Tiny Tower App Poster Image

Tiny Tower



Adorable sim playable without in-app buys -- with patience.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The game is clearly explained and never gets overly complicated. 

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

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
Not applicable

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

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
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:November 23, 2011
Category:Simulation Games
Size:13.50 MB
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.0 or later

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What parents and kids say

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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 sells what's popular. Nothing too bad, except for the consumerism. You don't have to buy anything, but it makes the game easier and they encourage it.
What other families should know
Educational value
Easy to play/use
Too much consumerism
Kid, 11 years old January 26, 2012


Teaches patience. boring after playing too long. But i got a hack anyway! :P
What other families should know
Educational value
Parent 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 leave and come back to later. It has ads (what free game doesn't?) but they are much more minimal than most games. Tiny Tower is a fun iPhone/iPad/iPod touch game for adults as well as kids!
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns


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