NimbleBit has shown success across a variety of free-to-play titles, but Tiny Tower [Free] seems to take the cake as far as popularity is concerned. When Tiny Death Star [Free] came out last year, NimbleBit’s formula saw some nice improvements but overall we were left with mostly a sprite refresh with some heavy handed IAP incorporated on top of the base gameplay. With the launch of Tiny Tower Vegas [Free], NimbeBit has retaken the reigns back from Disney Mobile and has made what I consider to be the true sequel to its tower building title. Suffice to say, the mini-game improvements combined with a return to the more friendlier NimbleBit IAP approach makes for another awesome F2P from the developer.

If you’ve played the original Tiny Tower then the basics in Vegas won’t be hard to master. The open-ended goal of the game is to build a giant skyscraper by earning coins and using that currency to build floors. Coins are earned by keeping your floors stocked with items for bitizens to purchase. Earn enough coins, and you can add a new floor, increasing your earning potential that will help keep up with the ever-increasing cost of adding a new floor. In addition to the core timer-based gameplay, players can also ferry visiting bitizens to floors of their choice for tip money (typically in the form of coins and timer reductions).

IMG_3025While the above is pretty familiar, there are a few changes to the core formula that are worth mentioning. For starters, residence floors from the previous game are now hotel rooms. Delivering a bitizen to such a floor starts a countdown until check out. Once the countdown is over you can tap on that floor to get a lump sum of coins (vice the slow trickle of coins from stocking regular floors). Since there are no longer ‘residents’ in your tower, bitizens go to your lobby to hope for a job. Your lobby can keep up to five bitizens at any one time and can include regular bitizens and a variety of VIPs (that can lower construction times, fully stock stores, etc.). Thus, there’s a bit of strategy in making sure unwanted lobby bitizens are continually kicked out to make room for new ones.

The biggest changes to debut in Vegas are the addition of casino game floors and the introduction of a new premium currency (the ‘Chip’). Casino game floors allow players to play mini-games based on popular casino games (Slots, Blackjack, and Poker). Playing casino games requires chips to participate and the payoffs are potentially large amounts of bux, which are still used to speed up floors, fill up hotel rooms, upgrade elevators and purchase cosmetic upgrades.

The inclusion of chips shifts the dynamics of freemium currency in Tiny Tower Vegas. While bux are still the ‘end-game’ currency (besides coins, obviously) that you want to accumulate, chips become a potential resource for accumulating large amounts of them in relatively short order. As you can imagine with a game being set in Vegas, there’s always a chance that playing a mini-game won’t reward any bux. However, the payoffs are potentially enormous with the right amount of luck. Of course, chips are also now the rarest currency, and are accumulated far slower than coins and bux. Thankfully, in true NimbleBit fashion there are plenty of mini-quests that are randomly available to earn chips, as well as the occasional random chance of getting one awarded for ferrying a bitizen to a floor.

While the addition of the casino mini-games seems small, I think it’s an excellent addition to Tiny Tower and adds a much higher level of active participation beyond the typical passive timer-based gameplay. The gambling mini-games are engaging and do a good job of encouraging players to keep the game open to accomplish quests and earn chips to play them even further. Social functionality reminiscent of the Pocket Planes/Trains games offer additional benefits to playing the casino games beyond simply earning bux. The only downside to what I think is a great addition to the gameplay is the fact that players not familiar with casino mini-games (or have an aversion to gambling games, virtual or otherwise) won’t really be able to appreciate a significant addition to the overall game.

Another facet that I appreciated was the further attention to detail in Vegas’s presentation. BitBook entries are far more entertaining, the randomized missions are quirky and the pixel art is far better than the original. Floors are a lot more animated and the sense of an overall ‘Vegas’ theme makes the idea of an all-encompassing tower a bit more plausible.

