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Release type: Shareware
Release date: May 8, 2011)
Levels: 15
Author: A-J Games
Website: Builder: The Game
Related games: Beware the Gremlin

Builder is a game of environmental anxiety. The world is closing in on you, and you need to escape. To do this, you observe your environment, build footholds, and destroy obstacles to your progress.

There are at least three ways to play Builder. On the first level you have a glitchy and obtuse puzzle platformer. There is often more than one way past a given problem; the way that you choose will depend on your personality, and may affect your future options. If you master the mechanics, then the game becomes a race. And if you embrace everything wrong about the world... well. You may be on the right track.

Builder is designed on the 20-year-old Game-Maker engine by Recreational Software Designs. The engine is really not meant for games like Builder, which may play into the game's themes. Stylistic and technical influences include the work of Max Fleischer and Cab Calloway, Solomon's Key, Metroid, Super Mario Bros. 2 (US), Hero Core, La La Land, Seiklus, Braid, Berzerk, Magic Carousel, and maybe a bit of Silent Hill 2.

Please visit the website for further details.

- [Azurelore Korrigan]
Previous Current Next
Beware the Gremlin Builder (Overview)
Builder series


Escape confinement and chaos.

Build footholds. Destroy obstacles.

Be observant.


Builder, by Azurelore Korrigan

On numerical keypad:

7: Jump left
8: Jump up
9: Jump right
4: Run left
6: Run right
1: Step left
3: Step right
[SPACE]: Build
Z: Destroy
`: Suicide

Alternative controls[edit]

Builder is designed for an extended PC keyboard. If you're playing on a laptop or other condensed keyboard, an alternative control scheme is available. Simply unpack the ALTCTRL.RAR archive, remove the hash marks (#) from the file names, and dump them into the data directory.

Before you do this, you may want to back up the corresponding files from the original install. That's all up to you.


Linux users may do well to ignore the included settings, and instead to dump the Data/ directory directly into DOSBox, using whatever local preferences work best on the user's individual system.


Builder, by Azurelore Korrigan

Design & Implementation

[Azurelore Korrigan]

Engine & Toolset

Recreational Software Designs

Testing & Discussion

Shepard Saltzman
Amandeep Jutla
Brandon Sheffield
Leander Hasty
Andrew Toups
Builder, by Azurelore Korrigan

Music -

A-J Games Theme
Title Theme, "I'm Away Now"
Story Theme, "Glock"
Level 7 Theme, "Dissonant"
Level 8 Theme, "Muel Boog"
High Score Theme, "Dooka-Do"
Azurelore Korrigan
Other Themes
Various Unknown Artists

Stipulations of use[edit]

Although Builder is free to use and distribute, and indeed to dissect for your own enjoyment, I do ask that you neither reuse its components (including graphics, sounds, original music, text, and layout) in your own projects nor distribute the game in an edited form. The only exception is the non-original music files (which you can determine by reading the credits). As I found them in various music libraries over the years, so you too may reuse them at will.

Thank you, and enjoy.


The idea for Builder rose from an email conversation with Tyler Pantella:

Like I said before, I only really used that ancient version, so I'm not sure if this applies to anything newer, but here's some stuff that bugged me:

-inventory objects could be dropped to create land tiles...

— Tyler Pantella, email conversation, December 2010

Yeah, the inventory mechanics were pretty wonky and underused.

Just occurred to me that it may have been possible to do a sort of Solomon's Key style of tile creation and destruction by having a background made entirely of blocks that can turn solid or passable with the use of a key counter. Whenever the player presses the action button, the character emits a monster in some direction that increases that counter immediately before the character moves in that direction.

It may have been a little strange, but perhaps with some extensive tweaking it would work well enough to base some kind of design on it.

— Azurelore Korrigan, email conversation with Tyler Pantella, December 2010


Builder is available from the official Builder: The Game Website. Since its release, it has been mirrored on many Web-based archives of DOS software. (See partial list, below.)

Archive history[edit]

Builder has been retained as part of the archive from the game's inception.



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