Tiny Tower

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Tiny Tower App Poster Image
Adorable sim playable without in-app buys -- with patience.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn a little about budgeting and spending money wisely as they build residences and businesses to grow their building in Tiny Tower. They can also practice a little time management, strategy, problem solving, and decision making. Kids will need to make decisions about whom to move into their tower (and whom to evict), how to staff their businesses so they'll run efficiently, and how spend their Tower Bux, which players earn slowly in-game or purchase with real money. Tiny Tower touches on thinking skills in a tiny but fun way.

Ease of Play

The game is clearly explained and never gets overly complicated. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The game may not heavily promote in-app purchases, but players wanting to advance quickly may be tempted to buy "bux." Prices for in-game currency range from $1 to $30. Players can earn the money in real time, they'll just need to be patient. Also, ads for other apps pop up occasionally during gameplay.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAbigail1975000 July 15, 2012

Tiny Tower

It does not promote the in app purchase (but it is available) and since the money process isn't super speedy it is one of those games you'll have to l... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byrebma97 December 26, 2011

Fun, but boring after awhile

I liked it a lot at first, but it gets kind of boring after awhile. It's pretty realistic, though. You'll get more customers if you own a tower that s... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old January 26, 2012

Sigh

Teaches patience. boring after playing too long. But i got a hack anyway! :P

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.

App details

For kids who love simulation games

Our editors recommend

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