Positive Video Games

Positive Video Games

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Simpsons: Tapped Out

As an Android user, I waited and watched jealously as Apple users got The Simpsons: Tapped Out first. Then, sadly, as an Amazon Kindle Fire Android user, I had to wait even longer until it came out for the Kindle Fire (yes, I will be working on changing to a different tablet soon if they don't start getting their release schedule under control =_=). This is one of the first "mobile" games to grab me and not let go. Yes, I messed around with Angry Birds, and Where's My Water, and Plants Vs. Zombies (another one that grabbed me, but not nearly as badly) -- but The Simpsons: Tapped Out (TSTO) has had its hooks into me since June of 2013 (when it was finally released for the Kindle), and I am just as addicted now as I was when I started!

What's even weirder, is this is a "freemium"/free-to-play game, and I LOATHE that business model -- yet I still love this game. I even have to admit that I have purchased and used some of the game's premium currency, donuts.
Premium currency can be used to buy items and characters that have prices listed in donuts instead of in-game dollars, some of the best characters from the show are premium-only characters, such as: Disco Stu, Kang, Sideshow Mel, Otto, Dr. Nick, & Duffman. Most premium characters come with a premium building as well, but some just come by themselves.

Here is a screen shot of some premium items for sale in the game (click for a larger version). That took place during the Christmas event (which I missed). I also missed their: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, and Whacking Day events [sad face]. I have read about the events on various websites though, so I am pumped for this year's events. The Halloween event should be just around the corner.

Here are some screen shots from last year's Halloween event (click to view larger):

They also do tie-ins with the new episodes as they air with limited-time items, and free stuff, which is cool. But I think the coolest stuff they do are the events for the holidays (which I have yet to witness first hand, so I am very excited that it is about to happen again!) Interestingly, during most of the prior special events, they have suspended the game's regular currency in favor of special event currency. For Halloween they used candy treats, for Christmas they used Santa Coins, for Valentine's day they used hearts (naturally), for Whacking Day they used snakes (of course). During those special events, in order to get the limited-time items and characters, you had to do special activities that earned that special currency, often with the help of your friends in order to earn enough without spending donuts (which many players are reluctant to do).

Below are some screen shots from the various special events (click to enlarge) I have collected:
To keep us busy during the summer, they have been releasing new levels to attain roughly every 2 weeks or so since June, and they have also released 2 major content updates as well, Squidport and Krustyland, which are major additions to the game. Squidport gives players access to the water, and allows them to build on the water.

Krustyland is another permanent addition to the game, but unlike Squidport, it is a separate screen from your main town you get to by tapping on a special Krustyland Bus. I am POSITIVE they did this to keep the game stable and playable for all players (not everyone has a top-of-the-line device to play on with monster RAM and CPU power backing it), but the unfortunate result of that is many players are already bored with it and have abandoned their Krustylands because of the load times, and the fact that when the main quest line completes, there isn't much to do in it, at least for now.

Overall, the game is fun, addictive and free (if you can control yourself and keep yourself from buying donuts). I am still playing it, and I am SUPER excited to be playing for the upcoming holiday season. If you like the Simpsons, you'll LOVE this game. Even if you're just kind of meh about the Simpsons, you may still like this game, just on the strength of its fun design and entertaining game play :)

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