Tiny Tower and Tiny Death Star were both games with great implementation of free-to-play. Putting you in charge of managing an ever growing building, they kept you involved by making sure you always had something to do, while constantly teasing you with the carrot of in-app purchases.
Now the series is back, with Tiny Tower Vegas. Compulsives be warned: this is free-to-play with casinos you may want to lock up your piggy-banks.
The house always wins
Much like the previous installments, you have to build and manage a tower. Your self-contained skyscraper-wannabe can house everything its denizens could ever want - from accommodation to recreation - and it’s up to you to work out how to best meet their needs.
This time, however, you are in Vegas. Where before you were accommodating residents, now its hotel guests. This ups the pace, and the possible profit, as you try to tempt your unsuspecting visitors into emptying their wallets at your various stores and gambling establishments.
One armed bandit
The basics of this are laid out during the opening. You are shown how to build new floors, employ workers, and keep everything running smoothly all by tapping a few on-screen icons. If you are familiar with the series this tutorial may seem superfluous as very little has changed (bar a few casino themed mini-games), but new recruits should pay close attention to ensure they do not miss any subtleties.
From there it is down to you. You have to work out the right balance of entertainment for your guests and keep an eye on the stores and casinos countdown timers to keep them open. It is an oddly satisfying dynamic, but do remember to turn off notifications because the constant updates quickly get tiring.
Building your dream casino requires either time or financial investment. If you are not prepared to invest real money to speed up production, then there is still the option of undertaking menial tasks to help scrape together the pennies. You can manage the elevator, or fulfill various requests from guests (such as hurrying away unwanted fans). This mechanic not only earns you extra cash but also keeps you engaged and in the game while you wait for timers.
All the suits
The same adorable pixel art that was present in the previous “Tiny” games return for Tiny Tower Vegas. Floors all have their own colorful theme that allows you to quickly tell them apart, such as the horror themed Spooky Slots or Dino Poker casinos.
Characters also each have their own look, providing a surprising amount of personality to each of their diminutive forms. These include Art Major, your friendly bellhop, and Donna Prima, one of your more demanding guests who regularly has you running errands.
This combination of environments and inhabitants ensures that, even when you have several tasks to perform at once, the action never seems obstructed or cluttered.
Tiny Tower Vegas is a refinement of the franchise’s constantly entertaining formula. While there are definitely slower moments (if you are not buying in-app currency to expedite construction), you will nonetheless find yourself constantly busy as you micromanage smaller tasks to speed up your tower’s development - and enjoying it.