Product Type: Nimblebit software for handheld and PDAs
Newest Review: ... downloads since it was first published on android. The point of the game is to build and control a virtual tower which can grow to o... more
Build A Not-so-Tiny Tower
Member Name: strawberry123
Advantages: Free, addictive, colourful!
Disadvantages: Annoying music and i don't like the pixel graphics either!
I actually only started playing 'Tiny Tower' after I read another review on here. So nearly two months since discovering it, I thought I'd give you a review from another perspective.
Tiny Tower is a FREE app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPads, requiring iOS 3.0 or later to play it on (I am currently playing on iOS 5.0). It is made by NimbleBit LLC and the current version is 1.4.1 (last updated on 14 September 2011), which takes up 14.0MB of space on your device.
=== Game Play ===
This game is much like a simulation. The object of the game is to build the tallest tower out of you and your friends. To make your tower grow you need to earn money, and you do this by opening up apartments for people to live in, and amenities such shops and leisure facilities, where you can sell products. There is a short tutorial in the beginning to help you understand how the game works and how to use the different controls. I found it quite confusing initially because like most simulation games, it seemed like quite a bit to take in. However, you quickly get to grips with everything just by playing a few times.
The tutorial shows you how to build an apartment, which can house up to five 'Bitizens' - or people to you and me! Each Bitizen is different from the next and they each have a profile, which tells you their name, birthday and what their dream job is. There is also a set of criteria, which tells you what their strengths and weaknesses are, which may help you determine what type of job would be most beneficial. The profile page also tells you what floor they live on, their current job and their happiness level. The apartments are normally themed to give your tower a bit of variety and colour! For instance, I currently have safari and 70s themed apartments. You can't choose what style you end up with but I think this adds to the fun because it is a little surprise each time a new one is built. Each Bitizen living in the apartment generates 1000 coins in rent, so the more people you have living in your tower, the more money you will generate.
You move people into the building by using the elevator on the ground floor. Once someone appears in the elevator, there is a little speech bubble what floor they wish to visit and you use the controls to go up and down until they reach their desired floor. I used to press on the arrows that appear at the bottom of the screen, until I discovered that by pressing anywhere on the left hand side moves the elevator up, and anywhere on the right moves it down! Occasionally you'll get a VIP, which gives you things to boost gameplay, which is really handy because this game is in real time. If your apartments are going to take 13 hours to build, it is going to take 13 hours in our time too! VIPs can help by taking time off restocking or building work... In which case, YOU decide what floor they should visit to get this bonus! When your tower starts to get taller, you can choose to speed it up (believe me, you will need to do this!) for which you will need to spend some tower bux - which I'll discuss later on!
Once you have apartments (and coins from their rent!), the next step is to open some facilities where Bitizens can work and buy products. You are able to specify what type of amenity goes into your tower by specifying one of the following categories:
Food - i.e. a sushi bar, pizza place
Service - i.e. pharmacy, dentist
Recreation - i.e. comedy club, museum
Retail - i.e. furniture store, fabric shop
Creative - i.e. graphic design studio, pottery studio
Again, you are not allowed to specify what facility goes into your building. However, you can alter the colour scheme by using paint buckets. You can purchase 100 buckets for 1 tower bux, and then you can change the colour of any level up to 100 times before you need to purchase more buckets! You are able to do this for the residential blocks as well. It does get pretty annoying if you do not like ANY of the options they give you, and you have spent up to 40 buckets coming to this conclusion!
Each block can give work to up to three Bitizens and similarly each block can sell up to three items. However, if for instance you only have two Bitizens working at the time, you are only allowed to sell two items. To make coins, you have to restock your items on a regular basis and each item has to be restocked separately, you can't restock all three items at the same time! Again this happens in real time! Once stock has been replenished, sales of that item generate coins. You can generate even more stock by placing a Bitizen in their dream job. If you have two Bitizens in a single facility who have landed their dream, you get twice as much stock, similarly if you have three Bitizens in their dream jobs, you get three times as much! You can level up your blocks but I am yet to see the difference this makes... I can't see any change physically or how much stock they can generate etc. This should be made more clear during gameplay.
So back to Tower Bux... These are different to coins because they let you purchase special things such as a quicker elevator or quicken up your game by restocking and finishing building instantly. They come about occasionally, for instance you get hold of them when Bitizens tip you in the elevator, or when you place a Bitizen in their dream job. I used to spend them instantly, because I get bored of waiting for things to finish, but now I save them for the speedy elevators!! I have around 40 floors now, and it would be impractical to still be using the default elevator!
On the main Menu screen the main items I use are the stats, elevator and 'Bitbook'. The stats generate charts to show you what type of block is most preferred in your tower, how much stock you are selling at the time, and how many blocks belong to which category (e.g. creative, retail). The elevator item is where you upgrade your elevator speed and then you have access to the Bitbook... a social networking site for the people in your tower! This section doesn't really do a lot but you can see what your Bitizens think. Most of the time, they complain that their workplace is closed and they're worried they're not going to be paid! Groups of Bitizens also tend to say the same thing... weird! There is a Bitbuilder, where you can design your own Bitizen. I have tried to use this, but it accesses the internet and I get bored of it pretty easily, so I'm not in the best place to comment. The other options relate to sharing your tower with your friends, purchasing coins/bux and settings.
=== Word of Warning ===
I should add that you shouldn't need to buy more coins and bux, I think it is a waste! I have never spent real money on virtual money... and I never intend to either. You can still play the game well without having to buy extra, and as far as I know, you do not get anything special as a result of buying into the game.
Also... I have recently upgraded to iOS 5 which caused problems on my iPhone (i.e. it deleted all the apps I downloaded). When I re-downloaded the app, some of my floors were missing, which was obviously really annoying because it set me back! They say they've updated the app to prevent bugs like this from occurring and I haven't had problems since.
=== Graphics and Sound ===
This app would win no awards for the quality of its graphics... There is lots of flat colour and the whole appeal is very pixelated. I'm positive it is meant to be this way because the word 'bit' reminds me of a single pixel. I normally like simplistic design but I think I would prefer it if it wasn't in this style. I never have the sound on during gameplay... it is far too repetitive for my liking and gets extremely annoying. There is an option to turn it off thank God! There are also sound effects such as money dropping every time you make a sale, which is good when you see your money increasing.
=== Final Words ===
Yes this game is pretty good... I've played it almost every day for two months (sad I know). Its one of those addictive games that you can play when there is nothing else to do! I love the fact that you do not have to put your own money into this game to make it better and I like the surprise element of what type of floor you will receive after the construction finishes. However, I'm not keen on the style of graphics. It is not like we live in the age of Pacman and Tetris where pixelated images are the norm! I recommend downloading this game if you like simulation-style apps. The thousands of people that reviewed this app on iTunes can't be wrong! I will award this game 4 *
[Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Strawberry_123]
Summary: A good simulation style game
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