With more than 10 million downloads on iOS and Android devices, Tiny Tower is one of the most successful business simulation games of all time. Now NimbleBit has teamed up with Lego to make essentially the same game, only with Lego bricks and figures. It’s called Lego Tower, and it’s nice.
Tiny Tower is a free-to-play mobile game about building a tower, floor by floor. Residential floors attract little virtual people. Business floors require up to three of those little virtual people to operate. The money amassed from business floors (through virtual people paying rent) is used to build new floors. On the left side of the tower is a lift, which the player can operate to deliver virtual people to their requested floor, generating more revenue and making the player feel more useful.
Lego Tower, out today on iTunes and Google Play, is all that and a bag of bricks. Instead of NimbleBit’s Bitizens, the virtual people are Lego minifigures, and players can collect different pants, shirts and heads to change their figures’ appearance. The tower background, lobby and roof can be customised with different Lego themes. It’s bright, shiny and happy. I have only just started my tower, yet I am already quite pleased.
As charming as Lego Tower is, it’s also a big ‘ol advertisement for Lego products. Certain customisation options, like the builds that top off the tower, carry “Inspired By A Real Set” labels, so folks know they are for sale. Does that Ninjago tower topper look nice? You can buy a set like it in real life and build it yourself. Ask your parents before stealing their credit cards, kids.
Lego Tower is also a free-to-play game, and there are several ways to pay. Users can spend cash on in-game currency to speed up building. Then there’s the Tower Club, a VIP subscription that gives players special benefits like double rent from tower residents, 25 per cent off upgrades and automatic lift control. Five club days costs $1.99 (£1.60). 299 club days is $19.99 (£15.80).
All of the cash purchases are optional, of course. I’ve squeezed plenty of enjoyment out of my early build of the game without spending a penny. In fact, I did a free trial of the Tower Club and found that I preferred the game without it. Automatic lift control? That’s half the actual gameplay out the window.
One of the easiest ways to create a lovable game is to take an already lovable game and add something else lovable to it. Lego Tower, ladies and gentlemen.