Per the nearly standard operating procedure of "beta testing" wide-scale free to play titles, Canadians and "Canadians" can now get their hands on Zynga's latest iOS game, Dream Heights [Free]. It doesn't take more than a few quick glances at the screenshots and iTunes text to realize that Zynga has firmly focused their copy machines on NimbleBit's Tiny Tower [Free]. It's really incredibly just how blatant of a clone this is, as Zynga has gone far beyond just copying the premise of the game- They even directly lifted the restocking mechanics, elevator upgrades, UI elements, and more.

NimbleBit's Ian Marsh has taken to twitter with an image that perfectly exhibits just how shamelessly Zynga's "inspiration" is for this new free to play title of theirs with side by side screenshots and a hefty amount of trademarked NimbleBit snark.

Take a look:


(Click for full size, with many more comparisons.)

It'll be interesting to see how this all shakes out. Historically speaking, Apple has had a very hands-off approach to even the most blatant of clones on the App Store. But, we are talking their very own game of the year last year that's being mercilessly knocked-off here, by Zynga of all companies. I doubt much if anything will actually happen, but I'm not sure how Zynga couldn't stir up a hefty helping of bad blood amongst anyone who realizes that such a large company is lifting ideas straight from a three (3) man development studio.

We'll have to see how Dream Heights does once it eventually sees its worldwide release. The amusing (and sad, to be honest) part of all this is that per another tweet, Zynga once attempted to acquire NimbleBit. If you can't buy 'em, clone 'em?

Canadian App Store Link: Dream Heights, Free

  • Adams Immersive

    Well, Zynga has now earned some bad blood from me, for sure! Their constand pestering with ads (er, “news”) even in their paid products was already pushing them into my “avoid” list.

    Too bad. Imagine being a game designer/programmer working for Zynga, and you’ve got the talent to bring out something new and creative... but your boss makes you clone other peoples’ work. Sounds like a fun day at the office...

    • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

      Those designers have jobs - in this economy.  I bet they feel pretty good about that.

      • Anonymous

        Zynga's employees are miserable. Zynga is the bottom of the gaming industry barrel. Zynga to the industry, is what IAP are to the ios platform. 

      • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

        That's unfortunate.  Is this common knowledge?  I've never read of it. 

      • Anonymous

        If you do a Google on "Zynga Employees" there's a number of references, unfortunately.  Whether that's changed since those postings .. I'm not sure.

      • http://twitter.com/chaosjay Jason Evans

        I hope it's fairly common knowledge.

        At one point, employees were asked to give back stock or risk being fired. Zynga said that it was best for the company to do so.
        http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-57322150-17/zynga-to-employees-give-back-our-stock-or-youll-be-fired/

        This is pretty much about the company and the whole work environment:
        http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/zyngas-tough-culture-risks-a-talent-drain/

        There are more, of course.

      • markjohns

        Read how Zynga built its income stream as a startup. It's pretty shady: http://techcrunch.com/2009/10/31/scamville-the-social-gaming-ecosystem-of-hell/

      • Anonymous

        is this sarcasm?

        Zynga is aligned with facebook's interests, which are aligned with Microsoft's interests. Microsoft has been sharing with facebook their entire playbook of activities, including the : "we met with the company, tried to acquire them, left the meeting and then copied the software to squash the company". 

        Facebook took the playlist of "we need to raise misinformation about our competitor by accusing them of what we do ourselves".

      • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

        I see, dirty tactics. I wasn't being sarcastic.

      • Mike Carter

        That is actually not true, I have an X who currently works for them... They bring their pets to work, they are fed... She loves the company, and others that work there do too.

      • Mars x

        Money is money, but I would feel crappy making something I dont like (a strong, almost depressing feeling if you are a designer).

      • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

        I know what you mean, I went to a design school.  When I was forced to make something I had no interest in it was torturous, but when I could choose my own direction I excelled.  However, I wasn't getting paid - I was paying THEM.  

      • http://profiles.google.com/sokolov22 Derek Chin

        When you are learning (heck, even when you are working), you shouldn't restrict yourself to only doing things you like.  It's always valuable to step outside of your comfort zone.  Play and dissect everything - whether you like it yourself or not.

      • Anonymous

        the game industry is not suffering, it's not that hard to find a good position in the game industry if you know what you're doing. Many people in the game industry are passionate about what they do and don't just consider it a "job". A "job" is working somewhere you don't want to because you have to.

        FYI, they didn't need designers for this game. The game is already designed. All they needed to was to outsource the graphics and programming.

      • Anonymous

        If it's not that hard to find a job, surely that's a bigger indication that the quality of games is diving somewhat. So much crap being thrown out there these days.

