New Guilty Pleasure: A mobile app called Tiny Tower

Thanks to technology, I find my attention span shorter than my 4’11” mother. I absentmindedly reach for my phone and open the mobile apps that currently litter the first two pages of my “iphone desktop”. Thanks to a recommendation from a friend, I found myself downloading Tiny Tower, a free mobile app available for iOS and Android, created by NimbleBit. It starts off with a very easy to understand 2 minute tutorial and then off you go to build your tower full of 8bit sims or bitizens.

It’s a basic concept. In order to add more floors to your tower, you need to build shops, restaurants, etc… and in order for those levels to be successful you need to hire competent workers. When you build a residential floor, five bitizens can move in, and they each have their own skillsets. Match their skills with a suitable business, and you will receive a discount whenever you need to restock your inventory. Three bitizens can be assigned to one business floor and five bitizens can move into a residential floor.


One of the hooks for me is that you can rename the floors, customize their colors, and you can also customize the colors of the clothes your bitizens wear. If you are feeling particularly mean or evil, you can also evict bitizens that do not fit your business needs.


How do you get money to build more stuff? Once a floor is created and workers have been assigned, random bitizens will make purchases on that floor and that is how you obtain income. Once a day, you will also receive rent money from the residential floors.

How does real money get involved? There’s always a hook to make real life purchases with these apps. If you notice in the above picture, there is a little green rectangle that resembles a standard cash bill. You can accumulate these in the following ways:


1) Random bitizens will enter an elevator and request that you send them to a certain floor. There will be instances when that sim will “tip” you a Tower Buck.

2) Occasionally, there will be a “find the sim” moment where you are given a picture of a sim that needs to be located and you must look through each floor to find that sim. A Tower Buck is rewarded to you once the target is found.

3) If a bitizen is assigned to their dream job, you will be awarded two Tower Bucks.

4) If you build a new floor, you are rewarded a Tower Buck.

5) And of course, if you want to, you can pay real money to get Tower Bucks.

Why are Tower Bucks so special? The gold coins are used for restocking inventory and for building a new floor. Tower Bucks are essential because they affect the time factor of the game. Example: if a new floor is being built, it may take a couple of hours (in real time) to be completed. You can use Tower Bucks to speed up the process so that the floor is finished immediately. It is the same concept for restocking inventory of your businesses. Out of sushi? It may take 30 minutes in order to restock the ahi tuna; however, if you spend a Tower Buck, your stock will be replenished immediately.

Special note: Sometimes you will have VIP visitors and each of them have a different function. Some will buy out your entire floor’s inventory while others will help find bitizens to rent rooms from you. Be sure to use them wisely.

And of course, the higher the tower, the longer it will take to maintain everything. All in all, I really love this game and it has kept me entertained for days.  And if I’m ever caught waiting for something to be built or restocked, I just head on over to Candy Crush or Dungeon Raid for puzzle goodness.

Special observation: If you have an iPhone 5, your tower will look longer. Just sayin’.

One thought on “New Guilty Pleasure: A mobile app called Tiny Tower

  1. Did you ever get the feeling you had read a substantial, well thought-out article/review of a game with a hint of e-conomics theory only to get to the end and wonder if it had all been an incredible lead-in to a “longer is better” joke?

    Hmmm… ^.~


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