Prepare yourselves, Simpsons fans: Electronic Arts is giving the social games treatment to America's favorite cartoon family.
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In the game, users create their own personal versions of Springfield, USA. While playing The Happy Little Elves on his MyPad, Homer neglects his duty as Safety Inspector and accidentally blows up Springfield. Now it's up to you to rebuild the town.
The gameplay is old hat for fans of casual games such as Zynga's Ville franchises and Capcom's Smurfs Village. EA has taken a hybrid approach to the game -- it's both task-based and open-ended. While users are encouraged to complete various tasks to level up and expand their town, they can also perform certain tasks and functions at their own perusal.
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In addition to cash, users can earn special irradiated donuts. These donuts can be used to buy specialty items and speed up tasks. Users can also purchase cash and donuts via in-game purchase.
Using Humor and Talent to Make a Great Social Game
As a lifelong fan of The Simpsons and a casual game addict, Tapped Out was clearly designed to separate me from my money. What I was delighted to discover is just how much fun the game is -- and how much of the irreverence and wit is retained from the show.
Electronic Arts has a history of making great console games featuring The Simpsons. They don't disappoint with Tapped Out, thanks to the strong partnership with Fox Digital Entertainment and Gracie Films. Not only do the cast members provide character voices for the game, but references from the show are everywhere.
For instance, the requisite "farming" option for Tapped Out takes place by growing crops in Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel's garden. Those crops include Tomacco, the hybrid of tomato plants and tobacco that Homer grew in season 11.
As players level up and build new territories, favorite characters and members of the Simpson clan are unlocked. Apu, Flanders, Moe, Sideshow Bob, Krusty -- they're all there.
Of course, the game has to have a social element. The game uses EA's Origins platform to connect to other players via your address book or Facebook.
In the case of Tapped Out, the biggest social push is by way of visiting the towns of other users. Still, we anticipate that as users progress further in the game, the social graph component will become more essential to unlocking new treats.
For this Simpsons fan, the game is off to a great start. So far EA is offering the right combination of gameplay and humor, coupled with minimal pitches to endlessly spend money. That's the sort of combination that will likely keep users coming back for more.
This story originally published on Mashable here.