The Simpsons is one of the most widely popular animated TV shows in the world, and when Simpsons Tapped Out was available on iOS devices at the start of 2012, I couldn’t wait for the app to come to Android too. At the time, there were rumors about a release date but all seemed to be false. It wasn’t until February 2013 that Android users got the game they’d been waiting for — it was only a year late…
In Simpsons Tapped Out, you send characters away to do specific tasks and a few hours later you’ll gain a reward. Being grind-based, the game isn’t essentially suited for players who want to engage continuously for long periods of time. However, fans of the show are bound to be thrilled. Simpsons Tapped Out mimics perfectly the TV show and its characters, and has so far attracted a huge amount of players. Read on to find out more…
After you’ve downloaded the game and patiently waited for the numerous updates that follow, you’ll be shown a movie where Homer is playing another town building game — which looks like Smurf Village. Homer complains about various things and gets distracted from his job. The power plant then explodes, destroying Springfield and everything in it.
Once the movie has finished you’ll be faced with Homer and an empty patch of grass. The game will then lead you through a tutorial that’s quite essential for grasping the gameplay basics. After the introduction is finished, you can roam freely and decide what you would like to do next.
The objective of Tapped Out is first and foremost to build up your town as much as possible. This is done by progressing through levels and collecting money. Both are either gained from income tax off your existing buildings or when you send characters away for missions. The maximum level so far is number 26 and it’s probably going to take you quite a while to get there.
The reason for this is the length of different missions that each character has to complete. These range, in duration, from around 45 seconds all the way up to ninety days — obviously, the missions with a longer length give a much better reward. Some of these will be compulsory, and if you don’t do them, you won’t be able to advance. But apart from these, the rest is really up to you. Being strategic on Tapped Out means timing the missions to when you will be playing (e.g. if you sleep for six hours, set a six hour mission to gain maximum effectiveness.
One Easter Egg is available for you when Homer is on the “Play On His MyPad” mission. You can tap on him ten times to gain a special reward.
One more factor players need to consider is their “Conform-o-meter”, which evaluates their town and gives bonuses dependingly. The meter is split into six different categories, and clicking on each will show you how to improve it. As you can see below I have three and a half stars which means when I collect rewards I gain an extra 3.5% money and XP.
While this game may be free to play, there are in-game purchases in the form of doughnut bundles. Doughnuts have many uses in Springfield, one being the ability to speed-up mission and building completion in order to finish tasks quicker — perfect for the users who don’t really want to wait around.
The other advantage of doughnuts is premium items, which include buildings such as “Barney’s Bowlarama” and the “Duff Brewery”. You can also buy extra characters like “Hans Moleman” or “Bumblebee Man.” For the fans, these buildings will be pretty significant and will make your town look a lot cooler. These objects also increase your general rewards with added bonuses.
What really impressed me about Tapped Out is that the UI is beautiful. Every character, building and plant looks just as realistic as the television show. I find that a lot of similar town-building games seem to suffer drastically in terms of design and that really lets me down. One recent instance for example was The Hobbit: Kingdoms, where I really disliked the graphics and stopped playing altogether.
Graphics were obviously very important to the developers of Tapped Out and this has allowed them to intensely connect with the show’s audience. After all, Simpsons fans are likely to play the game and they aren’t going to be disappointed. Playing Simpsons Tapped Out feels just like watching an episode of the show.
Lack of a Social Element
On the iOS version of Simpsons Tapped Out, users have the chance to add friends to their game. This allows them to visit other Springfields and gain some extra cash and experience along the way. Many users have exploited this to their own gain by having hundreds of friends and gathering cash off each one every single day — helping to increase their bank balance. However, the Android version doesn’t allow this yet.
This social aspect is a major part of the game’s structure and without it, Android users are really missing out. However, it seems that this feature will come in a future update.
Another letdown that has become obvious and quite annoying for me is the fact that there is no way to change the notification sound. Every time a mission is completed — even if it’s in the background — you’ll hear Homer shout very loudly. And unless you want your sound off at all times or you want to disable all notifications from the app (if you have Jelly Bean), then this soon becomes frustrating. The only tip I could give you would be to remember to turn the sound off if you are anywhere important or about to go sleep — I’ve woken up once or twice in the middle of the night to Homer’s shout!
Simpsons Tapped Out is one of the best town building games I’ve played in an awfully long time. It seems to perfectly handle everything that was wrong with similar apps and EA have created an extremely fun experience. Tapped Out won’t disappoint the TV show’s fans, as it’s very faithful to it in its design, graphics and experience.
After a year of waiting I’m finally happy that I can now use and play Simpsons Tapped Out on my Android device, and I can’t wait for the future updates that should bring the social features.