The Simpsons: Tapped Out Guide
The Simpsons: Tapped Out Unofficial Guide by CM Boots-Faubert for SuperCheats.com
There are several issues that need to be addressed straight away before you begin reading into this guide. The first is that there are no small games -- every game regardless of its length or the platform upon which it runs deserves to be treated as seriously as any other. We do not approach the subject of a game guide or walkthrough on whimsy -- the regular members of the community at SuperCheats have come to expect and demand a certain measure of quality in the guides that are created for them, and we aim to meet and exceed those standards with each guide that we create.
The Simpsons: Tapped Out is the sort of game that to properly write a guide for involves providing loads of reference material, whose function is to assist the player in making strategic decisions that will benefit them, and also empowers the player to avoid making bad decisions that can set back their progress considerably. In choosing to adopt that approach here it naturally makes for a much more complicated guide, but at the same time provides the player with a much more useful guide, and we believe that the trade-off is well worth the extra effort that is required in the writing of it!
-- The Simpsons: Tapped Out --
The Simpsons: Tapped Out is what is classically defined as a "freemium grinder" -- which is a new and emerging class of free-to-play mobile platform game of the freemium variety, which means that it is free to play but slow (hence the grinder appellation) and while it is free there are decidedly not-so-free elements to it that firmly encourage the player to spend money. After all, the whole point behind the creation and publishing of such a game is to make money, and a publisher cannot accomplish that goal when they make things too easy on the player!
In Tapped Out the gamer will find a game that has been very well and even fairly balanced, with the combination of free and paid content being carefully weighed and balanced so that neither is given too much emphasis, and the player therefore need not (and likely will not) feel any resentment one way or the other. This is an important consideration and it is equally important that we acknowledge that balance, because it is rare in the world of freemium gaming. In fact only a handful of publishers and game developers genuinely seek to strike such a balance, and the short list of studios and publishers who do seek parity in that respect happens to include Electronic Arts as a whole company, up to and including EA Mobile.
Finding that balance means offering gamers a mixture of challenges, and as is the case with all games of this type, once that reasonable balance has been found and there is a walkable path for free play, the studio need offer no excuses when it then steps in and creates different mechanisms to speed up game play, and allow for the players to obtain the special (premium) items that radically boost productivity and income as well as harvesting XP, In the end the real trick in playing these games is decidedly to find ways to obtain almost all of the benefits available without actually spending real-world money!
It is fair to say that in many ways the strategies that are being applied have the player playing the game on an entirely different and uncommon level that is largely outside of the traditional game play system in that the new challenge is to find ways to beat the game maker, as well as the game itself! In other words your challenge is to find ways to play the game conveniently and pleasantly without spending your real-world money, and when you do that, you win. It is that direction in which this guide points, and it is with that strategy and challenge in mind that it was written.
Homer's game immersion causes catastrophic damage to town!
-- Qualities of a Different Sort --
Gamers who are regulars here at SuperCheats (this guide was written for SuperCheats, so if you are reading it at another site, they licensed it) may well be familiar with some of the other guides that I have written that qualify for this very narrow approach -- most notably my guides for Farmville and The Sims: Free Play. I am pretty good at cutting to the heart of the matter when it comes to structuring this sort of guide -- and while this is the sort of effort that requires a LOT of extra time in the writing because it basically is taking an approach that is naturally opposed to the flow that the game studio that created the game wants you to take; with all of the extra effort that went into creating this guide being worth it, in the end, because it turns into that rare guide that empowers the player. In Simpson-esque terms, it "embiggens" the player.
-- The Big (Simpsons) Picture --
I first experienced The Simpsons as a bootleg video tape while in my first year at USyd, and at the time we had no idea that the show we were watching and that we honestly thought was boot-leg in origin was in fact a prime time and regular feature on American TV. Of course it was around this time that we were first being exposed to pirate copies of the American TV show Married with Children -- and I think it is only fair to mention that I knew a lot of people who genuinely believed that MwC offered an accurate view of the typical blue-collar American family. It was not hard for us to accept that the typical Yank was highly interested in having sex with any woman who was not their wife, you see, so Al Bundy resonated in a way that it is unlikely would succeed today, because largely thanks to the Internet the average Aussie is no longer ignorant of what the average American is actually like.
