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.
If you would like to check it out or purchase it, please use the App Store link provided below. The cost is the same to you, but iGameMom gets a small percentage. Thanks for your support! Note: The link works for all countries.
Android Users can find Tiny Tower on Google Play.
Thanks for the tips!
My husband started my kids on Tiny Tower, and I wondered if it was more than a time-waster. I feel better about them playing it now that I’ve read your post.
Glad the post helped. Make sure spend some time playing with them. Some times, kids won’t get these points themselves, we have to find the right moment to bring up the talk …
Tiny Tower sounds like a great way to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills and sort of reminds me of “Oregon Trail”.
My son is obsessed with Minecraft. It’s actually teaching him some great skills as long as we moderate and ensure he’s being safe.
Does he play on the internet? I looked at the webpage, looks interesting, and looks like a game can practice some judgement and critical thinking skills.
My son loves Minecraft and saved his money to buy a server and has a subscription that allows him to have a certain number (I think it’s 12) players. He puts their email address on his “white list” and they can log on and play on his server, so they are playing online together but it’s not accessible to people he doesn’t know. That has worked really well, and we feel great about his safety. If you don’t want to go the route of having your own server, maybe you can find someone local who has one and get your son on their white list.
Thanks for sharing your experience. It is good to know what is available.
I am excited to try this game with my daughter. I love the lessons you posted and really appreciate you sharing them explicitly with us (so many teachable moments seem to go right over my head!). Thanks!
Thank you! Nowadays we are all so busy, we have to remind ourselves to spend “quality” time with our kids. The benefit of the quality time is the “teaching moment”. I believe all kids are smart, as long as we teach them the “right stuff” at the “right moment”.
Very cool…what ages is this app for?
A toddler to adults.
I think it’s great to teach your kids about business at an early age. This seems like a nice way to start. Right now my son is too young, he can’t even walk by himself yet. I have started teaching him colors and numbers. But as soon as he can understand a little bit more, I’ll be sure to try this one. Thanks for the tip.
Thanks for stopping by. Pretty soon, he will be able to play some games. Will post some for little ones pretty soon.
I have been working with my seven year old son a bit with this game but couldn’t figure out some of the things you cover in your articles – thanks so much for doing the work that have saved me some time!
Glad to know it helps. 🙂
I really like number 2. Happy employees make a good business. Great post.
Thank you. Hope all the adults who are playing the game also learned something … 🙂
I love it! My son the next real estate tycoon.
A good game can teach the kids a lot.
I want this game for myself!
It is voted the top “hard to put down” game at the App store. It is addictive to all ages.
this sounds like such a fun game. Makes me want to go through some of my old computer games and see which ones I can play with, with my little girl of course ! great blog, i plan on grabbing a coffee and snooping around a bit. 🙂
There are a couple apps for little ones on this site. You can go to the search on the right panel, search by your child age.
This is a really good blog, particularly for someone with young kids at home always looking for new video games. Thanks for the review. My wife’s a big Sim City fan and would probably love something like Tiny Tower for the kids – I’ll give it a try.
I like simulation games. It make it so easy to relate the game to real life scenarios. Hope your kids will like the game.
My daughter is obsessed with her Tiny Tower game and I didn’t really know what it was all about; I love your perspective on the things that you can focus on when talking about gaming so that some real-life lesson is learned.
I found when I started showing interest in my son’s games, he talks to me more – start with games, then branch off to other stuff. It is a good way to stay connected with kids.
This looks like heaps of fun for me!!!
It is. It is voted by App users as the top “hard to put down” game. It is fun for kids and adults.
that is greatness! I have a little boss in the making, this sounds like the ticket for him!
Then try it out. Keep me posted on how it goes please.
It sounds like an interesting game.
Yes, try it out.
Thanks! Sounds like a fabulous game with lots of ‘lessons’ to be learnt! Can’t wait to download it for my kids!
My son is till playing it and reporting to me how the “business” is doing. 🙂 Let me know how you like it.
My little guy will LOVE this game. And, I can get him away from the blood and gore games his friends are playing! Maybe he start a trend? 🙂 Thanks! L.
Now couple of my son’s friends are playing this game, and they talk about the business they own, … Very interesting to listen to …
This is a really fun blog! What a cool idea!
Thank you. Yours is fun also!