Category Archives: Game Reviews

D’oh! The Simpsons Tapped Out Andriod App Review

Image via Google

Image via Google

Rating: 4/5

As a long time Simpsons fan, when The Tapped Out app became  available for Android phones earlier this year I was ecstatic. Powered by EA, The Simpsons Tapped Out is a social media game where the player works alongside Homer and Lisa to rebuild Springfield. Along the way the familiar resident of Springfield are unlocked by completing quests. Depending on the importance of the quest, it may take a few hours or a day to complete. This process can be sped up by using premium content.

Similar to other social media games, players can purchase premium content by using actual money. in Tapped Out the premium currency is none other than pink frosting donuts. Players can purchase different bundles of donuts ranging in prices from $5 USD to a whopping $99.99 USD; the more money a player spends, the more donuts they’ll be rewarded with. Using these donuts, players can buy buildings, characters, and decorations to populate their personal Springfield. Be warned, items that can only be purchased with donuts are extremely expensive. The cheapest character is the Squeaky Voiced Teen priced at a cool 30 donuts.

Purchasing donuts isn’t the only means of obtaining them. Players can earn donuts by leveling up. As each quest is completed, players earn both money and xp (also known as experience points). Gaining one level normally awards the player with one donut to add to their collection. In some instances, players are presented with a chance to pick from three gifts when they level up. Each gift has donuts inside; a range from one to three will be rewarded. This event normally occurs when the player has reach the maximum level before a game update.

What separates the Simpsons Tapped Out from other social media games is the lack of reliance on other players. Neighbors can be obtained by signing up for a free Origin account. However, the amount of neighboring Springfields a player has, does not influence their progression.

Although I thoroughly enjoy this app, there are some complains I’ve had. One of my biggest complaints is the abrupt plot endings. Before the first summer update was released, players were able to place Herman’s antique shop in their town. The quest surrounding Herman included him supplying the Springfield residents with top-of-the-line pistols. Marge then develops a plan with Herman to have a protest down at city hall; a protest in which the two characters couldn’t recall the purpose of. Homer then jumps in and makes the redundant joke, that has last since the first level, about being surprised that the player was still playing the game. The quest ended abruptly with a three donut rewards and a weak plea not to complain to EA. A similar occurrence appeared with the first summer update which included the Springfield Squidport. Players follow the quest to rebuild the famous Springfield Squidport. Boardwalk shops such as The Frying Dutchman, Malaria Zone, and Turban Outfitters become available to place on the growing boardwalk. Despite the new buildings, decorations, and characters, the Squidport content is quickly forgotten. Especially with the newest Krustyland update.

Even though there is room for improvement, I truly enjoy having an everyday occurrence of the Simpsons in my life. Through this app, Simpsons fans can reminisce about some of their favorite episodes  and get reacquainted with their favorite characters. Don’t have a cow, man!

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Game Review: Happy Chef 2

photo obtained from bigfishgames.com

photo obtained from bigfishgames.com

Rating: 2/5

Quick note: Time Management games are some of my favorite games to play when I just want some mindless fun. Once in awhile I download games from WildTagnet.com or Bigfishgames.com. Each website offers free game downloads, Bigfishgames.com offers a 60 minute free trial of each of its games while WildTagnet.com allows unlimited gameplay for the first time. If the game is good enough to play a second time, WildCoins can be purchased to unlock the game.  Happy Chef 2 is available to download on Bigfishgames.com or for purchase for $9.99 USD.

Happy Chef 2 follows an unnamed female chef through five restaurant locations: Italy, Hawaii, United States, China, and France. Each location has its own special recipes the player must cook up. In each location there are fifteen levels which slowly increase in difficulty. Some levels, once completed, unlock different food items special to that location. At the conclusion of each level, the player is awarded coins they’ve accumulated by serving a customer. Golden spatulas are also awarded for completing certain achievements; such as serving 100 customers or serving 500 drinks. These spatulas can be used to purchase three special equipment upgrades for the restaurants.

The true challenge comes with the increase in customers. The maximum number of customers is around 25. Unlike other time management games, all the customers have an extremely low patience level which runs low within seconds after they arrived in the restaurant. To offset the low patience meter, however, the food does cook extremely quickly leading to moments where the gameplay becomes completely chaotic. I’ve discovered the most efficient way to handle the chaos is completing one order at a time. This not only allows for orders to be completed in a timely matter, it also cuts down on the confusion.

In the less chaotic moments the gameplay is quite simple. Dragging the different food items from pans to plates is all done with simple mouse movements. Essentially there are 75 levels in Happy Chef 2. A seasoned Time Management game player can complete the game within two or three hours. After some time, the levels do tend to become monotonous especially since there are not a lot of upgrades available for the player to purchase.

As Time Management games go, Happy Chef 2 isn’t outstanding. The price, $10.00 USD, is a bit steep. Even though the gameplay is simple and easy to maneuver, the lack of options like shop options or new recipes, and the impatient customers make the game fall short of being completely enjoyable.

obtained from bigfishgames.com

obtained from bigfishgames.com

obtained from bigfishgames.com

obtained from bigfishgames.com

obtained from bigfishgames.com

obtained from bigfishgames.com