Despite its passive gameplay, Tiny Tower was a hit with the casual crowd. The inclusion of casino mini-games in Vegas should alleviate the complaints that some folks had about its ‘gameplay’ while still retaining the simple timer-based gameplay in regards to building and expanding your tower. Fans of Tiny Tower will love this Vegas sequel and for others I’d advocate checking it out.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarStar
  • hellscaretaker

    its worth a download

  • benexclaimed

    Tiny Tower cycle begins anew. Can't wait to play this for seven or eight days straight before deleting it once I realize how horrible and unfun it is.

    • CecilMcW00t

      omg! I do this with every NimbleBit game... I wonder if this will finally break the cycle for me.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      Or you could just… *not* play games that you think are horrible and unfun?

      • benexclaimed

        Very much looking forward to your 'HERE'S THE ONE SPECIFIC WAY YOU CAN PLAY THIS GAME WITHOUT SPENDING TOO MUCH MONEY' article.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        It's on its way

      • Ben!

        Yes, I know.

      • CecilMcW00t

        It's not that I think they are horrible and unfun (I think you were referring the other poster, but just in case). I love them for the first few days, then I just stop playing. I think it will be different for this one though. Im really liking the changes and improvements to the gameplay.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Oh for sure. I get to that point with these games too, though it's after several months rather than days. But it's good fun while it lasts.

        I was just pointing out the absurdity of the above comment. That would be like saying "I'm going to listen to this Justin Bieber album for the next week straight, then throw it in the garbage because I think his music is horrible and I hate it."

  • Zeillusion

    Never played a tiny tower before! Loving it. I did love disco zoo though.

  • Jake7905

    I can't give Nimblebit any credit for originality, but when it comes to polish and a fair free-to-play system, there's no one better.

    • RegularStormy

      You don't think Tiny Tower Vegas is original? Why, because it's a sequel?

  • RalphieUJ

    Let's just hope this one doesn't bug out on me and leave my 89 floor progress lose.

  • LarryWP

    Dang, here I go again.

  • Christian Heidarson

    I wish there was a way to get the TouchArcade app to filter away free-to-play

    • hanklupo

      Hey, some of us wish we could filter out elitist comments but hey...

      • Christian Heidarson

        If you equate "not liking freemium" with elitist, then by providing us with such an optional filter, it WOULD filter out such comments for you! By way of me and other elitist scum like me not seeing freemium articles and therefore not commenting on them

    • melocoman

      It literally has freemium in the title just ignore it

    • Stormourner

      did someone force you to play freemium games?

      • Christian Heidarson

        In a way, yes. Quite a lot of franchises are converting to freemium. I used to love Real Racing. I really, really tried to adapt my mindset to the the freemium aspect in RR3 over several weeks of playing, but ultimately I found that I was fighting a game that was rigged against me.

        I am not hoping for the rest of the world to stop playing freemium, just a tiny little feature in the TouchArcade app and website to filter out a section of gaming that is of absolutely zero interest to me.

      • Stormourner

        well just ignore them and this filtering isn't gonna help

  • ckhapa

    Anyone interested in making a touch arcade "club"?

    • rich_952000

      There has been one existing since this first soft launched. ;)

      • ckhapa

        Crap. How do I join?

      • CecilMcW00t

        Is it #toucharcade? That's the one I joined.

      • Truffled

        There's also #toucharcade2 for when the first club becomes overcrowded.

      • nilly2323

        I saw those two and decided to make a #Toucharcade3. Currently ahead of both the others on Dragon Poker.

  • RandomName

    I've discovered if you set the date forward one day, you get to launch fireworks which gives you some chips and bux.

    • eeenmachine

      Just know that when the game detects you doing this bad things might happen :)

  • nicoper

    And it works for iPod too! Awesome

  • your personal robot

    There are still people playing these uninspired, aimless Tiny anything games? Wow...

    • Doc Robby

      I'm wondering what a post like yours actually contributes to this discussion...

      Nothing really.

      Other than you're of the opinion that you are a much better person than those that would play this uninspiring, aimless type of game.

      Wow indeed.

  • slammajamma28

    No achievements. A shame. I like something extra to work towards.

Tiny Tower Vegas Reviewed by Eric Ford on . Rating: 4.5