APP NAME: Tiny Tower
RELEASE DATE(S): June 23rd, 2011
Have you ever wanted to own your own thriving building bustling with business and residents? Now you have the chance with Tiny Tower from Nimblebit, who brought games like Pocket Frogs, Sky Burger, and Dizzypad in the past. In Tiny Tower you start with a one floor building, and then add level by level creating a tower with its own ecosystem. First you add a residence floor to get some tenants, and then add a business to give your tenants a place to work. The businesses come in one of five flavors, with food, service, retail, creative, and recreation.
One of the neatest aspects of the game is that when you add a new recreational floor, you don’t know what exactly it’s going to be. There is always a new surprise when the level has finished construction to see if you’re going to get an arcade, comedy club, mini golf, etc. There are multiple different entities in each of the business groups, and you really take ownership of your new business. The businesses are vital for your tower’s success, as they’re your source of revenue.
Each business can sell three types of items, and you place orders to fill the stock of those items. People come in off the street to go to the various shops, and you want to make sure they’re stocked so you can make sales. It takes a certain amount of time to fill the stock order, and you can either wait or hurry along the process with tower bucks. You can buy more tower bucks with consumable in-app purchases, like you would expect from a freemium game. Unlike others though, the in-app purchases never feel like an obligation to fully enjoy the game.
You earn quite a few tower bucks from playing the game, and just playing passively will help the time go by quicker for orders to be ready. The game also supports offline play which is great for iPod Touch and Wifi iPad users, as well as whenever you have a poor connection. Tiny Tower is the perfect game to check in for a bit a few times a day, but never stay very long. That’s not to say that you won’t stay long, and you can definitely become hooked on your tower. The game sends you push notifications when an order is ready allowing you to always have your businesses stocked.
Not only do you have businesses, but you also have tiny people, each with their own set of skills. Each person has different ratings for performance in each of the five business types, plus they have a dream job. You want your people in a business they’re suited for, and it’s especially good to be lucky enough to match up a dream job. You can change the attire of any person in your building at any time, and the random clothing assortments are always neat. You also have the ability to re-paint any floor allowing further customization of your tower. You can even evict residents and delete floors to allow you to be completely happy with your Tiny Tower.
The main active process you do in the game is packing orders, but you can also act as a bellhop shepherding guests from the lobby to the floor they choose. People visit your tower at random intervals, and you raise the elevator to the floor of their choice. This also allows for VIP guests which give you various bonuses for the floor you deliver them to. There is definitely a lot going on at all times in Tiny Tower, and this really causes you to become addicted to your Tower. I prefer not to use the term addicted in reviews, because it’s never a good thing, but it’s the best way to describe the use of Tiny Tower. This is a game you’ll become super involved with, and keep checking back in on, and the only real negative is that you’ll like the game too much, and become hooked.
Your tower upgrades quite regularly which definitely keeps you coming back to it. Also, there’s always the surprise of what new level will be added, and soon your tiny tower will be quite large. It’s great having a living community right in your pocket which is culminated by the Facebook like status updates of your residents, with so many enjoyable entires to read through. It would be nice to have a little more interaction with the tiny people, but it’s not necessary. You can view your friend’s towers as well, but you can only look with no way to place orders at friend’s stores or anything like that.
Tiny Tower (Free, Universal) comes with great bit graphics which just seem to fit with the whole tiny theme. There is also a lovely soundtrack which further enhances the overall experience, and they’re the kind of tunes you wish they played in elevators. Tiny Tower is the best simulation game so far for iOS, which you’ll likely play more than any other game released this year. There’s so much to do each and every time you enter the app, and it’s so much fun growing your bustling tower ecosystem.
There’s not much more to say about Tiny Tower. It’s one of the best downloads you can make on your iOS device, and it’s an app that is dock worthy.