So ends another month, and so ends my first requested review. That review, my friends, is The Simpsons: Tapped Out. I was told to give this game about a month, and as October had the Treehouse of Horror theme going on, I figured why not start it out spooky?
I used to be a huge Simpsons fan. I was one of those guys who would watch the same episode two or three times per night (this was back when satellite television kicked ass). When I was in college, however, I drifted away from the series. As it turns out, the show took a nosedive in quality. Homer went from an oafish but aware father to a mentally detached slapstick device. But I suppose I could bitch about my old favorite series some other time.
We now come to The Simpsons: Tapped out, published by EA Mobile. OK, that’s the review, folks; I hope you enjoyed it. No, really, that’s it. EA got a hold of this franchise, so do you think there’s much hope? I’ve got two words in response: Dungeon Keeper. Yes, I still remember it. Yes there is a tar pit in my soul blacker than the loneliest point in our universe.
(Just a moment, please)
OK, I got my head back into this. And really, I shouldn’t just crap all over EA for this, because The Simpsons isn’t really meant to be on any platform other than the television. If you look at the history of Simpsons games, you will see a myriad of titles that are fun in themselves, but are mostly just Simpsons-skinned. In this sense, Tapped Out is probably one of the most appropriate Simpsons titles, because it isn’t really a game in the traditional sense.
After a nuclear explosion hits Springfield, the town is wiped away and must be rebuilt from scratch. For those dreaming of the day that you could create your own Springfield, this app is for you. There is even a subreddit where avid Tapped Out fans can share their own incarnations of the town.
You gain experience and in-game money by completing quests and collecting taxes from the structures you’ve build. This money can go towards more buildings, landscaping, land expansions and other items. For those of you looking to put some extra ass into your Springfield, there’s content that can be unlocked with Donuts, obtained via in-app purchases (which also can be used to speed up wait times). I’m thinking of doing a marathon of iOS game reviews where I do a shot every time I have to type “in-app purchase” or “microtransaction”.
Tapped Out seems to be an accurate title, as tapping is what comprises the core gameplay. Tasks are initiated tapping, and completed by tapping after a given amount of time. You build houses by tapping, expand your by tapping, help out in your friend’s Springfield by tapping, and now you get the picture.
Remember in my Plunder Pirates review (of course you don’t, you liar) when I made that jab about how these kinds of apps stretch the definition of “game”? I meant it. These mobile apps straddle the fence between game and social media accessory.
So, if you’re looking for a way to piddle around with your friends casually, and if you’re a huge Simpsons fan, then this is ideal for you. You can get a sense of Sim City-esque satisfaction from building your city, and if you’re willing to shell out some real life cash, you can even do it before the turn of the century.