AndroidAppsTablets

Tiny Tower has come to Android

Tiny Tower 2 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

I have a friend that has an iPod Touch, and for months he has been talking about this game he has been playing called Tiny Tower. He said it was a lot of fun, and he was having a competition with his sister to see who could build the bigger tower. The first time he showed it to me, he asked if I could get it on my Android. I looked in the market and couldn’t find it. I figured it was just another Apple app that hasn’t made it to Android yet. Well a week ago I found out it had been released for Android. So what did I do? I immediately downloaded it and got playing!

The first thing I had to do was sign up for a Mobage account. Now I’m not a huge fan of having to create accounts just to play games, but I figured I should just do it so I can see what this game is all about. After creating an account I am taken directly to my tower. The game starts like most games with a short walkthrough of how it works. I learn pretty quickly that there’s not much to the game. There are 2 different kinds of currencies, and two different kinds of floors to be built. The basis of the game is collect the currencies and build more floors. Pretty simple right? Well most addicting games are pretty simple and Tiny Tower is no exception.

The first thing you do is move in your first Bitizen. They are called that because this game has a classic 8-bit feel to it. I actually like how it looks pixelated. Gives it a nice old school feeling. After you move in your first Bitizen you have to give him a job. How are your tenants supposed to pay rent if you don’t give them a job right? This brings us to the different types of floors you can build. The first type is residential. Once a residential floor is finished, it is given a random name, and has room for five new tenants. The second type of floor is a business floor and can be either Recreation, Service, Food, Retail, and Creative. Every time you complete a floor, it is given a random name based on the type of floor it is. My first residential floor was called the Plainlake Apts. and my first business was a Frozen Yogurt.

Now as I said before the basic object of the game is pretty simple, how you play the game can be as complex as you want it to be. Every Bitizen has their own info card, and it tells you a few different things. The first is obviously their name, and then it tells you their birthday, dream job, and where they are currently employed. Then it has the five different business types and a ranking from zero to nine. The higher the number for a particular business type, the better the discount. I will get into that a little later. In each Bitizen’s info card you can change their clothes randomly at the cost of $1 for each time, give them a job, or evict them from your tower. There is also a smiley face that indicates their happiness level. I’ve only seen three different levels, unhappy, content, or happy. Unfortunately this has nothing to do with anything in the game. I was disappointed to find out that if your tenants stay unhappy for a period of time that they don’t leave or quit their jobs. I think you should be in danger of losing your tenants if they aren’t happy, however they will stay in the meaningless job you gave them until you either give them another one, or kick them out of your tower.

So now that you know how the Bitizens work, let’s talk about the different businesses you can have. Once you finish building a floor, you choose which of the five businesses you want to open, and a random name will be generated based on what type of business it was. For example, my first service floor was a laundromat. Now after each business opens, you have three different products that can be sold. Each product is unlocked when you hire a Bitizen to work there. So if you only have one employee, you can only sell one thing. This is where the numbers I mentioned earlier for each Bitizen comes into play. You get a discount based on the number that employee has for that business type. For example, you open a laundromat and hire three employees. Their numbers for service are three, seven, and nine. That means you get a 19% discount when buying each level of product. So what happens is you buy a level of product, and it takes a certain amount of time to be delivered. Once that time is up, you can stock your shelves and it can be bought from your store. That’s how you make money and you need money to build more floors, which gets you more money to, yep you guessed it, build more floors. That’s pretty much the whole point of the game.

Tiny Tower 3 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

There are a couple other random things that come into play. Random Bitizens will come to your tower and ask you to take them to a certain floor. If you do take them, you get two dollars times the number of floor they went to. So floor 20 will net you $42. You also have a chance of getting a VIP. VIP’s will either buy everything from a certain store instantly, take time off of your restocking, take time off your floor construction, or bring more customers to a certain floor. The other currency type is called Tower Bux and you get them for completing new floors, finding people in your tower, and randomly as a tip for taking someone in the elevator. You spend them on speeding up deliveries, moving your floors around, and a couple other minor things. The final random thing is probably the most annoying. That is someone will show up and be looking for a certain Bitizen that is a resident of your tower. Now when you don’t have many floors it’s pretty easy to find people. I currently have 22 floors, and it is really annoying to try and find someone in your tower. A couple of tip sites suggested changing the clothing of your Bitizens to represent what type of floor they are working on. For example give all of your service workers hats of some sort. While this is a great idea in theory, since the outfit changing is completely random, you might have to change their outfit over 100 times just to get them to have a hat. I gave up after trying to get my first Bitizen into a certain outfit.

This is one of the major failings in the game in my eyes. I don’t want to randomly assign an outfit and hope I get lucky in order to find a certain Bitizen. The more floors you get, which is the point of the game, the more annoying it is to get anything done. And since it is like most time waster games, they have made it so the time it takes to get certain items delivered completely random. A lot of the shops have items that take only five to ten minutes to be delivered. I would rather have items that take three to four hours to be delivered so I don’t feel like I need to check on the game every five minutes. Now it might just be me, but I tend to have a very addictive personality when it comes to my games. I can get carried away very easily. This game got old for me within a week. I doubt I will be playing it tomorrow.

One thing I will say is that your Mobage account does have some pretty neat things tied into it. If you have friends that are playing, your tower will be next to theirs so you can see how each other is doing, and have your own little competition. I also noticed after installing Tiny Tower on my phone that your game syncs to your Mobage account. So you can play on your tablet, and then pickup right where you left off on your phone if you are waiting while your wife is shopping. If you have ever wanted to be the landlord of your own skyscraper, then this game might just be for you.

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Bryan Faulkner

Bryan Faulkner is a former associate editor at Pocketables. He loves to find new ways to use his tablets while working as the Tech Director at his local church. Mixing sound from the iPad is his newest obsession. He currently has a pair of HP TouchPads, an iPad 2, a decommissioned HTC EVO 4G, and a Samsung Galaxy Note II to tinker with.

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