The Simpsons Tapped Out ⚡Review

The Simpsons Tapped Out Review 1

Platform Played On: iOS, Android
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: City Building, Freemium
Release Date: March 1, 2012

Wannabe Writer’s Note: This is the re-posting of my The Simpsons Tapped Out review I wrote on my old website. This article was originally posted on October 3rd, 2015. Enjoy past me’s mostly unedited ramblings! I’ll also add a few notes from present me since I played it a bit while remastering this review. Yes, my older reviews are messy, but I still love(d) writing them.

Normally, I despise the whole “freemium” game genre and try stay at least 50 meters away from these types of games at all times. Tap and wait (or pay) just doesn’t sit right with me as a gameplay mechanic. However, I am a huge fan of that sarcastically hilarious yellow American family, The Simpsons. When I heard EA was making a game where you could build your very own Springfield I just couldn’t pass it up.

I had been playing this game on and off since its release. It was actually a stressful time in my life when I started playing it. I had just recently got laid off from my job and was waiting in my car for a job interview appointment with another company. The quirky humor of the game definitely helped me through my nervous state. And yes, I got that job and still have it today (Present Me’s Note: Still have that job actual today, too).

How Far I Got

This is a game that never ends until the developers pull it off the servers, or you decide you’ve finally had enough. The latter finally happened to me in August 2015. I have 3+ years worth of characters, buildings, and design work in my Level 55 Springfield (Present Me’s Note: Better make that Level 101 now). Despite the many content updates, I have grown so tired of the core gameplay model that the Simpsons charming humor can’t even hold my interest anymore. It was starting to feel like a mundane chore to send my small army of Simpsons characters on jobs every 8-12 hours or so.

The Simpsons Tapped Out Review 2
What is Scotland’s national animal, anyway? I’ll have to look it up after this review… or right now because I’m hella curious. Brb. Back! It’s a Unicorn… HA!

Lightning Review

Gameplay: There are a decent amount of free options you have while building up your version of Springfield. The plethora of Simpsons characters you unlock can be assigned jobs to earn currency and experience to level up your town. Buildings and jobs take a set amount of real world time to complete. But of course, you have the option of dropping real world money (in the form of the game’s paid currency, Donuts… mmmm, donuts) to speed things along and get exclusive content. You can also add people as neighbours and visit their Springfields for a bit of XP each day. Most of my so-called friends were random people from the forums saying “add me”. I was merely using them for the holiday events, as they were probably using me for the same reason. Win-win!

The Simpsons Tapped Out Review 3
You, the player, are revered as the almighty Sky Finger by most of the characters. I feel special and so included in the game world!

The final nail in the coffin for this game with me was the core gameplay element of tap and wait for stuff got hella boring. They had just introduced a new (and even more tedious) implementation of this by having your characters do short term jobs to earn materials to build stuff for a specific area called Springfield Heights. I put up with it for a bit, but when the limited time Monorail event had the same design, that was enough for me to call it quits. I was also growing quite weary of sending so many characters individually on jobs every set period of time. The developers are really good at providing frequent content updates that spice things up a bit, including episode and seasonal themed events. Ultimately, it’s the same tedious gameplay elements over and over, so once you get bored with that, the game is finished for you.

Graphics: The developers did a good job of animating the characters and buildings. They are all modeled after the TV show and have many little details that made me smile often. Some characters have animated jobs that make them wander around town humorously. For the most part, the game ran smoothly on the phones I went through during my playtime (iPhone 4, LG Nexus 5, and LG Stylo Q+). I did encounter frequent glitches where objects were displayed incorrectly. For example, I had many occasions where my fences were turning into characters and fountain animations became distorted. These glitches actually made me laugh and made for some hilarious screenshots. Closing the game and reopening it always fixed everything. There are also a few special cutscene moments that are animated exactly like the TV show.

The Simpsons Tapped Out Review 5
That one time my forest turned into an army of Kangs during a Christmas event.

Sound: There is a variation of The Simpsons theme that plays while you’re assigning jobs to your Springfielders and designing your town. The jingle does get really repetitive after listening to it for a minute. The developers seemed to realize this as the music cuts out on its own after a period of time. Some of the characters are voiced by their actors from the TV show and say lines when you tap on them. I really enjoyed hearing them at first. Once again, these lines to get repetitive over time. I can only listen to Homer say “I wish this was a shooter game” so many times before I have to turn the sound off. Another complaint I have is that there are a lot of characters that have no voices at all. I understand there are most likely legal reasons for this, but it still annoyed me.

