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Not Everyone Loves Tiny Tower

August 5, 2011

At Develop conference this year Tiny Tower got lots of praise and notes for doing well finanically and for not trying to rip the freemium players off by overselling.  However this article pokes fun at Tiny Tower:

Tiny Tower is no fun, and here’s proof. Kurt Squire and Henry Jenkins – two of the most respected scholars in their fields – agree with me. In their seminal essay “The Art of Contested Spaces” they attempt to explain how games deliver fun.

They cite “Spatial Exploration” as a key. Well let me tell you that staring at a static blocky tower for hours on end ain’t exactly my idea of exploring a space. Squire and Jenkins also mention “Virtual Romanticism” (good vs evil, heroic quests, etc.), and Tiny Tower comes up empty there too. It turns out that Tiny Tower fails nearly every Squire/Jenkins criteria (atmospheric design, social space, etc.)

Tiny Tower is not so much a game, as gamic. What is fun about the article (and the comments) is that they point to the lack of ‘true’ gaming qualities while admitting addiction… Well worth a read!

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