      • Anonymous

        simple economics. Demand meets or exceeds supply. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MQ3BIC6NVEBWZAKMRXMRI5Z3FQ oo

    Tiny Tower is a Sim Tower (or Yoot Tower in Japan) rip-off anyway.

    Don't make it sound like Tiny Tower is an original game.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      The only thing Tiny Tower really shares in common with Sim Tower is that both games somehow involve a tower. If you've played both, this should be pretty obvious.

      • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

        This could be good or bad, depending on how people feel about Sim Tower. 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DEARPEDCPTWN3J7RVVT3WKO7L4 Justin Rawcliffe

        Somehow involve a tower... That you build floor by floor, install lifts, shops, returaunts, have people move in to live and work, try to keep them happy. Sounds similar to me.:)

      • http://profiles.google.com/sokolov22 Derek Chin

        Tiny Tower is time management.  Sim Tower is resource management.  It's a pretty big difference as to what constraints and choices each game presents the player.  I can be more detailed if you'd like, but I think it should be clear from here what the differences are.

      • Anonymous

        I'm going to assume you never played TT. People can be miserable since there is no penalty; it's impossible not to make a profit; and if it were possible to blow up the elevator with dynamite, the game would progress nearly exactly the same since there are no customers or necessary transportation in terms of the mechanics. Tiny Tower has as much in common with Yoot/Sim Tower as Golden Axe does with Baldur's Gate.

      • Anonymous

        Erm..No One of them is a side scrolling beat em up ones a RPG. completely different genres. Bad comparison.

      • Anonymous

        And one of these is a lightweight real time managent freemium builder and the other a deep strategy sim, so completely different genres; i.e. another dumb comment.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sokolov22 Derek Chin

        Yes... that was the whole point of the comparison.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DEARPEDCPTWN3J7RVVT3WKO7L4 Justin Rawcliffe

        I played it for a short while, but don't workers become more happy and productive or something if they are in their dream job?

        so although there's no penalty for them being sad, as in yoot tower.p, there is bonus if they are happy...doesn't sound too different to me. Happy winning, sad loosing. Still I will bow out here as I played it only for a few hours on release, you may be right.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FQ6MZYN2IZPGA5FBSFNMIPQFZU Paco

        @hodapp:disqus "The only thing Tiny Tower really shares in common with Sim Tower is that both games somehow involve a tower."

        What? Then why did you title your article "Zynga Shamelessly Rips Off 'Tiny Tower' With Canadian Release of 'Dream Heights'"

        You also said this
        "It's really incredibly just how blatant of a clone this is, as Zynga
        has gone far beyond just copying the premise of the game- They even
        directly lifted the restocking mechanics, elevator upgrades, UI
        elements, and more."

        Dude...?

    • http://twitter.com/snowy2004 Stéphane Lachance

      Actually, there's a distinct difference between Tiny Tower and Sim Tower. Sim Tower has what is commonly called "gameplay". Tiny Tower doesn't.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        *rimshot*

      • Anonymous

        Nailed it. Is there even any way to lose in Tiny Tower, besides simply not "playing" it?

      • David K.

        Not playing it isn't losing, its winning.

      • Anonymous

        I guess I can't argue with that.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DEARPEDCPTWN3J7RVVT3WKO7L4 Justin Rawcliffe

      Agree, I was about to say the same thing, plus, this is common practice on the app store. Don't try tell me evryones just noticed.

      this is no more a ripp of tiny tower than all those moterbike trials games where you ride up planks of wood and fall on explosive barrels..There are a few of them all just like trials from xbl marketplace.

      If it actually has some decent gameplay unlike tiny tower(touch here to build/touch again to stock/repeat a million times) il give it a try.

  • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles Albert

    Both suck serious balls anyway. Fucking """freemium""" pieces of crap.

    • Anonymous

      I find it odd you liked Eli's response above, but appear not to have played the game either. If you have, I apologise, and simultaneously accuse you of being somewhat greedy and/or uninformed as to how business works.

      • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles Albert

        Nothing odd, just already played sim tower and tiny tower and know that both share very few similarities. nothing to have about tiny tower being crap, along with most of those crappy "play 5 minutes and come again later or pay 99 cents for playing for about another 5 minutes". Also, nothing to do with the broken monkey-distracting gameplay that requires you to do stupid things like clicking on the freaking stores to UNPACK the goodies, while being an tycoon game it should let the player focus on administration etc etc etc. See? Nothing odd ;)

      • Anonymous

        Ah, okay. Slightly different topic then, it's more about the gameplay. That's understandable. Personally, I can't stand those "crappy administration games" :)

  • Anonymous

    Zyn·ga
      [zhing-guh, zing‐]
    - n
    1. A game development team with not a single spark of genuine innovation in their five-year history.
    2. To steal: (What's this, chappies? Why, we've been Zynga'd!)

