Walkthrough and Play Guide - The Simpsons: Tapped Out
The game begins with a cinematic CS in which Homer causes the complete melt-down of the reactor and subsequently the destruction of Springfield -- leaving him standing in a large green pasture that previously was the city. Dotted throughout the landscape are barrels of nuclear waste and other hazardous materials that Homer -- and his daughter Lisa -- will eventually need to clean up. But we will get to that. First there is an enforced tutorial mode to get through, followed by a more passive second tutorial mode, so let us get to that now!
This walkthrough and guide is intended to get the player through the initial tutorial level and take the steps that are necessary to build a solid starting position in order to assure that a base from which adequate income in cash and XP is constructed in order to make the rest of the game easier and to avoid having to spend real-world money on game play. Several of the tactics use here will slow game play early in the process, but as the timer runs whether you are in game or not, that is not as large an issue as it might otherwise be, and players are urged to allow the timers to run out when it is suggested in this guide.
-- Donut Handling --
Conserving the Donuts you obtain in the game is critical to success later in the game, and is the only tried and true method for avoiding having to buy Donuts later, so try to take that to heart, right? Actually this is a subject that deserves more depth in coverage...
Basically if you refrain from using Donuts to speed up the builds when the game tells you to during the forced tutorial (you CAN simply NOT do so, and let the timer run out instead) by the time you reach the point at which you have cleared the bulk of the forced tutorial you will have between 45 and 47 Donuts. That is assuming you made no mistakes, and you had average luck during the Clean Up Springfield Tasks. Bearing in mind that you still have the possibility of getting that number to 50 or more for the rest of the Clean Up Springfield Tasks, once you have reached this point your gains in Donuts are going to come from special event quests and tasks, and the free Mystery Box you get every 5th day of play -- but that last is pure luck mind you, and chances are better for you to get a Premium Building or Item than the 10 Donut reward. Still, you are playing the averages here, and it will be via that route that you obtain the rest of the Donuts you need to buy that first building...
With that in mind, and the rather dishearteningly long time it will take for you to get the rest of the Donuts you need, you are going to be tempted to spend the ones you have, either on the Tire Fire or some other Premium object that makes sense at the time. My advice? Do not do it. It is that simple. Keep your eyes on the prize -- the chances of you getting the buildings you want -- the Premium Buildings you want -- are good via the Mystery Box but you cannot count on that, so stick with the conservative route and you will, in the end, be far better off for it.
Spending real-world-money for Donuts is encouraged by the game
-- Freemium Grinding Basic Tactics --
One of the main secrets to success in this game, just as it is in most freemium grinders, is to expand your game as quickly as you can manage in order to obtain all of the items that multiply income, which is a common feature in the genre. Examples include the free Burning Bush that you get on one of the land expansions, the Jebediah Springfield Statue which contributes to doubling the amount of XP you earn for character Tasks, and of course the more buildings that you have, the more regular income they generate. Just bear in mind that the income from buildings is NOT cumulative -- meaning you have to collect the current pay out for the timer to start on the next one.
As previously noted, you want to avoid spending Donuts at all, since the game only provides a limited number of them for free, and you do not want to actually spend real money -- or you do, in which case ignore that last. If you do not, however, the first goal that you should be working towards is one of the Premium Buildings -- for me that is the Aztec Theatre -- the choice being based on the Dollars-to-Donuts ratio (see that section).
-- Basic Strategy and Tactics --
There are some basic tactics that you can use to help yourself along -- I mentioned previously that the game has two tutorial modes, the forced tutorial followed by the casual tutorial -- allowing the game to lead you through both is a really good idea because up to a point it does make the right decisions. Where you will need to go your own way though is with optional expansions. In this case that largely encompasses adding income-producing buildings (most notably the Brown House suburb).
Part of the basic strategy here is playing many sessions rather than just committing your characters to tasks and then bailing. Ideally you want to be generating as much XP and Cash as early as you can manage, so that you can reach the following goals as fast as possible:
x1 Simpson House (Quest)
x1 Jebadiah Springfield Statue (freebie for tapping Homer)
x1 Flanders House (Quest)
x1 Homer's Hammock (Quest)
x10 Brown Houses (Minimum)
x1 Kwik-E-Mart (Quest)
x1 Cletus' Farm (Quest)
x1 Burning Bush (Freebie for expanding land)
x1 Krusty Burger (Quest)
How your town looks -- and how happy you are with how your town looks -- are important considerations in game play to be sure, but adding the buildings and objects that improve your game and the rate at which you level are more important, as you will quickly learn. Having said that though, there is one single piece of advice that I can offer you that is of critical importance, and that is to not rush the play.