I used to write about various Android app games that I was playing, but I haven’t really done so in a while, mostly because I haven’t changed much. I’ve dropped some games but I really haven’t picked up any and, for the most part, nothing significant has changed. I did want to revisit the first app review that I ever did, Simpsons: Tapped Out, because I have some good and some not so good things to say about the game.
At least I’m honest.
Right up front, I want to reiterate that I have pretty much zero interest in the Simpsons themselves, I haven’t watched an episode of the show in more than 20 years and I just don’t care. It’s a fun building game, the scenarios are often cute, but I don’t play because I’m a fan of the show.
Cookie Kwan comes to town with her real estate business, trying to encourage Mr. Burns to make Springfield more attractive to the super-rich. They open a brand new part of the map and start building mansions for the wealthy. This isn’t a timed event, it’s a permanent addition that they claim they will add to over time. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
The biggest problem that I have with all of these expansions is that they end up dying horribly. They did Krustyland, but there hasn’t been anything significant happening there in over a year. I’m still collecting those stupid tickets though, I have nearly 800k of them and I know I can turn that in for cash, but since I don’t need cash, it just sits there rotting. They did the Squidport, but again, it’s just ignored, no new scenarios, no new buildings, it just sits there. I’m afraid that once the Springfield Heights bit is done, it too will languish in obscurity.
The good part is that, at least so far, it’s fun. I’ve finished the basic story mode and now I’m just building and trying to get my real estate value up, at the moment I’m closing on $36 million, which unlocks more things. The bad is that Springfield Heights is a massive time hog. Instead of setting your residents on their tasks, you have to sit there for hours and hours and hours, gathering the six new monetary units over and over and over and frankly, that got old real quick. The tasks roll over every 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 8 minutes, 12 minutes and 20 minutes. That means, especially since you have to gather up to 200 of each, that you sit there tapping every couple of seconds to get someone else gathering. I’d like to see longer-term tasks that let you gather more units over a longer amount of time because I’ve had to sit there watching TV at night with my tablet open, tapping away for hours.
Just in the general game, since I haven’t talked about it much lately, they are still having multiple events every year, they just finished up a sports event where we were playing a nonsensical game and building a sports stadium. If was passably fun, my only complaint, as with a lot of these games, that the events are all virtually identical, you collect some McGuffin to buy stuff to earn more McGuffins, etc. I wish that EA would come up with a couple of different styles of events and mix them up so it isn’t always the exact same thing. They’ve also started to enlarge the playing field because a lot of us who have been around a long time have bought just about all of the available land and stuffed it full. I’ve noticed they have released a new row of land to buy but the prices are extremely expensive. I haven’t had to buy it since I moved all of my “rich” stuff up into Springfield Heights and that gave me some more room to grow, plus I sold off all of my multiple house neighborhoods that only existed to make me money and I really don’t need it. They have also been releasing a crap ton of new buildings and decorations as part of all of these events and my Springfield is looking awful because I have no time to re-arrange. I’d love to just nuke the site from orbit and start again but just thinking about re-placing thousands of buildings and designing new roads and all of that, I cringe at the idea, especially since I don’t make any money while all of that is in my inventory. Someday I’ll have to take a weekend and do it, I keep telling myself that I’ll do it after the next event is over, but since the events are almost continuous, that never happens.
I still think Tapped Out is a fun game, it’s one of the first that I started playing and I’m still going strong. You don’t have to like the Simpsons to enjoy playing and it doesn’t take long to get a decent sized Springfield with a lot of little characters walking around. For an app game, I’ve been at it for probably 3 years or more and still having a good time.