The Average Gamer

The Confusing and Questionable World of Tiny Tower

Tiny Tower Level 10

After what seems like persistent hassle from Time Vampires’ Kevin Scully and Negative Zone’s Jay B, I finally cleared some space on my iPhone for free to play ‘game’ Tiny Tower.

I put ‘game’ in italics because it’s not a game. It’s an addicting drug that’s successfully spearheading the downfall of my life with adorable 2D sprites. In fact, as I revel in pure delight that my tower has earned me 4000 coins in the small time I’d taken my eyes from it to write this introduction, my iPhone could be silently injecting me with a drug that promotes a wanton lust to become the biggest slumlord in Tiny Tower town and I wouldn’t bat an eyelid at the notion. As yet another new floor is built in my mighty tower, is it wrong of me to picture the small surrounding local businesses begrudgingly putting a for sale sign in their shop windows, quietly sobbing into each others arms as they can’t make their next mortgage payment?

“Bad news for you bud, everything is not going to be alright…” That’s what I’ll chuckle as I sit atop my tower with a telescope, using a fat wad of bux to light an even fatter cigar.

As my motivation to work or go outside begins to cascade down the mountain of freelance work I have stacked up, I’ve found the only respite I have is to just turn off my phone – how else will I avoid the urge to restock my shops, build new floors and check the ‘Bitbook’ updates from my towers residents…

…oh god, I’ve taken to checking a fake Facebook, within a world populated by fake people, within a game that essentially amounts to the adicitibility of Farmville crossed with the micromanagement of The Sims and the style of Habbo Hotel. Only it’s better than what those things would amount to, because frankly that sounds just awful.

Anyway, the purpose of this little article isn’t to convince you to download the game – I’m actually wondering whether I’d have a case to get Tiny Tower slotted under Meth on the registered drugs list – it’s to tell you about some seriously weird shit that’s going down in my metropolis of fine commerce.

BitBook - it's better than your own news stream

I’ve had black tenants move in and immediately be berated by Asian tenants over ‘Bitbook’ about all manner of things. If it’s not the mess, it’s their style of dancing or general noise levels – the guy literally just moved in! Potential hate crimes are going on under my roof and there is nothing I can do about it.

I’ve had a super chilled out looking guy move in, no biggie – I put him to work in the pub that just opened. The other tenants promptly started complaining about somebody “playing bagpipes”. I then noticed that this tenant was spending an awfully huge amount of time in his apartment building, and he seemed to have a lot of shady looking visitors… again, no big deal – until of course he updates Bitbook with “Someone stole my rug! It really tied the room together.”

So, I’ve got the spirit of El Duderino (go watch The Big Lebowski right now) living in my tower, not going to work and “playing bagpipes” all day, while continuing to update his bitbook telling me how excited he is that a new food court just opened up. For those of you too naïve to know any different, I have reason to believe that he is playing something… but it certainly isn’t a musical instrument. Do I evict this guy? I can’t work out how passage of time works in this worl I wouldn’t be overly surprised if he called squatters’ rights on me.

There's no helping some people...

To top it all off? A guy named “Mr Hernandez” moved into an apartment as I’m writing this. It was night-time and he was wearing sunglasses, I thought it was a bit suspicious but I put him to work in the Night Club either way. I’m a business man, not customs control… but not ten minutes later I had police show up in the lobby wanting me to locate him so they could ask him some questions.

This is day one in my Tiny Tower. I have a business-squashing empire in the making. I’m a mighty land baron and any minute now I expect Spider-Man to swing in, call me the king-pin of crime and try to throw me out of a 10 story window. I’m potentially housing racists, drug addicts, illegal immigrants and (most annoyingly) a woman named Olga who keeps having me deliver her pizza while she’s sat unemployed in her apartment. There are jobs going, she just claims she’s not skilled in any areas – do I add benefit fraud to this long list? How can Olga afford to buy pizza and tip me bux for the effort, when she’s supposedly doesn’t even have the skills to sell potted plants? Oh my god, is she a prostitute?

Look I’m sorry; I don’t have time to deal with this right now. I need to go and restock my arcade…

Josh West is a Tiny Tower slum lord moonlighting as editor of Negative Zone.