Tiny Tower

Common Sense Media says

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

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

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
Language
Not applicable
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
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. Players can opt in to Apple's Game Center to track scores and achievements, and for some games, challenge friends. Players can send and receive friend requests using an email address or Game Center nickname, revealing the first and last name associated with each party's Apple ID and, in the case of email requests, the sender's email address. With iOS 5, players can opt to have a private or public profile, which can include a photo. With a public profile, your real name is visible to all other players, and Game Center will recommend you to other players using your real name. With a private profile, only your friends can see your real name, and Game Center will not recommend you to other players.

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 kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • arithmetic
  • estimation
  • money

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy
  • decision-making
  • problem solving

Creativity

  • imagination

Self-Direction

  • time management

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

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.

Learning Approach

It's hardly a business simulator, but the app teaches a little about budgeting and spending money wisely as players build residences and businesses to grow their building. They can also practice time management and decision making.

Support

The game is clearly explained and never gets overly complicated. Players can opt in to Apple's Game Center to track scores and achievements, and for some games, challenge friends.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • arithmetic
  • estimation
  • money

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy
  • decision-making
  • problem solving

Creativity

  • imagination

Self-Direction

  • time management

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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chris Morris

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?

QUALITY
 

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
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

This review of Tiny Tower was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byrebma97 December 26, 2011
AGE
7
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

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
Written byAnonymous January 26, 2012
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Innovative

This app is strategy! It may, though, take weeks to get off the ground if you refuse to purchase tower "bux". Bux can be accumulated, though. Warning-this app where you build a tower buy buying floors and stock, not to mention apartments where "Bitizens" move in to help you run your stores, and place them in dream jobs, is highly addictive. Check it every hour or, for the devoted gamer, 15 minutes, for optimum results.
Kid, 11 years old January 26, 2012
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

Sigh

Teaches patience. boring after playing too long. But i got a hack anyway! :P
What other families should know
Educational value

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