Monday, August 15, 2011

Latest iPhone Game Addiction

I find there isn't enough time in the day yet amazingly I still find time to post on Facebook, Twitter, occasionally this blog and play three games regularly on my phone.  I'd say it's a priority issue but really it's more an outlet for my ADD.  With that unapologetic and BS rationalization for being a total lazy ass, here's my newest find that I can't put down.

It's called Tiny Tower.  It's created by Nimblebit. I have also played Sky Burger that they've created and like most game apps I've ever downloaded, after a month I became un-enamored and moved on to a new obsessive time waster.

So here's the skinny. You have a skyscraper to build.  You build it floor by floor.  You have 6 options on the type of floor it will be.  Residential, Food, Service, Recreational, Retail and Creative. You build Residences for tiny people called Bitizens.  Each bitizen has a unique name and look as well as a "Dream Job" and a 0-9 ranked scale of floor interest.  You build the other floor types to provide businesses for your bitizens to work.  Creative for example would be a Tattoo Parlor or Photo Studio. Three bitizens can work at a place and ideally you pick those who want to work in that particular industry or score a bonus when you assign someone their dream job! They then stock your business for sales. It cost you time and coins to stock, but you are repaid because Tiny Tower never closes and as your stocked items sell, your bank keeps filling up.

Now, here's some of the obsessive parts, you can earn bonuses for fully stocking a facility. Other bonuses come randomly by being tipped for taking customers up the elevator to their desired floor.  You can speed things along by spending bucks, but once your little world begins to grow, there's no need to waste your bucks, they come in handy in other ways like upgrades and what not.  You as the gamer have the option of paying actual hard earned dollars from your REAL bank account to get more bucks, but thankfully I'm not that obsessive nor am I an ignorant teenager with access to mommy's wallet.

More obsessions come in the form of dressing up your bitizens.  At first it was just cute and mildly entertaining to make each bitizen stand out.  Eventually it becomes a necessity as you are occasionally asked to locate a specific bitizen and they all end up looking alike which leads to wasted searching.  So a silly hat, the addition or lack of facial hair and crazy costumes become a must to distinguish one varied skin tone and subtle male versus female characteristics apart.

The bigger the tower the more time you spend stocking and the more floors cost but it's all OK, because when you're not there, they're still hard at work for you like good little slaves would be.  I mean really, who doesn't need a Shrimp Platter from the Mexican Food and a Cardio Work out from the Health Club at all hours of the night? The food floors take less time to stock, but make you less money because their items fly off the shelves.  So that means you want floors with better stuff.  That often times means you have to evict the occasional flunky who's dream job is working for a Sky Burger or the Laundromat!  Sorry little guys, this game is about me.  I'll never miss you Alan Monroe with your yellow goatee and blue baseball cap.  Hello Vivian Jones, thank you for aspiring to work at the Glass Studio in your Pirate Costume.

These little bitizens mouths never stop moving...I think there's an oxygen problem or maybe this is waterworld but the DVD rentals don't get damaged.  They also never sleep nor sit.  There are chairs everywhere but they insist on pacing back and forth like crack heads.  Can't really help a customer locked behind a counter though I guess.  There's a fun element of humor involved helping bring your bitizens to life by way of a mock Facebook.  Bitbook allows the bitizens to be goofy and obscure all while guilting you the player into restocking because "Just had to close the Aquarium, hope I don't lose my job" really hits home you know?

There's help along the way in case you get in over your head or are impatient like everyone else.  VIPs come in various forms.  A Celebrity will temporarily increase the number of customers purchasing things on your floor. A big spender will buy out an entire product. Delivery men will knock off 3 hours of restocking.  (This comes in handy when adding more 3D movies to the cinema.) A Realtor will move a new bitizen in an empty apartment. Also Construction workers will knock off a few hours of new floor construction.  But you HAVE to actively play to get the VIPs or you just wait to turn the game back on and eventually your stocking will be completed, items will sell or the floor construction and someone will eventually visit the floor that needs a new resident.

I highly recommend downloading this free app and enjoy playing god with your minion.  Though my wife keeps reminding me I'm one step away from Farmville and two steps back from a Tamagotchi.  Less than subtle way to say "Dorn, put down your damn phone and pay attention to your family!"

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