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The Simpsons: Tapped Out (iPhone)

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      23.11.2013 17:40
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      Be strong with yourself or you could get addicted

      I was introduced to Tapped Out on the IPhone by my husband just over a year ago. I believe it had been going for some time before that. It has a lot of players from all over the world - its Facebook page has over half a million likes at present. You can also use it on an IPad which is probably slightly more preferential given the much larger screen space.

      It is available for free download from the App Store, but be warned, it does eat up quite a bit of space!

      Essentially, the aim is for you to build your own Springfield using tasks that you are given to complete. When you first download it, you are given a very easy to follow tutorial comprising of several tasks and then you are on the way.

      Gradually, as you carry out all of the different tasks,(some of which you are assigned and some of which you can choose to selct your characters to do at your free will) you get access to more items in the manner of characters from the series, buildings, decorations, land extensions etc.

      These are collected by obtaining money (mainly for buildings and decorations)and XP (experience) points which take you through the levels where you unlock even more items and characters.

      By tasks, I mean that every character has a list of activities that they can 'carry out' and which are unique to each of them. These tasks all hold different times for completion (varying from 45 seconds all the way through to 90 days) and therefore different cash levels and XP points. As you complete them you can build up your cash reserves and also get through the levels.

      It does require you to use your email address to register with EA so that you can set up your Springfield. This is useful also for occasions where it gets a glitch and accidentally logs you out and also to link up with 'friends'- more on this later.

      Additionally, you are 'awarded' a star rating for your Springfield for things like the number of decorations you have, the number of businesses etc. The higher the star rating you get, the more additional XP points you earn every time you collect.
      More rarely, you can obtain 'donuts.' These are used to purchase 'premium items' and characters which can not be obtained using the Springfield dollars. You get these sometimes through random tasks, such as cleaning up Springfield, but mainly you are awarded them every time you get through a level. These vary in how many you need, but the buildings and characters all start at over 100 donuts. To give you some sense of how long it takes to collect donuts for free, I have not spent any for a year and still only have just over 100! You will note that I said 'for free'. That is because it is possible to link to the App Store and buy more donuts for actual real money. The costs for this vary from £1.49 for 12 to £69.99 for 2400.

      I have to say that I have never done this, because I feel that I get enough out of the game without having to spend any money on it. That said, if there is something that you particularly want to buy with your donuts, the process of obtaining enough of them is painfully slow. Occasionally you will get 'deals' where you can get more donuts for less.

      The game is updated quite frequently to add new characters, storylines, buildings and decoration . This usually takes the form of an update through the app store. For larger updates, especially ones related to 'special events' (more on those later) you may find that you get a message when you are in Tapped Out that tells you you cannot get any further until you update. Typically you will find that when you have carried out the App Store update, it takes quite a while to load

      The 'special events' that I mentioned earlier tend to refer to time limited updates (typically around a month) where by carrying out tasks you can get limited time characters, buildings and decorations. For example, recently for Halloween you could collect gremlins and 'goo' and I expect the Christmas tasks will start any days now.

      You can add people you know as alternative Springfields you can visit and gain extra XP points and money. I think for the most part you have to have people's usernames to do this, although if you go on the game's Facebook page you will see loads of people give their usernames and request to be added.

      The more shops and decorations you put in your Springfield add to your overall star rating which gives you an extra percentage of XP depending on how many stars you have.

      The game has lots of setttings you can amend, ie if you want to turn the music off you can and also if you do not want to receive notifications when tasks have

      You will notice that I have been a little bit vague about the characters, buildings etc that you can have. I have done that deliberately because I think some of the enjoyment is in not knowing what you can work towards as you move towards the level.

      The game is very easy to play and somewhat addictive as it gives you a false sense of achievement as you gradually build on your Springfield and design it to your own taste, sort of like being a town planner (or not!). Because most of the tasks start at about 60 minutes, you have to be quite disciplined with yourself to not go and play on it every hour. I have learnt to do this and for the most part I set 24 hour tasks so I'm not tempted to play on it throughout the day.

