May 23, 2013

Tiny Towers Game Exploit: Free Bucks!

Tiny Towers Game Exploit: Free Bucks!
A couple of days ago  I discovered an exploit for one of my games. As far as I can tell I'm the first to write about it. This is not a cheat or a hack, but a bug exploit.

I play a couple games on my iPad  and one of them is Tiny Tower, from NimbleBit. Tiny Tower is one of those free games that makes some money off of advertising and "micro-transactions" for players buying a leg-up in the game. Usually you can spend a buck or two, or more likely $10-$20 if you get hooked on the game, obtaining some valuable resources.

Tiny Tower is a building game where you build a tower, stocking it with people and shops. Your goal is to build the highest tower and get your residents into their dream jobs in your shops. Your workers earn coins you spend on building and stocking and there are in-game "bucks" that you can also spend to boost things along. You get these bucks when you build a new floor, fully stock a shop, complete missions, and when it is a resident's birthday.

Recently NimbleBit introduced another way to get bucks, which is by watching a short 10-15 second video for another game or product. You can usually only watch maybe six to ten of these little short ads before the opportunity for free bucks dries up until the next day.

Tiny Tower Bucks before "watching" a bunch of adds
Before
I discovered a way to get unlimited bucks without having to hack anything whatsoever. After the advertising video plays the game presents a final screen shot of the ad with a close button and a repeat button. On your first free buck ad of the day just keep hitting the repeat button to show the same ad again. You can just keep watching that same ad over and over again as long as you like. As long as your iPad doesn't get shut off, like you forget to hit repeat and it goes to sleep, and you don't hit the close button, you will continue to earn bucks, one per viewing.

Unless NimbleBit gets paid for these ads I expect them to fix this bug in a
Tiny Tower Bucks after watching a bunch of ads
After
future game update, but for now it works like a charm. I've been hitting the repeat button over and over while I'm working on this blog post and I earned 142 bucks! (More time was spent on making the intro graphic than the post itself)

I forgot to mention that after you finally close out the ads you'll have to hit the "Thanks for Watching" continue dialogue button about a bazillion time....ok probably just once for every video you had watched. If you mash the hell out of it trying to get them to close eventually you'll finish and end up hitting the button for purchasing some bucks. You can back out of that transaction easily enough, but there is the chance your button mashing locks things up because of the attempt to purchase bucks. A simple re-boot will un-glitch it.

This isn't cheating the game at all because you aren't doing anything other than playing the game as it is presented. heck, I'd barely call it an exploit, but my guess is that the player was only expected to get between five and ten extra bucks a day from watching the videos, so the ability to watch 142 in one setting has to be a bug.

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