The Simpsons: Tapped Out
|The Simpsons: Tapped Out|
The Simpsons: Tapped Out logo used since its release
Fox Digital Entertainment
The Simpsons: Tapped Out is a freemium mobile game for iOS and Android, based on the American animated series The Simpsons. It allows users to create and maintain their own version of Springfield using familiar characters and buildings. The game is constantly being updated with new, often season-specific content, for example during holidays like Thanksgiving, and Treehouse of Horror episodes-related content for Halloween. Not limited to English-speaking players, the game is available in many languages such as French, Italian, German, Simplified Chinese, Peninsular Spanish and both European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese. The game was developed and published by EA Mobile and launched in the EU on February 29, 2012 and in US on March 1, 2012 for iOS and February 6, 2013 for Android. The game was released for Kindle Fire devices in several markets on June 24, 2013. According to its own estimates, EA generated over $130 million in revenue since the game's release. For BlackBerry 10, the Android version of the game can be downloaded via Amazon Appstore.
Too busy playing an elf-related game on his myPad (parody of iPad) at work, Homer neglects his workstation and accidentally causes a meltdown at the nuclear power plant, leading to a complete destruction of Springfield. Left stranded, he is solely responsible for rebuilding Springfield and bringing back its town members. Homer is desperate to find other characters so that he can get them to rebuild and he can get back to his elf game. With the help of Lisa, Homer rebuilds Springfield and brings back key sought out characters.
The game may be considered as a city-building game. It offers a variety of buildings (houses, shops, public buildings from the series) that the player buys with an in-game currency of "dollars", while buying premium items with real-world cash via donuts, a reference to Homer Simpson's passion for donuts within the series. Many buildings come with a questline for the player to follow and some add with them a character from the series; players collect characters along with buildings. Characters can be sent on tasks to progress with the quests to advance with the game, and to earn extra money to save up for items. Each building regularly generates a sum of in-game cash to collect, under names such as "Income tax" from houses and the "Collection plate" from the First Church of Springfield. Players can also place rivers, roads, pavement and decorations on the land. In 2013, developers added the "Krustyland" transporter, to get players from Springfield to the infamous Krustyland, where they can expand and build similar to player interactions in the game's Springfield.
The game is supported by EA's Origin, which acts as a social bridge to where players log in to their Origin accounts and visit friends' towns to collect cash once every 24 hours; and occasionally other tasks during an event.
There is a hidden easter egg where, in order to obtain the statue of Jebediah Springfield decoration, the player must tap Homer 10 times in a row whilst he is performing any task. This action also gives the player 10 free donuts, but can only work once.
The maximum number of levels is currently 59 since the November 10, 2015 update.
Several content updates have been released for the game:
|Moonshine River||Episode promotional||September 28, 2012|
|Treehouse of Horror XXIII||Halloween||October 12, 2012 – November 8, 2012|
|Thanksgiving 2012||Thanksgiving||November 8, 2012|
|Penny-Wiseguys||Episode promotional||November 13, 2012|
|The Day the Earth Stood Cool||Episode promotional||November 30, 2012|
|Christmas 2012||Christmas||December 5, 2012 – January 10, 2013|
|Valentine's Day 2013||Valentine's Day||January 30, 2013 – February 28, 2013|
|Gorgeous Grampa||Episode promotional||February 28, 2013 – March 4, 2013|
|St. Patrick's Day 2013||St. Patrick's Day||March 7, 2013|
|Dark Knight Court||Episode promotional||March 14, 2013|
|What Animated Women Want||Episode promotional||April 28, 2013|
|Whacking Day 2013||Whacking Day||April 10, 2013 – May 16, 2013|
|Whiskey Business||Episode promotional||May 2, 2013|
|Season 24 finale||Episode promotional||May 16, 2013|
|Squidport Expansion||Expansion||June 12, 2013 – present|
|4th July 2013||Fourth of July||June 28, 2013 – July 8, 2013|
|Krustyland Expansion||Expansion||July 31, 2013 – present|
|Homerland||Episode promotional||September 23, 2013 – October 1, 2013|
|Treehouse of Horror XXIV||Halloween||October 1, 2013 – November 7, 2013|
|Thanksgiving 2013||Thanksgiving||November 15, 2013 – December 3, 2013|
|Yellow Subterfuge||Episode promotional||December 4, 2013|
|Holidays 2013||Christmas||December 10, 2013 – January 14, 2014|
|Married to the Blob||Episode promotional||January 8, 2014|
|Super Bowl||Super Bowl XLVIII||January 29, 2014 – February 2, 2014|
|Valentine's Day 2014||Valentine's Day||February 5, 2014 – February 26, 2014|
