To start, you'll be given a Lobby on the ground floor of your tower, along with an apartment level called "Zynga Heights." A new resident will immediately want to live there, introducing you to the game's elevator mechanic. Like in Tiny Tower, you'll simply tap on up or down buttons to raise and lower the elevator, letting go when you've reached a resident or customer's desired floor.
You'll be able to build new floors using coins, with coins being earned through your tower's businesses. You'll be given a Garden to start, but can then choose from a variety of business types: Craft, Retail, Service, Cuisine, and Fun. Of course, you'll also want to build additional apartments so that your new businesses have employees. Each apartment can house five individual residents, and even business can employ three staff members. Each resident has a skill rating that shows the types of businesses they will excel in (or hate), and they even have a "Specialty" business, like the Donut Shop or Plastic Surgeon's office, that shows you the best place to employ them, if you have that as an option. Again, this is all ripped straight from Tiny Tower, so if you're familiar with that game, you'll have no trouble fitting in here.
As you build your tower, you'll be given a Skybridge automatically (Floor 6), bringing in one of the only truly new features to the game. While Tiny Tower allows you to visit and view your friends' towers, here you'll be able to sign in with Facebook Connect or use individual Tower Codes to add friends. You can't view your friends' towers, as of this writing, but you can "shop" at them, earning Hearts and collectibles, which is another original feature. You'll earn items at random, and can then turn those in for large amounts of cash, giving your tower the chance to grow even faster (of course, floors become more expensive as you go along).
You can use the game's premium currency to purchase faster elevators, or to speed up the construction of new floors or to speed up the arrival of goods to your businesses. Otherwise, you'll need to wait varying amounts of time for these goods to arrive on their own.
While there are a few new features in Zynga's Dream Heights, if the game's target audience has already poured hours into building their skyscrapers in Tiny Tower, it will be interesting to see if the Zynga "spark" offers enough to make people start all over from scratch.
Are you excited to try out Dream Heights on your iPhone, or will you stick with Tiny Tower for the long haul? Sound off in the comments.