Based upon its contents, the raw and apparently uncensored dark humor (this sort of thing would never fly in its original format on Australian TV at the time), we thought we were viewing underground content. How silly we were. Of course at the time there was very little commercial freedom in TV in Oz, and the standards committees (censors) held immense power over what we could watch, and even what books and video games we could own, read, and play -- and they still do have immense power in that respect, though today it is more geared towards control of what is offered on the open market as opposed to what is found in Australian homes, and the general rule is that once you have acquired the media, you do not have to fear the government over your ownership of it.
One of the coolest things about living in the USA is the apparently absolute freedoms that are taken for granted in this country, and particularly with respect to video games, books, magazines, all things media and all forms of expression basically. There is a dichotomy in play that often boggles the mind, and I am not just talking about how creators of entertainment are free to show horrific violence but cannot show simple nudity of the human form without there being consequences, but rather I am talking about how even animated television shows like The Simpsons can poke fun at the government
in ways that would lead to serious trouble elsewhere in the world.
The Simpsons: Tapped Out is one of those rare games that presents a mixture of all of the things that you hardly ever find in media elsewhere, and the fact that it is fully compatible with the iPhone (supported models include the 3GS, 4, 4S, and iPhone 5), the iPod (Touch and Touch 3), and the iPad (the original iPad and iPad 2), with a version for Android being planned (but so far not created), means that in practical terms its distribution system is fully digital, which means Internet, which means that barring any willing restrictions on the part of the creator, the game can be obtained with very little trouble pretty much everywhere in the world!
If you happen to be a gamer in a country that does not allow this game to be purchased or sold, obtaining it is as simple as paying $4.99 USD for a temporary VPN account (Google it, seriously) that allows your iPad to appear to be physically located in America, which then allows you to purchase any games or other media you would like from companies that do business there! Considering the fact that Tapped Out is both incredibly fun and very addictive, you do not have to try hard to explain why gamers of all ages like playing it... The only requirement to install and play the game is an iOS device that can run a minimum of iOS4.
-- Using This Guide --
The practical value of this guide, as noted above, is as a reference source, it being the second type of guide, and as such it will be a utility-type asset that you will be constantly referencing. That being the case, you may want to bookmark it to use it as your companion as you play the game. Just saying.
Once the mobile version of the guide is created as it is formatted for single page display on handheld devices, it may make more sense for you to add that to your phone or handheld PIM device, and thus have access to it wherever you are, whenever you need it. How you go about it is your call, but I cannot stress the value of knowing what the ramifications are for each of the decisions that you make.
The game is structured with two basic assets in it -- the free content and the premium content -- and it is your decisions regarding the latter that will have the greatest impact on your game play. Making shrewd decisions with respect to the premium content will pay off in dividends that have strategic value to you, and as that is the case (most of the premium items add multipliers to your XP and income for all of the characters in the game) you really will want to take care and make informed decisions on which you acquire and when.
The events leading up to the meltdown
In addition to the benefits that simply knowing what each item does in the game, there are also benefits to be had from the free content and the quest system, notably specific buildings that in addition to adding valuable elements to the game in the form of income and/or capabilities, also add specific characters to your city, which in turn adds additional capabilities in the form of all of the benefits and resources that each character will acquire simply by being present and available to you, in your game, in your city!
As you progress through the game remember that information is power -- and this guide is packed with information and power! Playing it with the notion of limiting the amount of real-world money you spend to as little as possible (ideally none) is the smart way to go, though if you decide that you want to purchase Donuts, that is cool too. The point is that the guide will help you in making strategic decisions for your game play, which in turn helps you make this game a unique experience for you.
I don't have to tell you that I very much enjoyed the process of creating this guide. Problem solving and puzzles are two of my favorite subjects as a writer, and there was plenty of both to be had in the making of this. I sincerely hope that you obtain as much enjoyment out of your use of this guide as I did in the making of it, but what is more, I hope that you find it to be exponentially more valuable with each passing day of game play.
This guide was written as a work-for-hire for Web Media Networks, and SuperCheats, as as such it belongs to them. I hope that you will respect that and what is more, that you will respect the personal effort that went into its creation -- and respect me, the author -- and refrain from stealing it or in taking from it and posting it online as your own. Clearly it is not. You can find the restrictions that apply to the guide in the Legals Section, but what you will not find are my personal feelings on the matter -- those are here: I don't like it when people take from me, and it is happening a lot more frequently recently than it ever did in the past. So please do not steal it. Thanks.
As you begin your adventures in the world of The Simpsons and in your own personal Springfield, remember that the true goal here is to win. So what are you waiting for? Go win!