  • http://twitter.com/jaolen Alan Baldwin

    Zynga has made all of their money copying games, right down to the exact mechanics to begin with.

    • Anonymous

      They should merge with Gameloft and create a vortex of suck unlike the world has ever seen!

  • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

    Zynga: Pretty much a microcosm of everything shitty about the game industry.  Well, almost everything, Gameloft covers the rest.

    • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles Albert

      Seeing an official virtual embodiement of a game company thrasing another. I love TouchArcade :)

      • Anonymous

        I honestly don't consider Zynga's releases to be games anymore.  

  • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

    Also, Apple has been known to take things off the App Store.  Stoneloops of Jurassica comes to mind.  I guess it mostly comes down to whether their Game of the Year is more valuable to them than letting Zynga gnaw on the furniture, defecate everywhere.

    • Juan Martinez

      I miss StoneLoops. X10 better than Luxor.

    • The Summer of George

      I still have StoneLoops on my iPhone.  I never really play it anymore, but I hold onto it simply due to the right-screwing Apple gave Code Minion.

      Fuck you very much, Mumbo Jumbo. 

    • Johnny Donuts

      Apple hasn't even removed Craft - Build Terrain, which is a literal scam that is nothing like the screenshots or description. Shame on you, Apple.

  • http://twitter.com/KlickTock KlickTock

    Perhaps, in a show of solidarity for the little guys, Touch Arcade could pledge never to promote/review anything from Zynga ever again?  :)

    • Anonymous

      Willing to bet you won't get an official reply on that...

      • Anonymous

        Okay, I was wrong.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      We don't really post about Zynga stuff ever anyway.

  • http://twitter.com/KlickTock KlickTock

    If Apple gives Dream Heights a feature slot on release I'll likely cry myself to sleep.

  • Anonymous

    Please ban Zynga! All they do is milk you on money! don't clutter Toucharcade with that company. Pls!

  • http://twitter.com/Aghartastudio Alex

    wow just wow... 

  • http://twitter.com/Dalie81 Dalie

    I must have been living under a rock for a while, but I've never heard about Zynga before now. They seem to be a company not worth remembering.

    • Anonymous

      If you've spent any time on Facebook then I'm sure you've heard of Farmville. Zynga made Farmville.

      • http://twitter.com/Maevearie Jaimi A

        Which was a direct copy of Lil' Farm Life which was later bought by Playdom and subsequently shut down. Farmville was not an original either.

      • Anonymous

        Many popular games aren't completely original. The borrowing or even out right stealing of ideas is nothing new in the game industry.

      • Ståle Holten

        ever played farmtown? farmville is a direct clone.

  • osman yasin

    I agree that this is a terrible thing Zynga is doing, but Newtoy (the people behind Words With Friends and was bought by Zynga) along with Gameloft and others have been doing things like this for a while now. Scramble With Friends was a pretty blatant ripoff of Boggle, WWF a blatant ripoff of Scrabble. Really the only thing different with this is that an iOS developer is copying something another iOS developer.

    • Josh Bourgeois

      With the very easily-overlooked difference being that NimbleBit is a three-person garage developer outfit, and Hasbro (which owns Scrabble and Boggle) is a multimillion dollar international manufacturer and distributer of hundreds of different products.  But hey, it's like, "tomato, tomahto", right?

      • osman yasin

        Good point, that never occurred to me. But still, stealing is stealing and Zynga, along other iOS developers, have been stealing for a while now

  • http://www.jshamblin.com J.Shamblin

    2,789?!! I'm sure not every employee of Zynga was involved in this blatant clone, but still a lot of them had to have known. That's a lot of unsavory people.

    • Anonymous

      They probably all were, since one developer would have to find 5 other friends, and then those would have to find 5 more friends, etc.

  • http://www.peterpetrovski.com Peter Petrovski

    This is just Zynga doing what they do best.

    Anyway, I played Tiny Tower for a little while but it's ridiculous the amount of attention you need to give the game on a daily basis. It out-WoW's WoW.

  • Steven Lewis

    Wow! Yet another reason to hate Zynga.

  • http://twitter.com/WakeBoardMan10 Mystery Man

    Idea for the ultimate game, Gameloft clones Dream Heights. Game called Dream Tower. Taking bids now. 

