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!