Tiny Tower – Ungame of the Year

I recently stumbled upon Tiny Tower for the iPhone. Seeing as it was awarded ‘Game of the Year’ in the app store, and was free too boot, I took it for a spin.

Just to get it out of the way: this is not a game! 

In Tiny Tower you take over running a skyscraper, by adding new floors, opening stores and residential areas, and filling those with tenants and customers. However, at no point do you suffer any setback, EVER, FOR ANY REASON. There are no disgruntled tenants, power outages, natural disasters, collapsing floors, nothing! You get a steady stream of income by restocking your stores, and use the money to build more floors and more stores.

Well, when does the game end then, you might wonder. And you are right to wonder, because it doesn’t. As far as I can tell, absolutely nothing new happens from the moment you open your first store and stock your first products, and until you die of old age or your phone runs out of battery.

There is, however, something quite addictive about the formula, and while I was exploring the game, I found myself checking back often, just to make sure that money was flowing in at a steady pace and that construction was on track. Of course the crystal meth topping on the cake is the elevator. A steady stream of people flows into the lobby of your skyscraper, wanting to be transported to a certain floor (hold down button and wait). However once in a while a V.I.P. will arrive, granting bonuses to sales or cutting construction time down by several hours. Variable Ratio Conditioning at it’s finest!

How this tamagochi/slot machine bastard breed won the title of ‘Game of the Year’ will forever remain a mystery to me.

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