It’s Christmas! One of my favorite times of the year. While I did see plenty of holiday-themed iPad games such as Super Mega Worm vs. Santa, I thought it would be best to take a look at a game that’s not only good for the holidays, but year-round.
Before I get into it, let me state this for the record: I don’t particularly like Farmville, Mafia Wars, Restaurant City or any of those other social network “freemium” games Facebook has made popular throughout the years. I find the genre, as a whole, annoying, frustrating and addictive purely for the sake of being addictive.
That being said, The Simpsons: Tapped Out stands out as one of the only social network-style games I actually like.
The Simpsons: Tapped Out is a Farmville-style game where the player runs his or her own version of Springfield after a nuclear disaster trashes the city. The player builds it from the ground up, including houses, stores, roads and other fun knick-knacks that make Springfield such a fascinating place. As the town flourishes more Simpsons characters come to life, and with that comes the responsibility of having Simpsons characters perform certain tasks like making a snow angel, watching TV or “condemning science.” Right, Flanders?
Every time a task is completed, the player is rewarded with money, experience points, donuts or special currency that can used for holiday-themed purchases. Money is the bread and butter of this game, as it’s used to make the town thrive. I wouldn’t recommend planning on having an entire Springfield paradise unless you’re willing to spend all your time on the game or throw in extra real-world dollars to speed up the process. I don’t like spending excess money on games unless I really like them, so my Springfield is kind of small.
Players also can share their Springfields with others, which allows them to collect more points and money for improving their own Springfields. I have not tested this out yet, as I do not know anyone who plays this game besides myself, but it looks like a great option and a fun way to compare cities.
The best thing about this game is how well it encapsulates The Simpsons’ universe. There are plenty of in-jokes, hidden references and other nuances that will make this game a joy for anyone who calls himself or herself a fan. Another thing I really like about it is how it works hard to stay current. The game has only been around since March and it’s already had two major expansions for Halloween and Christmas, and I’m expecting one to happen for one of the next big holidays. It keeps gameplay fresh and exciting, as there’s always new activities for The Simpsons to do, and new items to build.
However, there are some things I don’t like about this game. The first would be the cost factor I mentioned. While this game is free, there is virtually no way a player can do everything he or she would like without adding in some real-world money of their own. For those wanting to play for the sake of playing without “cheating” through in-game purchases, you’re going to have to work really hard to get Springfield up to its peak.
Another thing I don’t like about The Simpsons: Tapped Out is its game reminders. If you have this game installed on your iPad, be prepared to keep it on silent whenever you’re not using it, because Homer is going to yell out something random to try and get you to check in and play again. I had this happen once or twice while at work, and it was quite embarrassing. I’m sure there’s a way to stop those reminders, but I haven’t found it yet. If anybody knows where it is, let me know!
Overall, I don’t see any reason not to download a copy of The Simpsons: Tapped Out. It’s a fun and casual game that doesn’t require much, so long as you’re content with having a city that’s not perfect. I don’t sit by my iPad nonstop for the latest crop to come in or task to be completed, but I do check in on the game at least once per day just to see how things are going. That’s enough for me, and it seems to be enough for the game too.
Merry Christmas everyone. D’oh!
Check out The Simpsons: Tapped Out; it’s currently free.
Disclosure: This app was independently purchased by the post author in the iPad App Store. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.