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The Simpsons: Tapped Out Guide

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Welcome to the (constantly) updated SuperCheats Unofficial Walkthrough and Guide for The Simpsons: Tapped Out.

Tapped Out is what is known in modern video game circles as a "freemium video game" and/or a "Freemium-Grinder" type game created for Android, iOS, and Kindle Fire, which is based upon the animated TV series The Simpsons.

Originally developed and published by EA Mobile Studios and launched in early 2012, Tapped Out joined The Sims: FreePlay as the two anchor games in the new mobile gaming initiative launched by EA in 2012 with the expectation that the pair would represent the foundation titles for EA's exploration of the emerging Mobile F2P genre.

The amazing bit is that the success of both titles caught EA completely by surprise -- that is to say that the pair of ostensibly free games ended up being far more successful and far more profitable than anyone had anticipated -- particularly EA!

In its 2013 Q2 financial report EA revealed that the two mobile titles -- Tapped Out and FreePlay -- generated more revenue via Apple's online store than was earned through all other retail outlets, including EA's own digital distribution store, Origin.

Welcome to The Simpsons: Tapped Out Unofficial SuperCheats Guide!
Tapped Out alone is reported to have generated over $50 million net revenue since the release, serving to suggest that mobile gaming has fully arrived as a significant segment of not just mobile gaming, but for the video games market as a whole.

Those figures are not surprising considering the popularity of the game and its addictive and easy to play structure, though experts and games journos consider the unique revenue model that was used in the creation of both games to be a major contributor to the overall success of the games -- specifically the decision on the part of the development and planning team to create the games with the ability for players to play the game fully without actually needing to spend any real-world money.

Pay for Play?

Despite the fact that the game was created so that it could be played without actually spending real-world money, it will not come as much of a surprise that its structure was built to encourage the players to pay for value-added (what the game calls "Premium") content, and it should be noted in passing that acquiring many of the Premium objects, structures, and characters really does enhance the player's ability to obtain both in-game money and to a lesser degree, the Donuts that represent the Premium currency.

With all of that in mind it is therefore the focus of theSuperCheats Unofficial Guide for The Simpsons: Tapped Out to specifically focus upon playing the game WITHOUT spending any real-world money -- or ideally spending as little as possible.

Since the game includes a basic element or path that permits the player to obtain a trickle of Donuts without paying for them, adopting tactics and play styles that allow for advancement on game play alone, rather than spending money to advance your town or earn levels, is an obvious focus. Though it should be underscored that making the most effective use of the Donuts one does acquire as a natural consequence of game play is equally important.

Playing the game without spending money requires that gamers play strategically in what will very quickly become something of a trade-off, converting time for what money usually offers.

Adopting this tactic makes regular game play (and advancement) take much longer to acquire some elements for your town. The obvious pay-off to that is saving money, of course, but also in bragging rights and being able to create a town and progress through the missions and levels without paying to do so.

The guide is divided into logical sections, each covering different aspects of the game and game play, as well as information that will help you play the game with this approach.

To make accessing the information easier the structure of the guide is separated into multiple sections, and each section is initially organized with the various Missions and their Quests organized in a come-as-they-do fashion.

Once each Section of the Guide has been "completed" (that is to say that the guide moves on to the next Section) we may re-organize the Missions and Quests alphabetically in order to make locating and using that information quicker and easier.

The Walkthrough Section covers the actual mission and quest system, from level to level, with an eye towards helping you achieve the goals that are set out by the mission structure as quickly and efficiently as you can without having to spend money.

It also provides guidance that helps in navigating through the confusing parts -- of which there are many -- as well as pointing out build strategies that are more efficient and thus lead to quicker successes.

The Reference Section covers facts, lists, and data that is useful in both building a better understanding of the game and its contents, as well as for making strategic decisions that will directly impact your game play.

The Trivia Section covers information you may find amusing and entertaining, but is strictly an optional read - it is there for your enjoyment.

While the game is at this point (Winter 2013 / 2014) quite mature, even if you are starting out as a new player you will find that you can easily establish a great town and make constant progress with the assistance provided in this guide.

Knowledge is power, after all, and as one of the most effective secrets to success in playing Tapped Out is to avoid making mistakes that cost you time, making use of the information, tips, tactics, and strategies that are offered to you in this unofficial guide is a very good idea.

A bit of distraction sets the plot in motion in Tapped Out

What this Guide Is

The Simpsons: Tapped Out is what is 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 -- EA being one.

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.

It is fair to say that in many ways the strategies 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 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.

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. That is the specific function of this guide.
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