Simpsons Tapped Out iPhone/iTouch Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 7.5
Graphics 8.2
Sound 8.0
Value 8.2
Developer: EA
Distributor:
iTunes
Review Date:
Sep 2012
Reviewer:
Ho Wong

7.7


Simpsons Tapped Out

After 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 uninteresting.

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.

 






 
 



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