  • Ivan Ivanov

    Hater gona hate... Ok. Let's pull out of the store ALL other "clone" games. Let's begin with Angry Birds, which is absolutely not genuine and all other games with similar mechanics (lot's off, really). Then we should kill all Tiny Wings clones. All Tower Defense games are next to exterminate (game mechanics and upgrades are ripped dozens of times). Zooma clones - go away! Racing games... there you go too. 3D shooters, strategies, cards games... damn, KILL EM ALL!!! There should be only one game of every genre, others are clones. Let the crusade begin!

    Damn ignorant fools. Graphics in Zynga's game is NOT a ripoff. It got a really hard work to create. They even do not gonna sell it! I do hate freemium model, but hey - you do not HAVE to pay. If the game is so much visually better than "original" - it's worth playing. NimbleBit, just don't stop and make more good games, that's it. Do not be like Rovio, living with one game.

    Let it be.

    • Ivan Ivanov

      And no, i'm not associated with Zynga and i don't like both this games. I just want to see progress. If original maker don't go on - let the others continue. For example - my kids favorite game is "Reckless getaway". It's awesome game, but it's not updating anymore. We want more content, but there's nothing coming from original developer. Should there appear absolutely similar game from another studio with new graphics and similar mechanics - i will definitely buy that game.

      • http://twitter.com/justlegos Justin Somers

        Reckless Racing 2 is coming out soon :D

      • Ivan Ivanov

        "Reckless getaway", not racing.

      • Anonymous

        reckless racing, you uninformed moron! read the upcoming thread b4 u reply!

      • Ivan Ivanov

        I was talking about "Reckless getaway". Ignorant child, you are.

      • Anonymous

        For someone who uses the term ignorant so recklessly (lulz), you probably ought to look up the definition of the word. What evilsearch did there was make a mistake, not act in ignorance.

      • Ivan Ivanov

        Sorry, maybe i do misuse some words. English is not my native language.

      • http://www.feldoncentral.com/~tiny/ Tiny Turtle

        evilsearch most likely made his angry remark to Justin Somers post above yours but clicked on the wrong Reply button (and wrote "Racing" instead of "Getaway" himself)

    • Ubersnuber

      Nothing wrong with building on a concept. This, however, is about taking a concept, interface and its functions, throw it into a copy machine and give it a new paintjob.

      • Ivan Ivanov

        There are lot's of similar "copies" in appstore. In all genres. It's the way appstore has those huge numbers of available content. Most is shit, unfortunately.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly. It's not like this is the first time this has happened or even that it only happens in the app store. This has been going on for as long as video games have been a 'thing'. I had numerous clones in my collection back in my Atari 2600 days. Some good, most... not so much. I'm not defending the practice but it happens and I doubt it will ever stop.

    • Anonymous

      The game is a rip off, simple as that. This is not taking an idea, improving on the concept, adding new and unique touches and helping the genre evolve, this is taking someone else's hard work and putting your name on it. Yes, there are other games guilty of the same crime, and we dislike those too. Some, however, are less guilty than others, as they've carefully straddled that thin, delicate line between inspiration and theft and used it to their advantage. If you can't see that then quite clearly the ignorant party here is you, good sir.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SNE4LYAJJHXMW3YF52FKFA6ZSI Alex

      "Jazz: Trump's Journey" called; they want their esoteric writing back

  • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

    I like Zynga's Words - or at least I used to.  Now it takes forever to load because all the crap they put on the Words homescreen. 

    Anyway, I like the idea of Tiny Tower, but was completely frustrated with the shallow linearity of the game.  If Zynga can do better then I'll give it a shot. 

  • Garrett Granger

    For once, I'm happy to see a freemium game. That way I can leave a 1 star review for free.

    • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles Albert

      That: I practice.

    • Anonymous

      People like you who vote 1 star out of ridiculous "principle" are what makes reviews worthless. I've been playing TT for months and have never felt the need to pay them one cent. The paying is for the impatient and lazy - but that doesn't make the game bad. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CKBNMJGLGCBQOSH2BM264QIHLI Bridget

    Ah, Zynga.  Well known pile of scum, that group.

    In case anyone hasnt heard it before, here's a pretty well-known quote from the CEO of Zynga, to one of his employees:

    ""I don't f*****g want innovation. You're not smarter than your competitor. Just copy what they do and do it until you get their numbers."I really want to see that company fall.  Not likely though, sigh.

    • Ivan Ivanov

      Please, give a prooflink. "Well-known" is not enough for such an accusation.

      • bslayerw

        here's one link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7YaVVpK1G4. I cant find more if you like. A company is defined by their leadership. The serfs who work there are merely an extension of the leadership. Could you imagine knowingly being told by management to clone a particular game? "Hey guys, we're creating a new product. Here, check this game out. Change the graphics and duplicate the gameplay. Let me know when you're done". 

