You might normally associate management games such as SimCity with slow, gradual progression and the delayed pleasure of transforming a scrap of wasteland into a bustling metropolis, but they don't have to be that way.
In fact, Build-a-lot is perhaps a more realistic portrayal of property development. Well, maybe in the early nineties as opposed to now, when a bank manager would laugh in your face if you went to him with a proposal to build a whole street full of swanky houses to rent out.
Build-a-lot's ethos is instead to build against the clock. Time is money after all. You buy up plots of empty land, add buildings and houses, and rent them out or sell them on for a tidy profit. And to get money to build even bigger slabs of concrete with even larger returns.