Remember the game Tiny Tower? That wildly addictive and pixelated game amassed huge popularity on iOS. Well the creators are back with a new title that is destroying my life even more than Tiny Tower, Tiny Wings or tiny anything did. It’s called Bit City, and the game is so good that it’s dramatically reducing my desire to ever socialize.
Bit City feels like it drew inspiration from SimCity, but make no mistake this is entirely new and different. Your job is to build a successful city as quickly as you can to level up. You start out with small towns and eventually move on to large, thriving cities with several cars, planes, boats, large properties and more. Raise taxes on properties, collect bonuses from transportation, and make smart investments to increase your wealth in the long run.
Playing Bit City
At the beginning, it seems like your primary objective is to just keep building stuff. That’s partially true. Your wealth increases as you do because new properties equal more taxes. Just like in SimCity, you can build a residential lot, business lot or service (read: utility) lot. It’s up to you, but they should generally stay proportionate as you grow your town.
Each new building adds an additional 1,000 people to the town. Population is key to leveling up in Bit City since levels are based on how large you can grow the cities.
Your main job to level up is strategically grow your earnings and population as quickly as possible. You grow your earnings by constantly leveling up buildings and imposing new taxes on them. Leveling up is free in-game while imposing new taxes and boosts costs some in-game currency as small investments. More money means you can build more lots, more lots mean you make more money. That’s the addictive cycle you get trapped in.
When you leave the game, your city bank will collect 10 percent of what you would have earned playing it. So you can earn money while you’re away. However, at first it only collects 10 percent for a half hour, but you can increase the amount of time and percentage by spending your in-game coins.
Coins and Bux
Bit City has two forms of currency like most games of this genre in the App Store: coins and bux. You’re probably thinking bux are hard to get without spending real money, yet are simultaneously crucial to the game. That’s surprisingly not true with Bit City. While you can purchase bux with real money, I’ve never even come close to having to do that. I earn so much throughout the game that it’s easy to play entirely for free.
That said, you can purchase bux in packs as little as $2.99. In fact, the game includes a clever feature called Pension Pig. The piggy bank tucks away some secret bux you earn over time and you can unlock them all for a flat $2.99 even as it grows in size. It’s so clever I just might give in soon.
You earn coins far more often though from taxes, bonuses and leveling up your properties. You earn bux as occasional bonuses from cars, planes and boats, as well as completing random objectives the game assigns to you. This includes having a certain population or two of the same building.
Coins and bux are spent in slightly different ways, which leads us to the difference between city and game enhancements.
City and Game Enhancements
You spend coins on a number of tasks and projects in your city. First and foremost, you spend them to build new properties. It doesn’t cost anything to level these up over time though — just the initial construction.
It also costs coins to enhance your city and raise taxes. This is the primary difference between coins and bux. Coins enhance the city, while bux can enhance the whole game and work across several cities. Coins unlock new cars and other modes of transportation, enable your bank to save more coins while you aren’t playing, and upgrade your city to earn more.
Tap your city hall or the city icon on the bottom left to spend coins on enhancements. You can raise property taxes, housing taxes, increase services earnings, start a ride sharing service, introduce new taxes, etc.
Tap the Game tab here at the top to pay for your game enhancements in bux. You can increase your bank savings time when you leave the game, reduce costs of boats and planes, increase car bonuses, and plenty of additional nice perks that apply throughout the game. Bux also apply to “special buildings” with more earning power and boosts, quick ways to speed up time and earn coins faster.
Where Bit City Differs from SimCity
While in theory it may sound like Bit City is the same to SimCity, but there is a fundamental difference between the two. Bit City has absolutely zero micromanagement. None.
Instead, you just pay coins to add an enhancement and watch as your wealth starts to increase at a faster rate. There are no downsides other than that initial payment. You’d be correct to assume this makes the game easier to quickly become addictive, but at the same time I find myself longing for more of a challenge. I quickly rose to a level six city and the game is already becoming a bit repetitive.
You don’t need to know much about economics to succeed, no worrying about water and power to the properties, destruction, complaints… none of that. Just build and invest — that’s it. Yes, Bit City will reel you in quickly, and I still love the simplicity of the gameplay, but I’m not sure about its long term staying power.
Did you get hooked on Bit City or do you think it needs more of a challenge? Let us know in the comments below.
Download Bit City
➤ Get Bit City in the App Store (free)