A lot of city building games tend to focus on resource micromanagement, people's needs, strategic placement of buildings and utilities, and growth and expansion planning. While Tinytopia also has elements of all of these, it does so with a light-hearted and simplified approach that welcomes younger and more casual gamers, encouraging them to have fun above anything else. Upgrading buildings doesn't require a slew of specific city operations to come together just right. Instead, players simply build what they need and stack them together, transforming them into new and different structures, complete with blueprints for future reference. This gives players the opportunity to literally play around with their toy metropolis, dropping houses on top of tenements, radars on top of fire houses, and even, for good measure, firetrucks on top of burning buildings. It's simple, silly fun with very little in terms of rules to hold back creativity.
Tinytopia does include certain goal-based levels. Some of these might just ask the player to create their own version of major cities like San Francisco or New York, complete with key landmarks. Of course, there's nothing stopping you from dropping the Statue of Liberty smack in the middle of Times Square in your personal version of the Big Apple, if you choose. There are also challenging physics-based levels that task players with trying to build cities on quirky foundations, such as a seesaw, a turntable, and bicycle pedals. These fun puzzles challenge in a different way, focusing on things like weight distribution, building height, and more. Best of all, no matter how you play, when you're finished, you can summon all sorts of cartoonish disasters to level your playset to the ground. There's just something about sending a wind-up Godzilla toy on a rampage that appeals to the kid in all of us.