      • MidianGTX
  • http://clickplow.com/ John

    I hate large corperations.

    • Anonymous

      Really? I for one don't have too many problems with them. Without them I wouldn't have this laptop I'm typing on, the parts I use to build my other computers, my kitchen appliances, clothes, TV, many of the items I buy in the grocery store, my car, and dozens, if not hundreds of other things found throughout my house. Frankly, living without them is pretty darn hard.

  • JustinSanders

    WHILE WE INDULGE OURSELVES IN THE WELL WISHING....

    why not thank Maxis's Sim Tower for being the true derivative inspiration of both games?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simtower

  • Keith Burgun

    Zynga's not stupid.  They probably just said "yeah, we'll get blowback for this, but it will still be worth it for us overall"

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5FLRQI2X2LU3IHMCG7HEAEFD5I Cat Astrophy

      Not stupid? Their IPO sure flopped.

      • http://twitter.com/shaneone Shane One

        You may want to check those IPO numbers again...

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5FLRQI2X2LU3IHMCG7HEAEFD5I Cat Astrophy

        Just type ipo zygna in Google. I checked them again so I could have another laugh.

      • http://twitter.com/shaneone Shane One

        1. Raised a billion dollars in a day. 
        2. Now trading 5% higher then what it debuted at.
        3. A BILLION DOLLARS!!!!... I don't think anyone who knows what they are talking about would consider that a flop.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5FLRQI2X2LU3IHMCG7HEAEFD5I Cat Astrophy

        What you raised put up against their poor valuation made for some pissed off investors. They're doing OK now but at that point we're no longer talking about an IPO.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5FLRQI2X2LU3IHMCG7HEAEFD5I Cat Astrophy

    Who cares? Mega Mall Story is infinitely superior to Tiny Tower. Appointment gaming ftl

  • http://twitter.com/stooneyoriginal Erhard Steiner

    I love playing Tiny Tower and I hate Rip-offs, so it's very easy for me.
    I will just ignore the mere existence of Zynga and their games.

  • Anonymous

    It's interesting that the majority of users don't seem that bothered that this is a blatant rip off. If I had been running a small grocery store for about a year, and then a giant grocery store opened up across the street copying my exact same formula but with a bigger marketing and pr budget, then yeah I'd feel pretty angry.
    It's unlikely everyone will avoid Zynga games and a large proportion of users will never know of this story. I just hope like all giants, Zynga will soon be licking their wounds and come crashing down.

  • http://twitter.com/Inaba_kun Inaba-kun

    Disgraceful for sure, but hands up who is surprised it wasn't Gameloft behind this...

  • http://twitter.com/VovinX Vovin

    It's free. You all know how to leave 1-star-reviews.
    So, if you feel better, trash them.

  • http://twitter.com/AhiruDuck Ahiru Nakamura

    NimbleBit pWns Bazynga!!! anytime!!!

    • mclifford82

      Just don't put Nimblebit in a spelling bee.

    • mclifford82

      Just don't put Nimblebit in a spelling bee.

  • Declan Bowers

    Looking at the number of comments on this post, we seem to have given them a fair amount of free publicity...in the ocean marketing sense.

    • Declan Bowers

      If you disagree with me, and wish to argue, remember: I wwebsite as on the internet when you were a sperm in your daddys balls.

      • http://www.feldoncentral.com/~tiny/ Tiny Turtle

        Was it fun wwebsiting as on the internet back in early 1974 then?

        Please don't tell me you really consider the posts here something that would contribute to Zynga's sales in a positive way.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/VUX2AZMHAMVXROOMVQIZOVOYLA life

        He was making a joke. I see you didn't get it.

      • http://www.feldoncentral.com/~tiny/ Tiny Turtle

        Nope, I didn't. Possibly because it wasn't a very good joke.

        My apologies anyway.

      • Ubersnuber

        I'm da mayo of Bawston, and I garrantee tis guys the real deal!

  • http://twitter.com/skubastard Skuba

    It's funny, because some time ago they got all of their stuff "ripped". And after they sued VOSTU, they entered in a agreement. I hope they have a good excuse for this. http://blogs.estadao.com.br/link/files/2011/07/vostu-zynga-games2.jpg

  • http://twitter.com/starksimon Stark

    Zynga is a worthless piece of crap.

  • Anonymous

    May as well take every single gameloft title off the app store if this is going to be an issue.

    • http://twitter.com/VULTR3 Mike

      And that Mario Kart one, and that Woody Woodpecker/Tiny Wings one, and those Zelda style RPG ones and.......

