There are some things that make a great freemium mobile game, it needs to be entertaining, adapted for the small screen size and with content that enables you to play without purchase (but it’s there if you want to)! The Simpsons Tapped Out comes pretty damn close to hitting all those marks.
If you’ve been living under a rock for last twenty five years, The Simpsons is everyone’s favourite animated TV family. Their kooky escapades in the town of Springfield continue to keep me entertained even years after I first saw them. The things that make the Simpsons a great show also make it a great game. The premise of Tapped Out is simple, Homer destroys Springfield via nuclear meltdown while distracted on his MyPad and its your job to rebuild. You start with Homer and Lisa, begin to clean up the town and perform their hobbies in order to earn money to expand even further.
The more you tap the more you’ll earn, the further you expand and more characters you unlock and the more delightful people you have wandering your town. Tapped Out pulls together the fun of building your own little world with characters we know and love and the animation and humour that the Simpsons is known for. I have to admit that sometimes I would find myself watching my Springfielders go about their day, watch Mr Burns hide nuclear waste or Homer play on his MyPad. The experience of tapping and manipulating the town on your iPad for the most part is seamless and easy – this game is truly built for the handheld device. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself with a thriving Springfield and are probably well on your way to being addicted. Tapped Out rewards you the more you play, both in cash and in the premium currency, you guessed it, donuts! You can choose to speed up tasks with donuts or use them to purchase exclusive content. The call of premium characters like Barney, Frink or even Booberella is hard to resist and the reality of the game is that you won’t be able to save enough donuts to get them without spending a bit of money. This is something they worked hard to correct, and they’ve given us more ways to win or earn donuts but it’s a source of frustration that you have to pull out the wallet. The very best freemium games are those that give you a chance to get everything you want if you put in enough time (think breeding dragons in Dragonvale) but in Tapped Out this just isn’t achievable. I’m one of those people that don’t mind putting a little money towards something I enjoy enough, and it didn’t really bother me, but if you don’t want to spend a cent you will find it infinitely frustrating that all those premium characters (and there’s a lot, the Simpsons has a huge universe of secondary characters) are completely unachievable.
What this game really shines at is keeping it interesting. There is just so much content. It goes on and on and on, every time you finish it all and have your perfect Springfield more content is released, there’s extra characters or levels or a new event. Events are pretty frequent, to do them property you need to check back regularly and will find yourself amply rewarded. My favourite so far has been the superhero content, Springfield turned into a den of criminals and masked crusaders and I acquired a host of new buildings and characters to enjoy. Like the usual gameplay you can purchase things to make it easier, but there’s no need to do it if you don’t want to and plenty of potential loot even without it. The events even out the balance by giving you an opportunity to get unique characters and buildings for your patience and time – often the same characters available for a buttload of donuts the following year. If you’re over the game and want a break you can just sit out that event or put in minimal effort and return to the game when you’re ready, it’s kept me coming back, even when I think I’ve finally had enough. Tapped Out also host sub-towns with their own currency, like Krustyland and most recently Springfield Heights, a high rise real estate development with new adventures and resources for your Springfielders.
Tapped Out really is a game you can get completely and utterly addicted to, give it up for a while and return and get addicted all over again because there’s so much more to excite. If you’re looking for an iOS game, and especially if you’re a Simpsons fan you cannot go past Tapped Out for some animated fun!
You can download The Simpsons Tapped Out free via the links below
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