Android iPhone and iPad

Run Your Own Bustling Apartment Building With Tiny Tower [Android & iOS]

Ryan Dube 15-11-2012

tiny tower reviewThere are times when I just like to put away my laptop, get out the Android phone and relax a little with a game or two. I don’t expect my Android games to be very involved or complicated. It really should be something that doesn’t have a very steep learning curve, and is easy to use with nothing more than a touch screen.


Needless to say, on Google Play there are lots of games like that. All it takes is one glance at our Best Android Games page to see that.  We’ve covered lots of Android games here at MUO, like Paul’s list of multiplayer games 5 Best Addictive Free Multiplayer Android Games Read More , and Angela’s list of casual games 7 Great Android Games for Casual Gaming For those of you who love to play games in random idle moments, here's a list of great games which are entertaining, cheap, casual, silly and easy to pick up and set down. Well okay,... Read More . The type of game that I speak about above is the sort of casual game that Angela wrote about in her list.

One game that I stumbled upon and almost passed by is a vintage-looking game called Tiny Tower [No Longer Available] (it’s also available for iOS from the iTunes Store). Picture the sort of animation that you probably would have seen on a Nintendo-era game, but with a sort of fast-paced and mind-challenging organizational challenge of any number of Facebook games of today.

It is clearly a time management game 10 Fun Challenging Time Management Games [iPhone & iTouch] Read More . It’s like Diner Dash meets Sim Tower, and it is highly addictive.

Grow Your Vertical Empire

You don’t have to be a building manager to know that managing businesses and residences inside a city tower must be one challenging job role. From making sure the businesses that are renting out the ground floor keep thriving, to making sure that the apartments on the upper floors are fully filled with tenants and well-maintained – how does any sane person keep it all straight?

With Tiny Tower, you get a chance to find out. From the opening page of the game, you can get a sense of the whimsical nature of the game.


tiny tower review

At the opening scene, you will see a 21-step wizard at the top of the screen that walks you through the basic tasks that you need to manage in this game. Your entire goal throughout the game is to grow your tower, which means earning enough cash so that you can afford to do so. Lower flowers are cheaper, but higher floors will start to get crazy expensive.

tiny tower review android

If you’re good at the game, you’ll get “bucks”, which often let you “Hurry!” certain tasks, like the construction of new floors, or developing new products to offer in your businesses.


tiny tower review android

At the start of the game, you’ll basically only have a lower-level floor of apartments (looks like they’re practically living in the basement – check out the air ducts. As your vertical community thrives,  you will be challenged to deliver people that arrive to your tower to the floor that they require. How do you know where they want to go? Well, when they appear, you tap them and they shout out the number of the floor.

tiny tower review android

Press the up and down arrows to deliver them there. In this case, I delivered my first tenant to her apartment. Each time you build a new floor, you’ll get a cool “distance” view of your tower in front of the backdrop of the entire city. At first, your tiny two-story building will look rather pathetic.


tiny tower for android

However, you have an opportunity to not only house tenants, but to employ them as well. If you make the next floor a business – in this case I made my 3rd floor a sub shop – you can then employ your tenants at those businesses.

tiny tower for android

Each time you build a new floor, you can choose from making that floor into a number of opportunities – whether it’s a service, food, retail, creative or recreational business, or a straight residential floor of apartments.


tiny tower for android

A healthy mix of residences and businesses will lead to a thriving tower community. You also need to maintain the businesses (talk about micro-management!)

For example, in my new sub shop, I need to make sure there’s product in stock to sell, and I can purchase the development of new products that will earn that business more money. Since you own the business, that means you earn more profit and can grow your tower that much faster.

Run Your Own Bustling Apartment Building With Tiny Tower [Android & iOS] tinytower11

The cool thing about this game is that it combines the sort of Sim Tower style game into a sort of “Virtual Project” that exists and runs on your Android even when you are not actively playing it. Every time you return, you can check out how much profit your current tower setup earned you.

Run Your Own Bustling Apartment Building With Tiny Tower [Android & iOS] tinytower12

Don’t stay away too long though, because then your businesses will run out of stock and your tower will pretty much stagnate where it is. Don’t neglect your tower, or you’ll end up becoming yet another slum lord!

The Menu area is the best place to start when you return back to your game. You can see the current status of your tower at a quick glance, including the state of your “Bitizens”, overall tower statistics, your profits in the bank, and more.

Run Your Own Bustling Apartment Building With Tiny Tower [Android & iOS] tinytower13

You can even peek at the “Bitbook” posts of your residents. This is actually a pretty good indication of the success or failure of your tower from the perspective of your tenants. Are they happy or sad, do they hate their apartment or love their job? Don’t neglect to focus on how your tenants are feeling!
Run Your Own Bustling Apartment Building With Tiny Tower [Android & iOS] tinytower14
Statistics will also show you where you need to focus on building your businesses. As you start out, you’ll see that every business category is in demand. Once you provide those businesses, you’ll see which services are still required by checking out the Stats page for your tower.

tiny tower review

Tiny Tower is one of those Android apps that really grows on you from day one. Between delivering residents and business clients to their selected floors, collecting “VIPs” who will help you advance in the game by filling up a whole floor with paying tenants or speeding up construction of a new floor, and keeping your businesses thriving and your tenants happy – this game is a sure-fire way to blow your Saturday afternoon away without even trying.

Give Tiny Tower a shot and let us know what you think. Do you have what it takes to become the owner of a thriving vertical empire? Give it your best shot and find out, and let us know how you did in the comments section below!

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  1. bumblebutt
    April 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    why does this app need that many permissions? Control my GPS, read my private info etc etc.

  2. Anonymous
    November 27, 2012 at 3:00 am

    This game is amazing. Its the main reason I missed my iPhone.

  3. Raymond Beets
    November 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Spent many an hour building and rebuilding my tower(s). Great fun to play. I'm not a sim game player at all yet I found Tiny Tower very accessible and unobtrusive. I'm enjoying it a lot.

  4. claudine ratelle
    November 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    This game is fun! I know my mom and my brother's girlfriend are both fans of this game!

  5. Dominic Chang
    November 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    zynga also has a similar game with rounded corners. Dream Heights

  6. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    November 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    The idea of bitbook is very clever. It places us as 'observer' rather than voicing it directly to us:'you're doing this wrong!'
    At first I thought it was another stack-the-tower game, how wrong I was!

    • Ryan Dube
      November 19, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      Yes - I liked the bitbook part as well. Interesting to see what the residents/workers are thinking throughout the game!

  7. Márcio Guerra
    November 15, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    The problem of "Sim" games is that it seems that it is never over... I played a few, not sure if I'll get into another one soon...


    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      November 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Well, it's meant to be played casually, a time waster, not a full-blown game like MGS or other console games.

      • Ryan Dube
        November 19, 2012 at 5:59 pm

        Agreed - it should definitely be played in the spirit that it's a "time waster" - a free casual game meant to spend time when you really have nothing else to do. It is very addictive too. :-)

    • Austen Gause
      November 16, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      i think that too

    • Márcio Guerra
      November 18, 2012 at 6:26 am

      I'm a junky, regarded to games, so, the less, the better... Ehehehe!


  8. Joel Lee
    November 15, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    I miss SimTower. :(