The Simpsons: Tapped Out Review

Developer: Electronic Arts

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Release Date: March 1st, 2012

Available on: Mobile

I think I’m a little addicted. I’m not entirely sure if The Simpsons: Tapped Out is really a game so much as a quick cash grab meant to cash in on people’s nostalgia of The Simpsons, but here I am still checking back every few hours to make sure my virtual Springfield is running smoothly.

After Homer destroys Springfield because he was neglecting the power plant to play on his myPad he decides that now it’s his job to rebuild it. Cut scenes are rare (though often funny) and, quite frankly, the plot really does not matter at all other than to serve as an excuse to get all the Simpsons characters in one place. Your job, though, is to rebuild Springfield. To do that you just have to place buildings, find characters, and expand land. Of course you need to buy buildings which require you to have the money for it and to be at the correct level. This is kind of where the “game” comes in, though calling Tapped Out a game is flimsy at best.

To make money all you have to do is assign a character a task, and they’ll go preform it. These tasks can take anywhere from a few seconds to an entire 24 hours. Yes, that is real time by the way. The entire point of the game is to basically log in once every few hours, assign new tasks, maybe start some construction, and then go do something else. Once your characters complete their tasks you’ll be rewarded with money and XP. You’ll get “quests” that are often little more than either telling a specific character to preform a specific task or building a specific building, and they’ll earn you some extra money and XP.

Really, well… that’s it. That’s the entire game right there. Yet I still find myself going back over and over. I can’t deny that there’s a really nice feeling to finishing a task and watching money and XP fly out of characters. Also, as the guy who spent his time making his Starcaft base look nice rather than fight enemies, there is some joy in getting to place buildings and make Springfield. Since Tapped Out is free there’s a premium currency in the forum of donuts. You can earn donuts in game, though after about a month of playing I only had about 26, or you can buy them. They let you do things like instant-complete tasks/buildings, or buy special items.

When I first started playing Tapped Out I happened to catch it during an event called Clash of Clones. In it you could build castles that would generate nerds who you then sent to attack other player’s buildings for special rewards. You’d also have to defend your own buildings, though both actions were as simple as just tapping on whatever you wanted attacked/defended. After that ended a new Treehouse of Horror event started that saw aliens invading my Springfield and me having to squish them (through tapping) and sending kids trick or treating to collect special rewards to build special Halloween themed items. So if nothing else you’ll be seeing changes in events and in what you’ll be doing, even if the new stuff isn’t exactly ground breaking.

Despite all this basic “tap then wait” gameplay, I’m still going back to Springfield. I don’t know if Tapped Out is really a game, but I’m enjoying the little rushes that come with collecting money and XP. Most will probably not enjoy this little nostalgic trip through Springfield, but I’m about to go make sure Bart has a new task now that his old one is complete.

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