Builderland is a race-against-the-clock puzzle game. The player must lead a little character named Melba across each of the side-scrolling levels. Melba doesn't stop and can't jump or climb rocks, so the player must move items on the screen to help him out: stairs, trampolines, blocks to fill pot holes. Melba also picks up any objects he walks over and the player can use these objects later.
Each level has a different code, there is a "timed pause" option (the player can freeze the game for several seconds to ponder the next moves), and a suicide option should the character becomes stuck (which is the main cause of death in the game).