After playing Flight Tycoon for a while, my son is in the mood to build a city. I found Tiny Tower for him. It is not about building a city, instead it is a simulation game building a tower, creating and managing businesses in the tower. You can have apartments, tea shop, photo studio, comedy club, laundromat, … You make money from apartment rents, and from selling the products. When you make enough money, you can build more floors.
One of the challenges of running the business is to keep the goods stocked. If it is out of stock, you are forced to close, and you won’t make money. Each floor has three items to stock, and each item has its own schedule. Stocking takes anywhere from a minute to a few hours depending on the item. It can get tricky as to which one you want to stock first when you are at the risk of closing the business due to no goods for sale.
Each business can have 3 employees – also called Bitizens. All bitizens have their own sets of talents. There are five categories of businesses, and individual Bitizens are stronger at some and weaker at others. They also have their own dream jobs. Bitizens working in their dream jobs are better than others and better for the business they are in. It is up to you to hire the right bitizen for the job, and help the bitizens find their dream jobs.
You also will have visitors coming to the tower for a particular bitizen. You will have to help them find the right person. It gets harder when you start having too many floors.
At the beginning, it looks like a very easy game, and to some extend a little boring. But after playing for a while, I was able to find some teaching points while playing with my son:
1. Dreams are not necessary come true quickly. Many times, you have to work on something you don’t quite like to get to your dream job.
2. As a manager, you always want to hire people who will enjoy the job. You won’t have a happy business if you don’t have a happy employee.
3. Know you people. When things happen, the more you know your employees, the quicker you can solve the issue.
4. Memory training: when a visitor comes to the tower for someone, they will give you his/her name and a picture. What you can do is to play a mini memory game with your child – see who can find the person first.
5. Time management: if the business is closed because of no items in stock, you want to pick the item takes the least time to stock. When you are going to leave the game for several hours, you want to stock the item that takes the longest. … Different scenarios require different strategies.
The game is free. Like most simulation games, there are in-app purchases. You can buy Tower Bux with real money, but you can also earn them as tips or as bonuses for fully stocking a floor. You can exchange them for coins or use them to speed up the building or stocking. There are plenty rooms for business expansion and game fun without buying the Tower Bux.