EA Mobile have released a number of successful free-to-play titles on the iOS App Store – The Sims Freeplay launched with great success, and Monopoly Hotels was just sitting at number one across the world. Now, they are tackling one of the biggest franchises in the world – The Simpsons in a quirky and ultimately awesome experience.
Captures the spirit of Springfield – EA Mobile have managed to collaborate with the writers of the show, to create a living and breathing representation of Springfield in The Simpsons Tapped Out. Whether it’s the colour of the world, the humour of the characters or even just the thrill of re-arranging such a familiar setting, the game feels like an extension of our favourite show.
Official voice actors – While the spirit of Springfield is alive, the official voice actors provide a catalyst for immersion in the game world. It’s not some imitation Homer talking to you from your iOS device, it’s actually Dan Castellaneta screaming “D’OH” at the top of his lungs. Combine the authentic voices with great writing, and Tapped Out really provides a memorable Simpsons experience.
Fun and fulfilling gameplay – Tapped Out provides some great gameplay that can be grasped by any player of any skill level. Mix one part Simpsons with one part Theme Park, and throw in a little Sims in there and you have an idea of how the game is played.
Homer has destroyed Springfield, and it’s up to you and Lisa to rebuild it as you see fit. Of course, building the town costs money, so you’re going to have to fulfill certain quests such as telling Homer to break into the Brown House to watch 3D TV for an hour. Each of the quests is rife with the humour that has made The Simpsons such a universally accepted show, and it really propels the gameplay.
Much like The Sims Freeplay, Tapped Out runs in real-time for all your actions. Building a Krusty Burger will take approximately 5 hours of actual game time, which can either be a godsend or a drag, depending on how you look at it. You can speed up the process by using donuts, which can be found in the game world, rewarded for completing quests and levelling up, or purchased from the in-game store. If you’re dead-set committed to playing the game however, you can just sit back, let the action unfold slowly over the day, and just keep checking in every now and then to complete more quests and see your city grow.
Community multiplayer – EA Mobile have included an unconventional multiplayer component, that really suits the quirkiness of the game. Link up with your friends who are playing the game, and you can visit their town once a day to collect some cash and XP. It is really interesting to compare your version of Springfield with those of your friends, and a little extra cash and XP is always welcomed.
Freemium = grindfest – While the asking price may be free, players who don’t want to fork out the extra cash for donuts will find themselves grinding the hours away. The quests start to repeat themselves after a while, and within a few days your interest may start to fade. On the flip side, thanks to the real-time mechanic, you can start something and just let it happen in the background for a few hours while you get some work done.
Expensive cost for the later buildings – As you get deep into the action, the buildings required to fulfil quests cost a lot of money and donuts, which is certainly frustrating. If your keen to splash some cash, you can buy a dozen donuts for $1.99, however you’re going to need a lot more than 12 to build most buildings. If you’re not afraid to grind, it’s not going to be a problem, but for the rest of us….
If you have ever been a fan of The Simpsons, then you owe it to yourself to pick up The Simpsons Tapped Out. A combination of original ideas, tried and true gameplay mechanics, fantastic dialogue and the official voice actors, really bring this version of Springfield alive. Free-to-play may mean a bit of a grind for those freeloaders out there, but it’s certainly bearable for a fun and quirky title from EA Mobile.