  • Anonymous

    Well, it took me five minutes to understand that tiny tower was not for me, so I know the same for this one without even having to download it. Thanks Zynga for saving my time!

    BTW, I really liked Marsh and Nimblebit when they made small fun 99c games. The hours spent with SkyBurger... too bad they jumped on the freemium crapwagon. 

    • Anonymous

      If you played TT you'd realize that "freemium" is only for the impatient and lazy. You can play the game fully without ever paying them.

      • Anonymous

        yeah, I guess my impact with the game was so bad that I thought it was the freemium model's fault. But maybe I just simply don't like it, freemium or not. I didn't like at all the one with the frogs, too. It's a fact that when they made those simple little games with no IAP involved whatsoever, I liked them much more.

        But still, I understand what you mean, I got temple run for free and unlocked everything for free because I just find it so much fun.

      • Anonymous

        It isn't really a game though is it… your choices only effect how long you have to wait for the next floor.

        It's meaningless crap

  • http://www.jshamblin.com J.Shamblin

    I just curious of everyone's opinion... What is the difference between a good and bad clone?

    If Space Panic is considered to be the first platform game, that means Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros and every other platform game to come along are all clones. Is there a certain amount of time, gameplay hours, assets or variation of mechanics involved before a clone is acceptable? Is it like Minecraft, where there has to be a certain amount of clones before it is considered to be a genre- then it's ok to clone? What if Tiny Tower becomes a genre?

    I also find it a little condescending that TouchArcade would rant about this clone and yet give a game like Woody Woodpecker (Tiny Wings clone) a consideration and rating.

    • http://twitter.com/denramos Den Ramos

      Honestly I think it's not about the game being copied but more about Zynga being involved lol. Zynga is widely known as a parasite for the gaming industry and its hardcore gamers that fill-up most of the TA community. 

      But after a quick look, it seems this new game by Zynga provides no new functionality at all. Whereas Super Mario and Donkey Kong provided something new and different; a new perspective.

      People are more pissed about this Dream Heights game because:
      1. it's from Zynga
      2. it's clear they wanted to cash in on 'Tiny Tower's' popularity
      3. people saw #2 because Tiny Tower was game of the year.

      • http://www.jshamblin.com J.Shamblin

        Good points.

    • Ubersnuber

      If you can't see the difference between this and that of Space Panic vs Donkey Kong, I'm afraid I can't help you.

      • http://www.jshamblin.com J.Shamblin

        If you can't see the similarities, then our feelings are mutual.

      • Ubersnuber

        Similar? Yes.
        Clone? No

      • http://www.jshamblin.com J.Shamblin

        Either you know nothing about Space Panic to understand the comparison or you are confused about the definition of the word "clone." Whichever it is, I'm afraid I can't help you.

    • scott slomiany

      There's usually a subjective (and sometimes a not so subjective) difference between outright cloning a game, and designing a game based off mechanics from a previous game. In the case of Space Panic and Donkey Kong, while they appear similar in screen shots, they play pretty differently. Space Panic doesn't have a jump command, and defeating enemies is based on digging holes then walking on trapped enemies. Donkey Kong has jumping and hammers, and moving platforms, and rolling things...in the end, they require different skill sets to master.

      Super Mario is a bit different, due to the side-scrolling aspects. If anything, SMB borrowed from Smurfs Adventure, an old Colecovision videogame.

      There's no reason that Tiny Tower can't become a genre, really, but it would be really nice that if you borrow the core mechanics of it, that you either A) add something new to it and expand on the core concepts or B)fix some control issue that makes the core concept a better playing game, or even C) a different theme. In other words, bring something new to the table other than just a graphic re-skin.

      Yeti Town / Triple Town has the same issues. But it's especially painful in this case, considering that Zynga is an 800 pound gorilla, and nimblebit is just 3 guys.

      • http://www.jshamblin.com J.Shamblin

        I think the problem is that "clone" is a vague term often thrown around loosely.

        By definition, Donkey Kong is a clone of Space Panic because it's striking similar visually and with similar game mechanics.  (i.e. Player starts at the bottom, enemies start at the top and come down toward player, both games use tools, player runs and climbs up several levels using ladders.) Donkey Kong does introduce a couple new mechanics, but there's no doubt that it was inspired heavily on Space Panic. How many differences does there need to be to avoid being labeled a clone?

        I'm not arguing that Zynga isn't ripping off Tiny Tower, it's obvious they are, but I think that there needs to be a hard line drawn to define what is a clone and what is acceptable.

        (In Space Panic, you dig a hole and bury the enemy to make them fall.)

      • Anonymous

        The number of differences required to label it a ripoff is inversely proportional to how much more fun the new game is.

