Tiny City is the Groundhog Day of farming games, and depending on your love of repetition will either keep you at bay or whet your appetite. Since this app is free-to-play, the idea of constructing a metropolis out of a tiny town won't happen overnight unless you spend a bit of cash. Even with this annoying aspect at its base, Tiny City is part of my daily app play rotation.
Your task is to turn a tree laden, sparsely populated environment into a place New Yorkers wouldn't mind visiting. Before you can erect awe inspiring skyscrapers or highly trafficked airports, you must build a few wooden homes and farms to start the journey. The more homes you purchase with coins, the higher the population. Farms and textile mills are needed to create food and products that will keep your supermarkets running efficiently and generating much needed income.
Once your ramshackle neighborhood starts to flourish, you'll thumb your nose at Mother Nature and demolish the trees, rocks, and hills that block the path to progress. Although it's a blatantly calculative move to get gamers to shell out some cash, Tiny City manages to integrate every single element of city building. Every financial expenditure, whether it's purchasing a new structure, or pumping more money into upgrading your homes, comes with a certain level of compromise.
Don't expect thousands of coins and gold bars to be at your beck and call after you've made a profit on a few properties. Most of your wealth will be pumped back into the system to ensure your city's growth.
On your screen's sidebar are icons which give you various tasks to accomplish in Tiny City. Based on your overall wealth and resources, some of these challenges will take several days to accomplish, and others may never be accomplished at all. As with most farming titles, navigating the game simply requires a simple touch of the building you want to buy. Once you've acquired the item, just drag it across your screen and plant in on the desired location. Unlike other farming titles, you won't have to purchase the land for building purposes, as this entire land is yours to exploit. Clearing a path to build and demolishing everything in its wake does take labor, so expect to spend a ton of coin and chopping down your share of trees.
Tiny City's main drawback lies in its slow as molasses approach to development. Even with a slew of upgraded homes, farmers, and markets to increase your business, buying premium buildings and thereby upping your metropolis' cool factor will literally take days to accomplish. This approach is completely fine since it fits into Tiny City's creative aesthetic, and generating revenue is highly understandable. Unfortunately, gamers really can't play this app for hours on end in one sitting like The Simpsons Tapped Out. Since every single financial move you make has its share of repercussions, you can only do so much on a daily basis if you decide not to pay for a few premiums. After several days of building my city, I've cleared a whole bunch of trees, built my share of homes and even broke ground on a local gym. As for the big ticket items, those are still way out of my league.
I keep coming back to Tiny City despite its freemium flaws, mainly since it's simply an addictive farming experience. Every day you check back into the game you will earn more gold, which in turn will help add a few upgrades in your town or keep progress moving just a bit faster.
Even if my current city is days away from adding a premium commercial site, I'll continue to plug away and stay the course. I'm more than fine with incremental improvements with Tiny City, and if you understand that Rome wasn't built in a day, this app isn't such bad company.
This review is based on a downloaded copy of Tiny City for iOS.