trouble jumping in. It's pretty much the same play style. You build houses and structures to make money and accomplish the goals of the level within a certain time in order to get the blue ribbon. The Fairy Tale aspect comes into play in that you are building dens, cottages, manors, wishing wells, toadstools, and you're casting enchanting spells on your homes to making them more charming.
Each chapter has a character that will give you instructions on what to do. The first chapter's host is the Big Bad Wolf who wants you to build dens for animals and sets himself up as mayor. The second chapter is the Nutcracker, who enjoys order, and prefers that you build beautiful manors in the city. This continues through about 65 levels of some pretty challenging time management play with some fun and endearing characters.
Except that dragon... he wasn't fun... he was naughty. Among the many challenges that are thrown in your way in Build-a-Lot: Fairy Tales was the crimson dragon who would show up every now and then to burp a fireball at one of your homes. Engulfed in flames, the house will no longer provide you with income until you set your fairy workers to extinguish the fire. You also can't complete a level if one of your homes is on fire so you have to be pretty quick about putting those flames out.
The graphics of this game were very cute, extremely colorful and full of fairies and butterflies that practically explode on the screen when you complete a level. There was nothing super realistic about them, but they stayed true to the Build-a-Lot games in that classic cartoony style.
The music was OK. Quirky and bouncy, it matched the particular host of the chapter pretty well, but it wasn't anything that I couldn't live without. I guess it was probably too much to hope for, but with all the classical music that pertains to fairy tales, you would think they might have tried to match the music with the story... for example... wouldn't you expect the Nutcracker to relay you orders with a little Tchaikovsky playing in the background? Oh well...
Overall, Build-a-Lot: Fairy Tales was a pretty fun and extremely addictive time management game that will provide you with some challenging gameplay, cute critters, and an annoying dragon. Have fun!