[The Simpsons： Tapped Out]The Simpsons： Tapped Out Brings Snow, Holiday Decor and More Characters to Your Virtual Springfield
The Simpsons: Tapped Out from Electronic Arts continues its run as my favorite iPad time waster despite several episodes where I thought my Springfield had been destroyed and weeks’ worth of hoarded candy simply gone after the Halloween update. Even with its shortcomings, this is still the game that sees the most action on my iPad thanks to constant updates, irreverent humor and continued Simpsons TV episode tie-ins. The latest update blankets the town in snow and starts the countdown to the holiday season with another level, more quests, more stuff to collect and more characters and buildings to unlock. Expect the number of players to blow past the 2.8 million daily users EA reports log on to its iTunes chart-topping game.
Version 4.0 of the popular iOS application shows that the EA development team is following the community forums and has a sense of humor about complaints from users. I — like many other players — collected as much Halloween candy as possible during the last major update, assuming that it could eventually be turned in for something. After all, it was costly to collect, there was a limited time, so it had to be good for something, right? Nah, it just disappeared. At the start of this update, Homer and Lisa riff on the topic of where all the candy went — in the vein of Comic Book guy’s “worst episode ever” pronouncement. The update also brings collecting (in the form of Santa coins), but this time it’s made clear from the start that the coins can be used to buy things.
As with every update, Springfield continues to flesh out — while running the risk that something might go wrong and leave you locked out for a few hours, days or possibly for good*. I’m only a day or so into this level (thanks to another painful update experience), but I’ve added Dr. Hibbert and his medical practice, the Flanders clan are booting around town on a snowmobile, Homer and Lisa are pretending to ski and one of my kids just bought a Mapple Store with Santa coins. Other free unlockable characters and buildings reportedly include Barney, Springfield General Hospital , Barney’s Bowlerama, Try-N-Save and a collection of Funzo toys. Of course, there’s plenty of new premium stuff (like Sideshow Mel, Dr. Nick and Krustylu Studios) because the whole point of this exercise — at least from EA’s perspective — is to get you to fork over some real cash to buy donuts to buy the goodies.
The Mayan God is still wandering around Springfield — does this mean that he might do something come December 21? I suppose we’ll find out.
You have until January 3 to collect Santa coins and enjoy the change of scenery in Springfield. Unless you have an Android device, in which case there are plenty of forums where you can sound off (or at least plead with EA).
*Up until the Thanksgiving update, I’d had no real technical issues with Tapped Out, although EA forums are full of complaints about users who are unable to launch their game after an update. This has now happened to me twice. Reinstalling and running from another iOS device (using the same Origin account) made no difference, but in both cases, after giving up for a few days and coming back, the game loaded and ran perfectly, although it rather cheekily suggested I invest a donut to catch up on the time I’d missed. If EA could finally nail this ongoing problem, they’d have pretty close to a perfect, casual iPad game.