I like NimbleBit. I appreciate that the developer makes free-to-play iOS and Android games that you can (normally) actually enjoy for free. Which is why I was excited about Tiny Tower Vegas. Disco Zoo had me obsessed, I played Star Wars: Tiny Death Star for weeks, even though I’ve never seen a movie or played a game in that series. Which is why I’m heartbroken over Tiny Tower Vegas.
The gameplay is the same as the original Tiny Tower and Tiny Death Star. Players run a tower in Las Vegas, adding floors with new rooms or facilities. The problem is that this is the first NimbleBit game that’s actively checking your pockets. Everything costs money. And not manageable fees which gradually scale as someone plays the game. Floors right away are 10,000 gold, and you start with 30,000. Hiring a person to work on a floor costs you 1,000 gold. Those prices are only initial costs too, and go up depending on tower growth and employee expertise. Restocking costs money too. Also, I wasn’t being given options to pick what each floor would be. No, Tiny Tower Vegas decided for me.
But the most aggregious move has to be the number of items that now cost “real” cash. Every upgrade now costs real cash. The initial elevator is painfully slow. Pay 200 Bux to upgrade it! Want to upgrade a commercial floor so it isn’t running out of stock in a matter of minutes? You’ll need some Bux for that. Cosmetic changes all cost Bux too. While previous games typically offered some kind of choice, so players could pay immediately to get something or play to earn it, Tiny Tower Vegas doesn’t.
So you don’t want to buy Bux? Well, then you can take your chances with Chips! Chips are doled out for completing missions or for watching advertisements. If you have a casino floor, you can then play a mini-game that lets you try and earn Bux. Since I had Patty’s Slots, I could play a St. Patty’s slot machine that usually just doled out 10 to 50 Bux at a time. Spoiler alert – you can’t do much with that kind of cash. I played over the entire, three day, Labor Day weekend, and ended up only “earning” a total of about 900 Bux. After all this time, my tower, my tower is still only earning about 50 coins per minute, because I refuse to invest real money into this venture.
NimbleBit got greedy with Tiny Tower Vegas. We all know Las Vegas is a money pit and most people leave with less money than they came in with, but that doesn’t mean games set in that city have to be just as money-grubbing!
Since a number of comments have come in insinuating I’m playing Tiny Tower Vegas “wrong” or am mistaken, I’d like to address said issues.
Those of you who are commenting and playing Tiny Tower Vegas, reporting different experiences, sound like you’re playing it in a different way. That is, you’re taking it more seriously than I have. You’re regularly checking in on your tower, restocking floors, and putting in as much effort as someone would a non-mobile game.
In NimbleBit’s previous games, one didn’t need to put forth so much money, at least initially, to build up a tower. Also, instances where Bux were needed didn’t require so many to succeed. Increments of money required to improve scaled into the game more easily in Tiny Tower and Tiny Death Star. As a result, people who played the games only when they had their smartphones on them, in short bursts throughout the day, were able to keep up and enjoy the game.
My opinion on Tiny Tower Vegas stemmed from playing it in a casual way. I was checking in 2-4 times a day, over a period of three days. Compared to my experiences with previous Tiny series installments, I noticed a difference and remarked on it.