        This is why there is no hard line, it is inherently subjective.

      • http://www.jshamblin.com J.Shamblin

        I agree that it's very subjective. I think to be fair, the clone has to take the original and make something new out of it. It can still be considered a clone, but you can't really call it a rip-off.

    • scott slomiany

      And regarding the Woody Woodpecker thing. While it borrows the Tiny Wings mechanic, I believe that the core gameplay is more of a race between characters, as opposed to "how long can you keep flying." Which makes it a different game in my book.

      • Anonymous

        I was just going to point out a similar thing; that woody is a racing game, which happens to be based around the same viewpoint and control mechanic as originated in TW.
        As someone else said; if it at least expands on the original (or uses it as a base for an entirely new game), that's making a positive contribution, rather than a shameless ripoff.
        tl;dr Woody is to TW what MarioKart is to a 3D maze game.

    • http://twitter.com/ahamling27 Andrew Hamling

      While I agree that Donkey Kong and Space Panic are very similar. The closest "clone" to Space Panic in my book would be Apple Panic. Donkey Kong is similar but not a clone. Now Load Runner is a nice game that built on what Space Panic established and gave you more, not a clone but an evolution.

      Dream Tower is a clone of Tiny Tower, period. Unless Zynga decides to throw something new in there or change it drastically than I don't see this doing that well. At least I'm hoping it won't do well....

      • http://www.jshamblin.com J.Shamblin

        Dictionary.com defines a clone as:

        a person or thing that duplicates, imitates, or closely resembles another in appearance, function, performance, or style: All the fashion models seemed to be clones of one another.

        The definition is similar in all dictionaries.  I doubt Donkey Kong would look, play the same or possibly exist if Space Panic hadn't come first. The similarities far outweigh the differences. To me it's clear that DK is a clone for reasons stated in my earlier comments, but I can understand the argument against it. Those differences might be enough for you. We'll just have to disagree.

  • http://twitter.com/denramos Den Ramos

    To be fair Zynga's target audience is clearly not gamers (like myself) like most of the TA community who dislike spending on freemium apps. This app was clearly made to exploit some of the fire Tiny Tower gained for getting app of the year. A sickening move from Zynga. 

    But will the public bite? Most likely yes. The TA community barely makes a dent on the app store top grossing profits. So whether people here like or not it won't matter for Zynga. They'll make their quick buck.

  • Karl Collier

    You only have to look at Zynga's facebook games to see that they have ZERO originality at all. They're all clones of each other with new skins over the top. Change growing vegetables to going to work to building a town....they're the same games, the same mechanics. 

    This, however, is a bit below the belt. Regardless of how good or poor Tiny Tower is, it was a concept designed by NimbleBit and this new game is a blatant rip-off. It's essentially like someone copying the Harry Potter books, popping some Tippex over the names and changing then to Parry Hotter, Won Reasley and Germoine Hainger - then releasing the books again.

    Ridiculous. I hope Zynga, eventually, crash and burn. 

  • Anonymous

    Who would have thunk it, I mean for real man.
    privacy-toolz dot com

  • numpty

    "Notcied"? Oh dear. And in the very first sentence of your lovely letter, too.

  • Anonymous

    I look at it this way, Maxis, the maker of SimCity, didnt have a huge hissy fit when other people started making city building game clones.. sooo.. there is room for other "tower" building games, I like both Tiny Tower, and Dream Heights.. there is enough of a difference that I play both games.. a lot.... games have been cloned for years, look at all the Lemmings clones... same game play diffrent graphics... I say live and let live... the the two games are not identicle.. but close... so..  I say what ever, play and have fun.

    • Anonymous

      agree. huge hissyfit and self proclaimed ownership of a tower building genre of games (when they weren't even there from the beginning and copied in the fist instance from another tower building game/dev) is lame as hell.

  • Paul Johnson

    It's nice to see this game redone with decent graphics. I won't be buying either as I don't feel the need to keep on paying endlessly when most other games I can just buy the bloody things and enjoy. Bugger the pair of em.

  • http://twitter.com/VULTR3 Mike

    This discussion is fun! I hope a Zynga person can get their punches in though... Kinda one sided.

    I've seen way too many clones of iOS games, and console games in the app store, so I'm not bothered one bit. Gameloft and Zynga aren't alone in doing this by far.

    Oh, and I'm not gonna play this damn game. Just here for the scrappin!

  • Anonymous

    I notcied a speling eror in teh grafik.

  • Anonymous

    Per the nearly standard operating procedure of "beta testing" wide-scale free to play titles, Canadians and "Canadians" can now get their hands on Zynga's latest iOS game, Dream Heights [Free].