      I have seen some negative press about the game where children have been left unattended with their parents' Ipads and run up massive bills by buying lots of donuts with real money. I, however, am of the view that if you leave your children alone with your Ipad and your Itunes password (which you need before you can purchase anything), then that's your own problem - it is not possible to 'accidentally' buy anything unless you go through these security checks. I have played the game quite happily without spending any money!

      In conclusion, I really like this game, its entertaining, very much in the quasi-anarchic spirit of The Simpsons and there is something strangely satisfying about building your own little Sims type world using characters you know and love. The slow process of obtaining donuts to get some of the more exciting items is a bit frustrating but I have to say there is enough in the free version to keep you occupied.

      I would say that it is suitable for most ages, some of the edgier humour (as with the programme itself) will probably go over little one's heads. It is easy to use and follow and best of all it is free. Just be disciplined with yourself or you could end up being a bit addicted!

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      • More +
        22.08.2013 15:34
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        Steals time you never knew you had to do stuff you never knew you wanted to do.

        Are you a fan of the longest running animated television show ever, The Simpsons? Have you ever wished that you could control the daily lives of Homer, Bart, Marge and a host of other much-loved minor characters? Well no, me neither, but that's just what I now find myself doing via the mobile app game "The Simpsons: Tapped Out".

        It's downloadable for free to any device that's linked to Apple's i-Store or the Android App store and is a 'freemium' game. This means that it's free to play but some of the unlockable items are 'premium'. The in-game currency is donuts ("mmmm, donuts" as Homer would say) and you can get some of these through normal gameplay. You can buy more donuts with real money via your credit card should you wish but the game is perfectly playable all the way to the highest levels without resorting to this. it's not one of those where you get a little way in and then can get no further unless you pay to unlock levels.

        The premise of the game is that Homer has caused yet another nuclear disaster in Springfield, this time destroying the entire town and dispersing its population to who-knows-where. It's basically a 'farming' game, in that you start off with just Homer and an empty screen and then build houses and more famous Springfield buildings. These properties earn you virtual dollars which you can use to build more buildings, and so it goes on forever. Some of the buildings will unlock a new character. Many of them are familiar (the Simpsons family, Moe, Mr Burns etc) but others are very obscure and only the most ardent follower of the program will remember them (like Tom O'Flanagan the Irish bartender, or Abraham Lincoln). Once you unlock characters you have to direct them to perform tasks and this is where the real fun of the game is. Whether it's making Bart skateboard around town, Duff Man perform his thrusting "oh, yeah!" dance or having Smithers dress up in a black leather cowboy outfit and sing "Whip It! (seriously!) the ridiculous and slightly subversive humour of the game is well represented. Most of the characters are represented by their original voices from the show too, which is a lovely and very welcome touch.

        It does have a slight feel of those old Tamagatchi things to it. You remember, the electronic keyring that 'died' if you didn't attend to it as often as you should? Well this is similar. To get the most out of the game you have to have all of your characters performing tasks all of the time. A static character isn't earning you any points towards your next donut! You start to get a little obsessive in thinking things like "Fat Tony will have finished lazing in his Jacuzzi soon, I'll just have time to make him interrogate a squealer before bedtime". It's very addictive in that way and, as your cast of characters grows, can become quite time consuming if you let it. But that's just a testament to how well designed the game is, that you want to keep on playing to find out what you will unlock next. I'm currently building 'Krustyland', Krusty the Clown's theme park, and there are exceedingly regular updates so that even players at the highest levels don't get bored of doing the same repetitive tasks.

        It's a great way for fans of the game to get their fix without resorting to the endless repeats on TV but as they say in the game itself, it's life-ruiningly fun".

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          03.07.2013 16:23
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          It is definitely worth a go!

          I am reviewing this game which I play on my android phone however the game is exactly the same on every single platform and can be downloaded free from both the apple and android stores.

