A Complaint About Complaints About The Simpsons: Tapped Out

by Danica

The Simpsons: Tapped Out is freemium mobile device game that’s promoted as being “life-ruiningly fun”. (It really is. It’s that much fun.) And the reason why I’m writing about it is because of a post on a blog about the game that I particularly enjoy reading, because of the tips, walkthroughs, and game news that I find there.

In the light of the latest Halloween event, I decided to keep more up-to-date with regards to posts on The Simpsons Tapped Out Tips. When I first discovered TSTOTips there were only two writers, and today it seems they have many more. One writer happens to call themselves CrankyOldGuy, and I’ll never know their true age or gender, but one thing’s for sure, this guy really is cranky.

I’m not trying to be critical or hate on the guy or anything, but I came across one post about “odd” things that he’s noticed in the game, and I was taken aback by not only how much complaining there was in his post, but also the kinds of things he complained about. I won’t repost the original post, but you can read it here: Hey…What’s Up With That? Send Us Yours…

He complained about 7 things:

  • a glitch that occurs when stuff is moved around (I had nothing to say about this complaint because it was a legitimate glitch)
  • a character doing something seemingly out of the ordinary
  • a reference made in the game to an old Simpsons episode
  • differences betweens the lengths of character’s tasks
  • the location of one particular character’s task
  • the idea that a freemium game is “forcing” players to play their game, and
  • the house to characters ratio

I wrote quite a lengthy response in the comments section, and I just wanted to share it here, particularly for anyone who plays the game:

1. You have a lot of complaints.

2. Whenever you send a character on a task, if they’re a voiced character, they will always have one phrase that they say when they begin a task. So in the case of a task that automatically sends two characters on it together, such as Agnes Skinner and Comic Book Guy going on a date, Smithers exercising for Mr Burns, Legs and Louie interrogating a squealer, or even Rex Banner interrogating Flanders, both will say their task-starting phrase. In these examples, only Legs & Louie and Smithers & Mr Burns both have a task-starting phrase. So when it comes to Rex Banner and Flanders, only Flanders has a phrase. (If you send Banner on any other task, he doesn’t say anything. Heck, he isn’t a voiced character to begin with.) Which is why you will ALWAYS hear Flanders say, “Okay, here goes nothing.”

3. Bart’s Wo*RL*d F*A*ir hair (just being a grammar nazi, here) is a reference to the season 7 episode titled “Bart on the Road”. In that episode, Bart acquires a fake license and a car, and takes Milhouse, Martin and Nelson on a road trip to visit the World Fair in Knoxville. Upon arriving they realise the World Fair had already happened many years ago, and the iconic Sunsphere was turned into a wig shop. To make the most of their visit, they each buy a wig. That explains Bart hair’s—which is a wig.

4. There are many bushes available as decorations, and one of those happens to be THE bush that Moe hides in whenever he spies on Midge. When Moe is first unlocked, you will only have one bush, but if you decide to place multiple bushes to decorate your Springfield, you are effectively giving Moe more hiding places from which to spy on Marge. And when you send him on the task, he will always go to the nearest one. The same thing happens if you send any character on a Brown House task, such as Homer breaking in and watching TV, Cletus harvesting copper wire, Quimby “napping”, or Kent Brockman creating a Viewtube video. In fact, send Bart and Milhouse to play paintball in the Brown House from different locations in your Springfield, and unless there is only one Brown House in your Springfield, they’re going to play in different houses.

There were three of CrankyOldGuy’s complaints that I didn’t respond to in my comment, which didn’t frustrate me enough to mention them, but I’ll respond to them here:

5. Homer and Ned going bowling is, in essence, a completely different task to Barney being a pin monkey. There’s no reason that the length of their tasks should be the same, other than the fact that the tasks are done inside the same building. And if you’re gonna complain about that, why not complain about the fact that all Springfield Elemntary jobs are different lengths? The children (except Martin) go to school for 6 hours, but Mrs Krabappel teaches for 8, Principal Skinner is a crossing guard for 4 and monitors the halls for 12, and Martin serves as hall monitor for 12.

6. Of course EA wants us to house farm. The only other option to house-farming is to spend actual money so that we can buy all the available decorations, characters, and buildings, and be on the highest available level.

7. Are you really complaining about this? The characters don’t even really *live* in the houses in the game. They’re there for completing jobs or to unlock characters. Why not complain that there are only a limited number of tree species or a limited number of fence types. Geez.


If you don’t already play Tapped Out and want to, check it out here:
The Simpsons: Tapped Out on the iTunes App Store
The Simpsons: Tapped Out on Google Play

– “Keep moving forward.” – Walt Disney