    Just read your opening paragraph and I am worried you might have missed some school. Like everything between the first day and the last day.

    Well done for not letting this handicap hamper your desire to post drivel on the internet.

  • Josh L

    There's a difference between inspiration and what Zynga does. Someone can paint in a certain artist's style, have shots in a movie or a show as an homage to something previous, even do a cover of a song.

    But if someone put tracing paper over the Mona Lisa* and called it the next best thing, we'd all cry foul, or at least laugh in their face. 

    Zynga has basically just reskinned Tiny Tower, they've traced over the gameplay precisely, and presented it as something new. 

    This isn't the same as Yoot Tower Tiny Tower. This is Tiny Tower T1ny Tow3r. 

    *Let's be clear, not using Mona Lisa as an example because Tiny Tower is equivalent, just a super easy thing to draw to mind

  • Anonymous

    Pot calling the kettle black because Tiny Tower is just FarmVille without the social aspect and with a SimTower aesthetic 

    • Anonymous

      No, not really.

  • NetscapePizza

    oh and it turns out they tried to buy them… so how the fuck can they complain? 

  • Anonymous

    I dunno about these guys, but when I write something that's intended to be insulting, and I misspell a word, it pretty much negates everything that follows.

    • Anonymous

      'dunno' is not an English word.

  • http://twitter.com/SquaredApe Robert Cummings

    OH WOW!

    You mean.... you mean someone copied poor tiny towers and the developers of tiny towers are crying because someone copied their copy? just LOL. Get a grip guys.

    Mind you they only whined like this for the free publicity, looks like advertising money cannot buy :)

    • Anonymous

      OH WOW!

      People copy your hard work and you are not even entitled to whine!

      Are you claiming that Zynga only copied their game because of Zynga's goodness of heart?

  • Michael Black

    Zynga's version is better. Sorry but facts are facts.

    • Anonymous

      Doesn't matter. It is still a blatant copy.
      Facts are facts :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000113424463 Michael Alan Gauld

    is it ironic that the ad below the headline is for "lucky birds"?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1245835866 Nick Scocchera

    Wow Carol,

    So... let me get this straight.  you can't help me get my tower back & refuse to compensate me for the lost money?

    You have done absolutely nothing to help and haven't even offered any sort of resolution to this.   It's no wonder your year over year profits declined by 95% -  enjoy your short lived empire and I'll enjoy watching it crash down around you.  In the mean time, I'll go find every single webpage I can about you ripping people off and plaster this story on each and every one of them!

    Thanks to the greedy disregard for your customers that you've shown here, I hereby BOYCOTT all Zynga products for the rest of my life and will tell everyone I talk to how horrible you were to me.

    This is THE WORST customer service I've ever seen in MY WHOLE LIFE!   You should be ashamed of yourself, your company and it's outright theivery!  

    Sincerely,

    Nick 

    On Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 11:54 PM, Zynga Customer Support  wrote:Hello Tower Owner Nick,This is Carol your Tower Engineer and I understand that you're having issue finding your Tower.Unfortunately once the tower was overwrttten we don't have an option to bring it back. More ove regarding the refund that you're requesting we are unable to grant it back.If you need further assistance, do not hesitate to e-mail us. Thank you for your understanding.Regards, CarolZynga Player Advocacy and Service

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1245835866 Nick Scocchera

    Wow Carol,

    So... let me get this straight.  you can't help me get my tower back & refuse to compensate me for the lost money?

    You have done absolutely nothing to help and haven't even offered any sort of resolution to this.   It's no wonder your year over year profits declined by 95% -  enjoy your short lived empire and I'll enjoy watching it crash down around you.  In the mean time, I'll go find every single webpage I can about you ripping people off and plaster this story on each and every one of them!

    Thanks to the greedy disregard for your customers that you've shown here, I hereby BOYCOTT all Zynga products for the rest of my life and will tell everyone I talk to how horrible you were to me.

    This is THE WORST customer service I've ever seen in MY WHOLE LIFE!   You should be ashamed of yourself, your company and it's outright theivery!  

    Sincerely,

    Nick 

    On Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 11:54 PM, Zynga Customer Support  wrote:Hello Tower Owner Nick,This is Carol your Tower Engineer and I understand that you're having issue finding your Tower.Unfortunately once the tower was overwrttten we don't have an option to bring it back. More ove regarding the refund that you're requesting we are unable to grant it back.If you need further assistance, do not hesitate to e-mail us. Thank you for your understanding.Regards, CarolZynga Player Advocacy and Service

  • Coronel Jucapinga

    Zynga = Google
    Apple = Nimblebit

    Zynga = Apple
    Samsung = Nimblebit

    Gotcha?