          What's it about?
          Based on the TV show "The Simpsons" (which I assume most people know about), it starts with Homer, the lovable and "clumsy" dad of the family destroys his home town of Springfield in a nuclear explosion by allowing the reactor core to implode since he was too distracted playing on his "mypad" (ironically playing another tapping on the tablet game). This has apparently blown everyone out of Springfield but as the game progresses its evident that no one actually died, just vanished. It has also destroyed all of the buildings. The game starts off with this cut scene showing homer destroy the original town, and you start off with two characters - Homer and Lisa in a small section of land covered in rubbish - bits from buildings destroyed in the original town. Since Lisa is the cleverest and level headed Simpson, the game starts off with an easy tutorial on cleaning up the town of which you could earn money to quickly expand the town and clear more area. It also teaches you how to create buildings which suddenly drop out of the sky once you have paid for them to the area you desire.

          How to play?
          The game is very simple to play as it has already got a set of missions running to help the town progress.
          The missions typically consist of either setting a character to do tasks or build new buildings, which often unlock new characters. This game then follows the standard set up of any smartphone "tap" game, where you set the characters to do certain tasks by tapping on them - the tasks are set for various lengths of time, typically between 45 seconds to 24 hours, there are some longer tasks and the longer the task, the more money you earn when its complete. Most of the tasks involve the characters either performing the particular action throughout the town (which usually is rather amusing to see, such as homer "relaxing" in the kiddie pool") or they move to buildings and disappear inside to perform the tasks. If a mission for a particular task pops up and is completed then you earn extra money for the task. The missions can be random but they also progress, and typically lead to building new buildings and unlocking new characters, the aim of which is to gain the levels and restore Springfield back to it's former glory. Since this game runs with real time, it does take a lot of time to earn as much money as you want, but if you are a casual game player and just check the games when you have time to like a I do, it is a great way to pass the time.

          What more can I do?
          The fun part about this game is that you are able to create Springfield the way you desire, as you earn money you can buy a various number of decorations and also place roads and pavements for free, making up the town any way you want. You can also get more premium content, which costs doughnuts, and these cost actual money but you can also earn a small number of doughnuts randomly for free, but I have found this usually doesn't earn enough to pay for some of the things you want. The premium content looks very good but can be rather expensive to get, with the price of doughnuts increasing with the number of doughnuts. The app has calculated that the more you pay the better value per doughnut you get but its still not a nice idea to pay £50 on a smartphone game just to get the best deal for doughnuts.
          You are also able to add friends within the game, visit their towns and let them visit yours, resulting in more money.

          Updates
          The tapped out game stays even more exciting with the updates that are often released. Two months ago it was the whacking day update where you could play a mini-game within the game to whack snakes and collect them to win some exclusive content to place in your town. The most recent update has been the squidport on the waterfront, which allows you to build the town out onto the sea, which is a fun and new feature but I have personally found uses up a lot of money from the game.

          Overall this game is very fun and addictive, especially if you are a Simpsons fan, it quickly becomes your goal to unlock all of the characters just to see what actions they can do. You can make your town as big and as impressive as you like, and there is also a small rating system going on in the corner which can advise you on how to build up your town. If you like building and real time games, this is one you should definitely check out.

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          15.03.2012 23:55
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          A great little time management/city building game that adds in the charm of Springfield

          The Simpsons have become a well known family in the history of television, and have now extended to the world of the iPhone/iPad applications. While there has been a previous Simpsons application, it hasn't been as successful as The Simpsons: Tapped Out as on the day of the release, there were so many downloads of the game that it had to be taken of the App Store as the servers couldn't handle the amount of players!

          The game itself is free, however as most of the free games available on the App Store, there is also the option to purchase in game currency to progress in the game. The only thing you will need to play the game is an Origins account, and that is set up (if you don't already have one) when you first start playing the game. Occasionally there are some server problems, but this rarely happens now that they have fixed the issue with too many people playing at the same time.

