an eventful launch weeks back, where The Simpsons - Tapped Out
appeared on the App Store and quickly got pulled off, the game
finally is back and here to stay. EA now have enough servers to
satisfy the huge load that such a popular franchise pulls in but was
it worth the wait?
The Simpsons - Tapped Out starts with Homer, in his
usual job at the nuclear power plant, destroying Springfield and it
is up to you to help rebuild the town. If you havenít guessed yet,
the game is based on the popular social network/building games such
as Castleville prevalent on Facebook, where you have limited number
of actions that can be performed at one time as you build and expand
your town, unlock characters and items and connect with friends.
Instead of Facebook, the network is EAís Origin, but does allow
you to find friends on Google and Facebook, although it still
requires them to have an Origin account.
It all starts with Homer and a mini-tutorial where
you build the Simpsons house, the Kwik-E-Mart, Cletusís Shack and
other familiar locales from the series. Buildings sometimes unlock
different characters, for example building the Elementary School
unlocks Principal Skinner and he then starts walking around your
town. By selecting different characters, you can assign different
tasks or jobs (Ned can go do his bible-bashing, Apu can feed his
Octuplets) and each task has a reward and a time for which this
character cannot be assigned anything else. Also, there are
specific missions that pop up for each character that need to be
completed to attain unlocked items and advance the rather thin
storyline. You can also visit your added friends and see how their
Springfield looks, whilst collecting a little bit of XP and money. IAP
is available to buy donuts and donuts can complete missions
instantaneously, buy different items and can get you to a developed
Springfield a lot faster - but can chew up your hard earned cash
really, really quickly!
Letís get the fun stuff out of the way. It is great
how Simpsons is recreated on your iPad - the town of Springfield
and the denizens look great. It is fun to send your characters to
do a task and hear them commenting or complaining and it always
results in a rather cute animation. There are loads of references to
different seasons of the series - popping up in the dialogue, the
missions and in the items as well as in the onscreen town. There
also seems to be a plethora of characters and items to unlock.
Unfortunately, that is where the fun stuff ends. The voiceovers
do seem to be a little on the thin side and can get a little
annoying, after the umpteenth time hearing exactly the same thing
again. And the gameplay - it all gets rather repetitive really. A
typical session starts off with a combination of the following : is
there an important mission to do - send the character off to do it.
When do I want to come back to this game - send off each character
for that time (1 hour, 4 hours, 8 hours etc). Plant any crops for
that same time. Collect any experience or money. Vist neighbours.
Repeat. If it werenít for unlocking more things and seeing what the
different characters have to say, it can get a little boring and
That said, there are people who will enjoy this game
immensely. Simpsons fans will get a kick out of seeing their
favourite four finger family on their little screen. Social
networking fans can add all their friends, speeding up the building
of their town, something fun to do at school (or at work!). For me,
it wasnít my cup of tea, having been addicted to Castleville and
similar games, I just found it a little thin on interaction.
Despite this being a freemium game, there is no doubt that the IAP
will be extremely popular for EA and hopefully, this means more
Simpsons franchise games on the horizon.