|Social Currency||Expansion||March 2, 2014 – Present|
|Diggs/The Man Who Grew Too Much||Episode promotional||March 7, 2014|
|St. Patrick's Day 2014||St. Patrick's Day||March 12, 2014 – March 25, 2014|
|The War of Art||Episode promotional||March 19, 2014|
|Days of Future Future||Episode promotional||April 9, 2014|
|Easter 2014||Easter||April 15, 2014 – May 13, 2014|
|The Yellow Badge of Cowardge||Episode promotional||May 16, 2014|
|Stonecutters||Stonecutters||June 4, 2014 – July 2, 2014|
|4 July 2014||Fourth of July||July 2, 2014 – July 15, 2014|
|Clash of Clones||Clash of Clans parody||August 19, 2014 – October 7, 2014|
|Clown in the Dumps||Episode promotional||September 24, 2014|
|Treehouse of Horror XXV||Halloween||October 7, 2014 – November 12, 2014|
|Simpsorama||Episode promotional||November 5, 2014|
|Thanksgiving 2014||Thanksgiving||November 20, 2014 – December 2, 2014|
|Covercraft||Episode promotional||November 20, 2014 – November 25, 2014|
|Winter 2014||Christmas/Winter||December 3, 2014 – January 14, 2015|
|Valentine's Day 2015||Valentine's Day||February 12, 2015 – February 17, 2015|
|Superheroes||Superheroes||February 18, 2015 – March 31, 2015|
|St. Patrick's Day 2015||St. Patrick's Day||March 16, 2015 – March 23, 2015|
|Easter 2015||Easter||April 3, 2015 - April 7, 2015|
|Terwilligers||Sideshow Bob & Family||April 14, 2015 - May 26, 2015|
|Pride Month||Pride Month||June 3, 2015 - June 10, 2015|
|Tap Ball||2015 FIFA Women's World Cup||June 23, 2015 - July 21, 2015|
|4 July 2015||Fourth of July||June 30, 2015 – July 9, 2015|
|Springfield Heights Expansion||Expansion||July 22, 2015 – present|
|Monorail||Monorail||August 11, 2015 – September 15, 2015|
|Every Man's Dream||Episode promotional||September 23, 2015|
|Treehouse of Horror XXVI||Halloween||October 6, 2015 – November 17, 2015|
|Thanksgiving 2015||Thanksgiving||November 19, 2015 – December 1, 2015|
|Winter 2015||Christmas/Winter||December 8, 2015 – January 19, 2016|
|Much Apu About Something||Episode promotional||January 13, 2016|
|Deep Space Homer||Deep Space Homer||January 21, 2016 - February 3, 2016|
Major events also include a temporary currency, which can be used to buy – or win – limited edition prizes. More recently, in some events every user's winnings contributed to a community fund, which includes prizes for certain levels of the currency.
According to game runner and longtime Simpsons writer J. Stewart Burns, the game originally started as a "labor of love" and he didn't expect much to happen after the game's release. Although they do not get credited, there are about ten writers who currently work on the game, including Simpsons writers Burns, Matt Selman, Brian Kelley, Jeff Westbrook, Jon Kern, Carolyn Omine and Diana Wright.
Shortly after the iOS launch, the game was pulled from the iOS App Store due to EA's servers being unable to cope with the demand and a plethora of serious bugs reported by users. After a month had passed, EA set up a forum whereby users could report bug issues, but failed to offer solutions to issues or temporary updates. Some users who had made in-app purchases discovered that their purchases had disappeared. After contacting EA, users were able to collect refunds directly from Apple. Several months later, the app returned to the App Store.
Due to its connection to criticism of the larger trend of freemium games' revenue structure, it was satirized in the South Park episode Freemium Isn't Free as exploitative and lacking in gameplay. The game itself also earlier lampooned this point during an in-game conversation between two characters.
- ""Life-Ruiningly Fun" Comes to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch with the Launch of The Simpsons: Tapped Out". Electronic Arts. 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "The Simpsons:Tapped Out". Google. 2013-02-06. Retrieved 2013-02-06.
- "Tapped Out Kindle Edition at Amazon". 2013-06-24. Retrieved 2013-07-01.
- "Electronic Arts Management Discusses Q3 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript". Seeking Alpha. 2014-01-28. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
- "Whack Attack – The Unofficial Simpsons: Tapped Out Blog". tappedoutunofficial.wordpress.com. 2013-07-01. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
- "The countdown to the final community prize is on! – Tapped Out Daily". tappedoutdaily.wordpress.com. 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
- "How the Mobile Game Tapped Out Brought Old Simpsons Fans Back Into the Fold". New York (magazine)#Digital expansion and blogs. 2014-09-25. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
- Parfitt, Ben (2012-03-05). "EA pulls The Simpsons iOS from App Store". MCV. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- ""South Park Trashes "Freemium" Games Like The Simpsons: Tapped Out". CraveOnline. 2014-11-06. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
- "The Simpsons Tapped Out Is Surprisingly Honest About Freemium Games". Dorkly. 2014-08-31. Retrieved 2014-11-10.