The Simpsons Tapped Out Review 4
That was true for both vocal and text character dialogue for me around the last of it.

My Overall Biased Opinion

As a fan of The Simpsons there was more than enough episode tie-ins, sarcastic humour, and fourth wall breaking to keep me happily tapping and waiting (and occasionally paying) for a few years. I enjoyed the oodles of text banter among the characters during missions and loved how the game always pokes fun at itself for being “freemium”. If this game had none of trademark Simpsons charm, I would have never even considered downloading it. It’s definitely worth trying out if you enjoy The Simpsons, but it will likely go stale for you eventually.

Memory Lane
SPOILERS AHEAD!!! You have been warned.

This section of my video game reviews is a way for me to remember my journey through a game. Major spoilers will be present here so please avoid this unless you’ve already played the game, or don’t have any plans to. Feel free to share any experiences you’ve had with this game in the comments area thingy below.

My Game Summary

This is all present me since I didn’t do summaries for my older reviews. Ahem. Basically, you build Springfield from scratch after Homer Simpson causes a meltdown at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. He was distracted playing a parody freemium game on his MyPad (who thought it was a good idea to put Homer Simpson in charge of safety at a nuclear facility??). The buildings and characters add up quickly, and before I knew it, I had created a massive version of Springfield with all of my favourite Simpsons characters roaming around the streets.

Each character has a mission based storyline with amusing dialogue once you unlock them. After that, they are just another drone to send on jobs every set period of time. Boring!

Favourite Story Moment

The Halloween event from 2013 where Homer had to appease ghosts from his past, including Maude Flanders’ ghost. One of her jobs is “Getting revenge on Homer” for killing her with a barrage of T-Shirts on the show.

The Simpsons Tapped Out Review 6
Sweet revenge for being killed off the TV show! You deserve it, Maude.

Favourite Ability/Item/Weapon

When they introduced a feature called the Town Census. This allowed you to finally keep track of you idle characters.

Favourite “Oh S@#%” Moment

When you fork over many donuts to buy a massive ray gun and are finally able to shoot pesky Kodos out of the sky during the 2014 Halloween event.

Favourite Zone/Level/Area

They added a few areas over the years (Squidport, Krustyland, Springfield Heights) but my favourite is still the main part of Springfield.

Favourite Character

Hank Scorpio that comes with the Volcano Lair. It was the first premium thing I saved up for. It cost a whopping 200 donuts,  but it was worth it to have the awesome boss/super villain terrorizing my streets with his flamethrower. Honorable mentions go to Abraham Lincoln and George Washington from 4th of July events. I respect sane US presidents, for sure.

The Simpsons Tapped Out Review 7
Hank Scorpio, the nicest boss you’ll ever meet! Easy to ignore the fact he’s a James Bond parody villain. Also pictured: Frosty the Hitman who happened to wander into my screenshot.

Most Tedious Gameplay Moment

Tapping and waiting for everything.

Repetitive Character Phrase I NEVER Want to Hear, Ever Again

“You choo-choo-choose me?” – Ralph Wiggum, almost every time you select him. It was cute and funny the first 50 times, but now his squeaky voice irritates me.

Final Stats

Level: 101 (157996/500000 XP)
Cash: $262,633
Donuts: 317

Characters and Other Weirdos Acquired:

