The Simpsons: Tapped Out Review

D’oh! Help Homer Rebuild Springfield!


It’s a hilarious world-building game as Springfield blows up — and Homer is completely blameless. The Simpsons: Tapped Out lets you rebuild Springfield from the ground up, and make its yellow residents come to life. Whether you’re a hardcore fan or occasional viewer of the animated TV series, this game will surely make you want to watch an episode.

The Springfield Apocalypse

It starts with Homer as the sole survivor of the blast. As he builds his house, he finds his daughter Lisa. Together they figure out how to bring back their neighborhood, one structure and character at a time. After cleaning up the debris, they begin to build roads and their neigboring houses, including their least favorite family, the Flanders. The dialogs are cleverly written, and they sound more like the TV series than a game tutorial of how to proceed. If you have a tendency to skip tutorials, you won’t want to do that with this game.

The game’s premise may seem simple at first, but as you’ll soon find out, there is a reason and rhyme for everything, no matter how random it all might seem.

See, when building houses and other buildings, you also “give life” to its owner. For instance, building the Flanders house will create Ned Flanders, building the Kwik-E Mart brings out Apu, and so on. Now, these characters do more than just stand around. They can actually do stuff and bring you more money.

Tapping on a character gives you a list of tasks they can do, how long it will take and how much money and XP points they are worth. Some tasks are locked until you reach a certain level, and tasks that take longer generally are worth more than others, both in cash and XP.

Donuts Are A Man’s Best Friend

In addition to cash and XP points, you are ocassionally awarded with a donut for completing tasks or when leveling up. Donuts are the rarer, more valuable currency of this game. With that, there’s an in-app purchase for buying more donuts with real money. Other than unlocking or purchasing special shop items, donuts can also be used to speed up building time, or accelerate growth of plants in Cletus’ farm. It doesn’t seem too hard to earn a reasonable amount of donuts, as long as you have enough characters doing tasks simultaneously. I find that letting characters do tasks that take the same amount of time works best because they all get it done around the same time so you maximixe the time you check back on the game.

Speaking of checking back, the game notifies you of completed tasks. Notifications come in the form of a sound bite from the character (like Homer saying something silly), along with the message that pops up on your device’s status bar. You can disable this from the game’s Settings menu, although I highly advice leaving this on if you want to seriously get somewhere with this game.

The People In The Neighborhood

Other world-building games rely on structures and other revenue-generating object to collect money. However, in this one, you can also use beloved characters from a TV show to contribute cash.

It’s fun to watch, especially with tasks like making Homer break in to the neighbors house to watch TV, or making Apu feed the octuplets. Just like the TV show, this game makes it a point to entertain at every turn. This is what makes the game stand out: doing things the Simpsons way — funny, quirky and a bit naughty.

A sunny, Yellow World

The Simpsons: Tapped Out is made with brilliant HD graphics, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. The animations and characters are exact copies of the TV version, and is a joy to behold especially with long-time fans of the series. I’ve experienced a few lags when loading the game, but not during playing it. The experience may vary, and this game relies heavily on a fast and stable internet connection.

World-building games generally take time to show progress, that’s why players of this genre either lose patience or sustain it, depending on their keenness with the game.

A Waiting Game

This game will test your patience. Houses and other structures take a while to complete — anything between 8 to 24 hours, depending on the nature of the structure. While you can speed this up by using donuts, you only have so much donuts available at any given time and they will run out eventually — unless you buy truckloads of them with real money.

Another concern I had with this game is how big of a file it is. The Play Store download is 39 MB, but running it for the first time requires another download of 175 MB. It’s of utmost importance that you have a enough space on your device and a fairly fast internet connection, otherwise you would run out of patience by simply loading the game.

Another word of caution: this game sucks battery life like a vampire sucks blood. Have a charger ready at all times or you’ll be left with a dead (or dying) device after a few minutes of playing time. I guess any game with high definition graphics and animations do that to a device, so this one is no exception.

In A Nutshell

Overall, this game is a must-play for fans and anyone in between. There are a lot of world-building games out there, but this one is a tribute to one of television’s longest running animated series.  It’s Springfield, and it’s the Simpsons — that makes all the difference.

3.5 / 5


D'oh! Homer just annihilated his town! Help him build it back to the way it was -- so he can finally have some donuts. tweet

Kim Barloso · Mar 15, 2013

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