A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tiny Tower is a simulation game where users control the lives of several onscreen characters and look to raise revenue through charging rent and running various businesses. The app generates in-game cash naturally, but players who don't want to wait 45 minutes for an action to complete will eventually be tempted to purchase more for real-world dollars. And given the game's addictive qualities, this can add up quickly. Users can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Players build a skyscraper over time that includes restaurants, retail stores, apartments and more. Stocking stores and adding floors costs in-game cash as well as time. To "hurry" along construction or a shipment, premium currency is used, which is much more valuable -- but also quite rare.
Is it any good?
TINY TOWER is a darned cute game. Mixing old school pixilated art and smart gameplay mechanics, it is a very enjoyable simulation game that brings the original SimTower game to mind. The game smartly balances tending to the needs of its "Bitizens" and the economic aspects. But by utilizing the in-app purchase model, it hits problems.
While nothing goes haywire with the game if you choose not to spend real-world cash to buy in-game bux, the game will progress slowly, as finances don't build up quickly naturally. It's still possible to enjoy the game without spending real-world cash, but you'll need to be patient -- plan to close the app and come back to it when you get an alert.
Talk to your kids about ...
Talk with your kid about Tower Bux. Early in the game, it's easy to run through Bux quickly. What's your stance on using real money to buy Bux?
Encourage kids to go beyond basic gameplay to improve the efficiency of their tower. They can group and order floors, color-code characters' clothing, and assign more Bitizens to their dream jobs.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Math: arithmetic, estimation, money
- Skills: Creativity: imagination
Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, problem solving, strategy
Self-Direction: time management
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: November 23, 2011
- Category: Simulation Games
- Size: 13.50 MB
- Publisher: NimbleBit
- Version: 1.5.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.0 or later
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love simulation games
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.