It is hard to believe that Tiny Tower is turning 5 years old. I consider this one of the breakthrough games on mobile that showed that fun could be had on a small device. It had a lot going for it at the time. It had a simple premise easily understood, some light strategy elements and adorable pixel art. The thing that was its Achilles heel was that when your tower got sufficiently large the gameplay became repetitive and more attention was required just to maintain the status quo. Any other game you would just say "yay! I beat the game!" and move on or start over, but Tiny Tower gave you so much ownership that you felt like you needed to care for your tiny bit-izens.
So for those of you that don't know in Tiny Tower you um.... run a tiny tower. Adding floors (residential, commercial, services, recreation) and assigning workers to them. Workers have affinities (skills) that match the floors - they will work anywhere, but they are better in their job of choice. Optimizing your workers is part of the game, as is the pain of booting freeloaders out of the tower when skilled workers appear. Darwinism rears its ugly head on your iPhone. You can even name your floors and bitizens - great personalization even if it makes the former scenario tougher to bear. In the end it plays out a bit like a vertical SimCity (with apologies to Will Wright) smashed up with some minor Animal Crossing elements. Building can be a grind, delivering patrons to floors and stocking shelves, but it does grind away by itself when you aren't playing selling whatever items you have stocked in your stores. It makes coming back to the game the next morning during your commute feel like an accomplishment. Nimblebit followed up with a sequel set in Vegas and a licensed "Tiny Death Star" which was awesome - but it was pulled from the store around the time Lucasfilm was acquired by Disney.
So why bring this ancient game up? Well first off, I have wonderful family memories of myself and two sons competing with each others towers while on family vacation. The next year we even followed up competing with each others airlines in Pocket Planes. Nimblebit is nothing if not family friendly and if you have younger kids this is a great game to drop on their phone - and yours! Second.... Nimblebit is releasing a 5th Anniversary Update (cue the trumpets)!! With news via the good folks at TouchArcade (Patreon these fine people!) Nimblebit has announced sharpened graphics, new floors, "and more" coming on May 26th.
It looks like you have juuuust enough time to start construction on your own masterpiece - so get to building!