As a big fan of NimbleBit's mobile games since the company's earliest fare (Pocket Frogs forever), I recently found myself wondering about why the studio's been rather quiet through 2016. It used to be that you couldn't swing a construction girder without hitting a Bitizen -- one of the tiny pixel-people populating Tiny Tower, Pocket Planes, or Pocket Trains.
Looks like we have an answer to what NimbleBit's been up to through the winter. Its best-known game, Tiny Tower, is getting a major update. The project is so large, NimbleBit is actually seeking out beta testers for the overhaul (want to help?).
The update reportedly includes 604 new BitBook posts, new character costumes, the ability to trade and re-name your Bitizens, and a QuickStock feature that should make managing your tower a bit easier. There are also 32 new floors, 40 new roofs, and 24 new lobbies.
In other words, the Tiny Tower update will give you a good reason to boot up the app again if it's been a while since you last checked in on your busy Bitizens. It sounds like you can give your tower a complete overhaul while you're in the process of dusting off the cobwebs and squashing roaches.
If you haven't played Tiny Tower, it's definitely worth checking out. The game hews closely to the 1994 PC classic SimTower (a little too closely, some argue), and unsurprisingly, building a grand structure floor-by-floor is pretty addictive.
But now's also a good time to give Tiny Tower a try because the game is nearly five years old -- and that's ancient by mobile game standards. When Tiny Tower first came out, the iPhone 4 was cutting edge and the first generation iPad was still a bit of a curiosity. Ergo, Tiny Tower was engineered for a very different era in mobile gaming when apps and games had to be small, humble, and still offer great content in a little package.
Tiny Tower was considered revolutionary for doing exactly that, as well as for being open-handed about its in-app purchases. You earn "Coins" from your in-game stores and ventures as you play the game, but you're also given "Bux" on a pretty regular basis. "Bux" is Tiny Tower's hard currency, and you can buy large quantities of it with real-world cash. However, you're often tipped Bux as a reward for operating the tower's elevator, or for finding a particular Bitizen in the mob occupying your residence.
Tiny Tower is largely a hands-off game, and while operating your elevator isn't overly exciting, doing so is an excellent (and mindless) way to earn some Bux while riding the subway. It's definitely a cleverly-implemented incentive for sticking with Tiny Tower during slow periods.
I haven't played vanilla Tiny Tower in a long time (though its spin-off, Tiny Tower Vegas, kept my attention for a long time because, well, gambling), so I'm looking forward to the update. There's no word on when it's going live, and since NimbleBit is currently prioritizing iOS beta testing over Android beta testing, we should probably expect it to hit Apple's devices first.
Whether you've been inspired to return to Tiny Tower or give it a try for the first time, good luck building your very own Babel. Stock it well with items that glorify sin and vanity.