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Tiny Tower Review

By , on June 28, 2011


Tiny Tower
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • Bursting with charm; fun variety of 'Bitizens' that chatter away on 'Bitbook'.
  • Encourages players to hang around; unique bonuses only available through staying in game.
  • 'Bux' strikes a decent balance between convenience and rarity.

CONS

  • Usual 'freemium' concerns; perpetual Skinner Box machine of minor rewards for repetitive gameplay.
  • Occasional crashes; progress sometimes lost (though a 'backup' does seem to be in place).

VERDICT

As with just about any freemium title there's no harm in trying out Tiny Tower, but you'll be hard pressed to put it down after getting acquainted with the folk you house, employ and keep merry.


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If we were to think of all the freemium farming/city creation titles as a sort of time-restricted version of Sim City, then Tiny Tower by NimbleBit is a scaled down and time-restricted version of Sim Tower. Some may balk at the comparison to what is considered a classic, but if anyone is going to pull this off it's the company that brought us Pocket Frogs.

Tiny Tower places you in the middle of a vicious cycle of trying to attract 'Bitizens' to live in your tower in order to employ them at your various stores and services, in order to attract more 'Bitizens' - and so on. Each virtual denizen features a series of skills that help their performance at specific jobs, potentially increasing the profit margin for correctly placing them, though should you help them to land their 'dream job' you'll be rewarded with larger stock counts, making it easier to take longer breaks from the game.

Being a 'freemium' title, your time in game is restricted by the time it takes to 'restock' the shelves within each store or by the time it takes to build a new level of your tower. 'Bux' can be spent to speed up the process, though they can only be earned via in-app purchasing or as a random reward for various additional objectives such as ferrying people up the elevator or helping to deliver a letter. Instead of having the bland choice of simply waiting a long time between short bursts of playing or spending money to have more to do right now, players can supplement their time by performing small chores to earn more 'Bux'. Further benefits such as VIPs can only be earned this way, making it well worth spending a bit of extra time each time you jump in.

The real kicker for Tiny Tower is the sheer amount of charm that comes from the variety of pixel-art designed and animated Bitizens that wander the halls of your tower. From the time they move in to the time they leave they'll also contribute to 'Bitbook' - a stylized version of Facebook that gives you an insight to each character.

For a game that offers so very little in the way of meaningful gameplay, Tiny Tower is a powerfully addictive freemium title. Whether you play for your own entertainment or to play with friends via Game Center, it's free and definitely worth checking out.

Screenshots

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Comments

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rekz 3 years, 3 months ago

I agree totally w/GiHubb & disagree w/the Appspy review.  This game was very pretty, and I gave it a good shot -- ~ ie around 2 days.  Then it was *deleted*.
Basically, I hated it.  It was NO fun, repetitive, the game mechanic of taking an anonymous dude in an elevator to whatever # floor, and building & repainting businesses.  GAAAAH!
I kept thinking, why can't we have 'games' like this that actually resolve real tasks?  Why not make filling out work Excel sheets or writing TPS Reports have some horrible game-related activity like this?  (PLEASE -- NO!!!!)
4 stars?!?!?  C'mon!  Because of the great graphics & funny 'BitBook', this game deserves 4 stars for appearance, zero stars for gameplay, which = 2 stars max.
rekzkarz.com

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GiHubb 3 years, 3 months ago

I really don't understand this review and what people are finding in this game. Where is the challenge? How can you fail? All you do is carry people up on an elevator (thrilling!) or press the restock button (engrossing!) before shutting down the app so you don't have to keep on playing a bell boy or a mini version of Where's Waldo (exciting!). Now wait and repeat. So no, this game isn't thrilling, engrossing or exciting. It involves nothing more than a few occasional presses on the screen that require no thinking, no startegy, no depth what so ever.
I'm very disappointed to see so many positive reviews for this game, helping it being promoted. If this keeps up, all we'll see are freemium games that require no thought by the player at all. It has nice graphics and the facebook section is kind of funny but a game this isn't.

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FalloutNewVegas 3 years, 3 months ago

Sometimes games don't always have to be exciting and adventerous. It may not be challenging but upgrading and customising your city can feel really fun. Just the simple goal of making a truly epic tower is all you really need.