Having spoken to a handful of friends about Tiny Tower, the general consensus seems to be that it’s mostly enjoyable, but spend any amount of time actually thinking about it and you’ll quickly realise it’s utterly pointless.
Hey, you could quite easily say the same thing about real life, man.
Tiny Tower is free. Or should I say: freemium. Fortunately the controversial model doesn’t impose too much in Tiny Tower. It’s the usual story: things are carefully balanced so that a great deal of patience is required; impatient fools can pay real money to hurry things along.
Anyway, what’s the deal with Tiny Tower? Essentially you’re tasked with building a tower comprised of apartments, shops, services, recreational thingies, creative outlets, and food joints.
Oddly, Tiny Tower demands absolutely no skill. In fact, as far as I can tell, it’s not possible to lose money. It’s simply a case of tapping the screen in a robotic fashion in order to keep things ticking over.
Navigate away from the app and life in your Tiny Tower continues. When you come back you’ll pick up a wad of cash, however there’s a catch.
See, without you there to tap things, the shops will run out of stock, you won’t make quite as much money, and progress will drop significantly. Tiny Tower is just begging for your attention. Or – if you don’t have the required time or patience – your pound Sterling.
As much as Tiny Tower is made to be dipped in and out of, it’s entirely possible to man your screen-poking station for hours at a time. There’s just enough stuff going on to keep you busy.
Most real-time action is focused around the elevator. Guests and shoppers arrive regularly, and are completely incapable of getting to their desired floors without your guidance.
VIPs keep things interesting too. They bring various bonuses, such as speeding up development, making a particular product popular, or taking stock off your hands in bulk.
Some visitors are on the lookout for specific guests. One cheeky resident regularly has a home massage, while another likes takeaway pizza. In those circumstances, you can help identify the residents for cash bonuses.
BitBook is a fun touch. It’s essentially Facebook for your citizens. Some of the posts are genuinely quite amusing, such as: “I’ve just moved in. If you hear someone playing bagpipes, it’s not me.”
There are various stats involved too, but nothing overly taxing. Those looking for something more thinky would be better off with a proper sim like the excellent Virtual City.
- Oddly compelling
- Play in real-time or dip in and out
- Occasionally amusing
- Little to no challenge
- Ultimately pointless
- Freemium junk
Summary: Pointless? Yes. Fun? Absolutely. Give Tiny Tower a try. I guarantee you’ll be hooked for several hours… until you start to question the conveyor belt mechanics.
Requires: Android 2.0 or above
Price: free @ Android Market