So, I’m surfing around on the internet, looking for a new game to play. This isn’t an odd thing for me to do, smartphones allow you to untether from your home desktop easily. Anyway, I come across this little game called Tiny Tower (available for iPhone and Android powered mobile devices). This game comes across as a bit of a throwback. It’s done in a 2D sprite based style, think Kid Icarus or Zelda that you don’t see too often now in games. Polygon count, sculpting and 3D modeling are king now, but there is something refreshing about Tiny Tower’s graphic simplicity. It gives you the feeling of putting on one of your old favorite pair of slippers. You know the ones that you probably held onto too long because they fit just right? Well, that’s Tiny Tower in game form.
Tiny Tower is what I’d call a cross between Sim City and the Sims. Instead of building a city, you’re building a mega tower/apartment complex. Think Burj Khalifa in Dubai, but without the backbreaking debt and 90% vacancy rate. This is your ode to opulence in a way. You start by building, through tutorial, a three story complex (one for the lobby at start, one for your tenants called Bitizens, and one for the first store you open). From there, you continue to build levels adding either living quarters for your tenants, or places for your tenants to work. The Bitizens’ sole purpose is to work in your building and provide you with an efficiently run storefront. To this end, the tenants are ranked on a scale (0-9) of their productivity in a given store. The higher the rank, the better off your store will be if the Bitizen is employed there. Your tenants also have opinions which is shown through their happiness meter and their comments on BitBook, Tiny Tower’s in game version of Facebook. Those features are more for game immersion than it is about the actual gameplay though. But the game is not without it’s grind and hidden “pay for more” features. Upgrading the elevator in particular can be a bit of a grind after the first two upgrades. The accumulation of “Tower Bux”, Tiny Tower’s version of currency, requires either playing for long periods of time or paying real dollars for it.
Tiny Tower is a fun little time waster, but over the long haul that’s all there is to Tiny Tower.