          The in game currency within this App is dougnuts to fit in with The Simpsons theme, and can be used to make certain tasks hurry up or purchase special items. The costs for the "packages" of doughnuts are below
          Tray Of 132 Doughnuts - £6.99
          Truckload of 300 Doughnuts - £13.99
          Store Full of 900 Donuts - £34.99
          Boatload of 2400 Donuts - £69.99

          As you can see it is really clear how expensive these items are and they definitely are not worth buying in my opinion due to their price and the fact that you can't really do much with them anyway. They can easily be earnt through levelling the game or in the daily bonuses, and with the amount they want you to spend on these donuts, you could buy an actual game, or two, or three!

          The Simpsons: Tapped Out has been described both "life ruiningly fun" and similar to Sim City, and I have to agree as it is one of my favourite games to play on my iPad. The opening scene to the game just shows you that The Simpsons sticks to its loveable humour and wit still when it makes apps. It shows Homer playing on a "MyPad" on the Smurfs Village game that is also quite famous, he makes a few witty remarks about how stupid people are for wasting time on these games and purchasing items while unknowingly causing a nuclear meltdown and then an explosion which destroys all of Springfield.

          This is what spurs the main goal of the Simpsons:Tapped Out, reinventing Springfield however you want! The game is a city building and time management game in one, where you must build all the Springfield buildings you've seen around, plant trees and shrubs, create lakes and try and get as many of the previous citizens back to their town. I liked the fact you could design it however you wanted as it adds more creativity to it and doesn't put any restrictions upon you in that aspect.

          The "time management" side to the app occurs as you make the characters do certain tasks throughout Springfield to rebuild it and give them little lives as you have to make them carry out tasks to complete goals, earn money and experience points. Some people may like this factor while others may be annoyed and simply wish for a game where they can just get on with it, and not have long time periods where they are waiting for characters to finish elements to move on.

          Doing all the various tasks like building and tasks will lead up to the other side of the game aside from rebuilding the city which is leveling up and gaining more Simpsons dollars. These are easily earnt as all you need to do is click on the various symbols that fly out of the people and buildings when you tap them. They also have included this small collection based on the characters, where you have to try and collect all of them to get full sets. Having these things to do made the game much more enjoyable as it gives you something to work towards and acheive within the game.

          There is also a multiplayer element to this game, as most of the apps now do have, where you have the ability to add friends on the Origin account through the username. You can then go to visit their houses once every 24 hours to do various tasks whether it be collecting money or vandalising buildings, to gain money and experience points. However, the time limit is 24 hours on this which can be annoying if you want to play at different times on different days, and it may be a better app if they set a time at which all the houses reset.

          The graphics in the game are really good and some of my favourite on the iPad but this may just be because they are The Simpsons. Everything included looks exactly like it does in the television show, and it is as detailed as an app can get with everything looking really colourful and bright. The little sayings that the game has is also voiced by the actual voice actors, and the lines written by the writers which is always a nifty bonus.

          The slight flaws I found in this game however were that sometimes when clicking on the houses, it would click on something too fast for you to realise and you would end up spending some of the donuts, while it does give you the option to cancel this purchase, you have to be extremely fast, so if you play it keep an eye on where your tapping. Also, as the goals go on, they want you to have a certain number of friends in your village, and if you have more than about 16, this can get very annoying as you will constantly have to keep scrolling through to get to the town you want. If there was an option to just go from the next house from the house your looking at, it would be much more easier to do tasks in neighbours houses.

          Overall, I would definitely recommend this game if you have some paitence, as if you don't it probably isn't the one for you. Also, if you find yourself purchasing from freemium games often, I wouldn't recommend it either as this is way too expensive and extremely overpriced for the amount they offer. Yet, aside from these factors it is a really fun game to play with achievements to earn throughout that keep you motivated enough to keep playing and rebuilding Springfield.

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