Tiny Tower Review

By , on June 28, 2011

Tiny Tower: Tap Idle Evolution
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • 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.


  • 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).


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.


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