  1. Homer Simpson
  2. Marge Simpson
  3. Bart Simpson
  4. Lisa Simpson
  5. Grandpa Simpson
  6. Maggie Simpson
  7. Apu
  8. Sanjay
  9. Ned Flanders
  10. Maude Flanders’ Ghost
  11. Todd Flanders
  12. Rod Flanders
  13. Kirk Van Houten
  14. Luann Van Houten
  15. Selma Bouvier
  16. Patty Bouvier
  17. Dr. Hibbert
  18. Bernice Hibbert
  19. Milhouse
  20. Martin
  21. Ralph Wiggum
  22. Database
  23. Janey
  24. Gina Vendetti
  25. Nelson
  26. Dolph
  27. Mr. Burns
  28. Hank Scorpio
  29. Snake
  30. Principal Skinner
  31. Groundskeeper Willie
  32. Edna Krabappel
  33. Superintendent Chalmers
  34. Luchlady Dora
  35. Miss Hoover
  36. Reverend Lovejoy
  37. Helen Lovejoy
  38. Agnes Skinner
  39. Chief Wiggum
  40. Mayor Quimby
  41. Lou
  42. Eddie
  43. Freddy Quimby
  44. Mrs. Quimby
  45. Comic Book Guy
  46. Moe Szyslak
  47. Luigi Risotto
  48. Roger Myers Jr.
  49. Artie Ziff
  50. Dr. Marvin Monroe
  51. Cookie Kwan
  52. Aristotle Amadopolis
  53. Waylon Smithers
  54. Lenny Leonard
  55. Carl Carlson
  56. Mindy Simmons
  57. Zutroy
  58. Ruth Powers
  59. Kent Brockman
  60. Arnie Pye
  61. Mr. Teeny
  62. Krusty the Clown
  63. Duffman
  64. Rainier Wolfcastle
  65. Declan Desmond
  66. Cletus Spuckler
  67. Herman
  68. Sea Captain
  69. The Yes Guy
  70. Wise Guy
  71. Dr. Nick
  72. Mrs. Muntz
  73. Lance Murdock
  74. Old Jewish Man
  75. Squeaky-Voiced Teen
  76. Fat Tony
  77. Legs
  78. Louie
  79. Michael D’Amico
  80. Frankie the Squealer
  81. Barney Gumble
  82. Kumiko
  83. Princess Penelope
  84. Matt Groening
  85. Judge Snyder
  86. Blue Haired Lawyer
  87. Turkey
  88. Christmas Racoon
  89. Stewart Duck
  90. Snowball II
  91. Stampy
  92. Pink Funzo
  93. Purple Funzo
  94. Capital City Goofball
  95. Cocoa Beanie
  96. Tom O’Flanagan
  97. Egg Council Guy
  98. Bunny #24601
  99. Rex Banner
  100. Abraham Lincoln
  101. Giuseppe
  102. George Washington
  103. Burns Monster
  104. Mayan God
  105. Talking Krusty Doll
  106. Suzanne the Witch
  107. King Snorky
  108. Frog Prince
  109. Kang
  110. Kodos
  111. Shuffling Zombie
  112. Snarling Zombie
  113. Clawing Zombie
  114. Hugo
  115. Bulldozer-saurus
  116. Mutant Peacock
  117. Sacagawea Lisa
  118. Puritan Flanders
  119. Mr. Costington
  120. Snow Monster
  121. The Grumple
  122. Annual Gift Man
  123. Bonestorm Santa
  124. Frosty the Hitman
  125. Human Statue
  126. Poochie Mascot
  127. Pet Snake
  128. Number 1
  129. Number 12
  130. Number 14
  131. Number 36
  132. Number 67
  133. Number 908
  134. Number 21
  135. Number 29
  136. Number 59
  137. Number 85
  138. Number 600
  139. Number 22
  140. Number 50
  141. Number 66
  142. Number 111
  143. Barbarian
  144. Homer Barbarian
  145. Barbarian Homer
  146. Archer Lisa
  147. Goblin Bart
  148. Wizard Marge
  149. Fallout Boy
  150. Pie Man
  151. Sidekick Milhouse
  152. Sideshow Bob
  153. Cecil Terwilliger
  154. Referee Homer
  155. Soccer Lisa
  156. Tennis Marge
  157. Pin Pal Apu
  158. Ballet Ralph
  159. Kung Fu Comic Book Guy
  160. Springy
  161. Conductor Homer

Thanks for reading!

If for some odd reason you want to read more of my posts, you can find a somewhat organized (and usually up to date) archive of my ramblings… I mean, articles here!

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Published by

"Lightning" Ellen

My name is Ellen, and I've been babbling on the interwebz about video games for over 15 years. Video games themselves have been a large part of my life since 5-year-old me first encountered a SNES in a children's hospital. Fun times... Video game escapism is still the #1 coping mechanism for adult me these days.

12 thoughts on “The Simpsons Tapped Out ⚡Review”

  1. Shame it was a freemium mobile game i could see a Simpsons game in the Sim City style being pretty good if done well, there have been a few good Simpsons games Hit & Run being my personal favourite.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep. I would have gladly paid a set price for the whole game, but I think EA is making a killing off this game with the Freemium model. Alas!

      I loved Hit and Run!! GTA Simpsons, haha.


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