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Tiny Tower Review: NimbleBit’s First Disappointment

I’ve never been a huge fan of freemium games, but I will admit that some are very enjoyable, such as Gun Bros and We Rule.

Some of them allow you to play through many levels without having to pay a single dime, while others really annoy with ads and the like to try and get you to purchase their in-app purchases.

Games such as Overkill allowed you to download other apps using the Tapjoy system, which then in turn gave you the OM to allow you to purchase and use some of the most powerful weapons in the game without having to pay any real-world money.

So with those parameters set, Tiny Tower falls somewhere in the middle: a place where it doesn’t advertise you and annoy you with ads to try and get you to buy, but the game is set up so that you have to buy and pay, or you’re stuck waiting for hours upon hours, waiting for your floor to be built or waiting to restock your goods.

At least in We Rule it gave you small events and such so that you could earn those potions and not have to wait.

But Tiny Tower is built around the whole idea of waiting, with nothing else to really do but continue to build floors and shops, all with no real motive or objective.

Likes

Graphics/Artwork: I’m not a huge fan of 8-bit graphics as I wasn’t exactly around when those things first came into being, but the color combinations and cuteness factor in Tiny Tower really stand out.

Clever: I just thought that the BitBook bit was quite clever and worth a mention in the likes; completely useless feature, but cool nonetheless.

Dislikes

Nothing to do: There really is absolutely nothing to do in this game.  You build your tower as high as possible… for what?  There’s nothing else to do when you’re within the app except restocking and building things, along with taking people on an impossibly slow elevator ride.  All of it adds up to keeping the app open for a few seconds then quitting out; it almost feels more like an errand rather than a relaxing, fun game.

GameCenter achievements: I honestly believe that this game would have been so much better if the achievements were not so hard to achieve; the first achievement appears sometime after you’ve built your 13th floor, a feat that takes days if you factor in all that waiting time.  Of the 40-some achievements, I have achieved the grand total of 0 after tinkering with the game for more than two weeks.  It’s all just quite discouraging after seeing that you’ve spent so much time only to see that you have achieved absolutely nothing.

Tiny Tower is boring.  This is a boring game with no real joy or excitement attached to it; it almost feels like one more thing to do in life.  You can visit your friends’ towers and compete against them… but for what?  You can’t visit it and have little playdates and trade things; you can’t walk around and expand outside of your tower.  You’re stuck within one building with nothing to do but serve people and push them up the elevator; I mean, really?

I’m just glad that it’s free.

*In my opinion, attaching a rating to this review is utterly pointless since it is free.  Try it out for yourself and see if it really is Worth A Look or one that you should avoid.  But if you don’t like it, can’t say you haven’t been warned.




  1. Dave M. on Wednesday 6, 2011

    The point of Tiny Tower for me is just to get in, do the few tasks I need to do, then get back out quickly. It’s basically a farming game, but with a skyscraper.

    I do like staying in the game sometimes just to adjust my Bitzens employment and maybe adjust the floors I’ve purchased (with in game money, not real money).

    It’s simple, clean and a fun little time waster…

  2. Justin Salsburey on Wednesday 6, 2011

    WOW WHAT A TERRIBLE REVIEW……

    Seriously I’d call it the best time management game on iOS. FIrst bad review I’ve read.

  3. Justin Salsburey on Wednesday 6, 2011

    What about customizing your paint, redressing your bitizens to try and make them fit their jobs.. Evicting bitizens to get all dream job bitizens.. elevator operation.. Find a bitizen mini game etc. This game is meant to be a time waster.. all time management games pretty much are.. What I like about this game is that I can get in and out fast and feel some accomplishment each time. Give the game some time and I’m sure theyll add even more customization features and filler activities. Such a terrible review for such a great game.. Honestly?

  4. Rhiana Tibets on Wednesday 6, 2011

    I think tiny tower is great hey how many floors can u built I ony got 2 12 so far

  5. Chipsilver on Wednesday 6, 2011

    Yeah it’s cool – very silly review. I got about 13 floors too ATM. Nice when the money starts coming in proper. Only filled one dream job… I feel inadequate for these little dudes

  6. Zoseph on Wednesday 6, 2011

    I live this game! What a harsh review. I have 54 levels and waiting for more!

  7. Aspen Farms on Wednesday 6, 2011

    I have 127 floors and 230 bitizens…i want to be able to finish this game…frustrating

  8. MIMI on Wednesday 6, 2011

    I think the game is excellent, maybe a few things could be better… But I enjoy it. Go Nimblebit!
    (141 floors & 255 bitizens)

  9. Jess on Wednesday 6, 2011

    Tiny tower is a ralxing game actually. Have some patience & you’ll get the achievements. Which game doent need you to spend money to level up fast without any waiting time? I’ve reached 154 storey with 265bitizens with their dream jobs & nothing for me to build, not even residential, till further update. And i’ve achieved 44 out of the 47achievements which is some kind of accomplishments.

  10. Greg B on Wednesday 6, 2011

    Agree with the review, after enough levels I built I no longer bother with using the elevator to bring up citizens (since it takes forever, and i don’t want to play glorified butler – plus VIPs are semi-useless, e.g. taking 3 hours of restocking of a floor that takes 2 days to restock isn’t anything to get excited about). Not sure what’s so exciting about repainting, renaming or customizing bitizens. Not challenging, not intellectually stimulating… not sure what’s relaxing about clicking on ‘ready to be restocked’ icon 50 times. Brain numbing.

  11. Pep on Wednesday 6, 2011

    I think this is a great game. The review I have just read makes the few bad things seem terrible. Nimblebit just added missions and costumes, giving the game even more of a point and humor. I have 115 bitizens and 60 floors, missions give you towerbux, so no in app purchase any more, even though I haven’t boughten any. Give the game a second chance.

  12. Alex on Wednesday 6, 2011

    Terrible review, all based on personal opinions… Tiny tower’s not designed for long gaming sessions, you’re meant to go in, collect your cash, restock your businesses, and go out. Then, after a while, go back again and repeat the process…
    You also forgot the fact that it doesn’t require Wi-Fi connections like DragonVale, or We Rule.
    I personally think this is the game of the year, all the customization options are awesome, the concept of vertical farming is genius, and plus, every tower is completely UNIQUE…
    There’s really nothing wrong with this game in my opinion.

    Definitely worth a look guys, don’t believe this article, ’cause it’s made out of LIES.

  13. gub on Wednesday 6, 2011

    I love tiny tower i cannot stop playing it i’m on about level 122

  14. Claude on Wednesday 6, 2011

    You build your tower as high as possible, but for what, you ask? For what, indeed? It’s the same with the many tycoons games that precede it. These are games you play to make time pass. This goes for games of mostly any genre, even. Why does one play Pocket Frogs, or Fruit Ninja, or Angry Birds? Playing wouldn’t have any bearing on your real life, so why play at all? To waste time. It’s the same with Tiny Tower. Your only objective is to amass more wealth.

    Your review was highly subjective. It’s Apple’s iPhone Game of 2011 for a reason.