Australian Council on Children and the Media

The Simpsons: Tapped Out - Electronic Arts Inc

app image

Short takes

This is a city building game. Caution: in-app purchasing; adult themes.

Age
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15

Contains some elements of gambling

This review of The Simpsons: Tapped Out was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 27 February 2014.

About the app

This section contains details about the app provided by an ACCM Reviewer.

Name of app: The Simpsons: Tapped Out
Developed by: Electronic Arts Inc
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store, Google Play, Facebook
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: iTunes: 12+, Google Play store: Low maturity
ACCM suggested age: 16+ due to humour content.
Gambling content advice: Contains some elements of gambling. This game may contain devices which mimic those found in a casino; but the player is not risking something of value to play. Refer to the gambling section of this review for further details

ACCM review

This review of The Simpsons: Tapped Out contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

Levels 1-10

App description

This is a city building game.

Reviewers comments

This game begins with a short video in which Homer inadvertently causes a meltdown at the nuclear power plant where he works and wipes out the whole town of Springfield. It is the player’s task to help Homer rebuild Springfield. The player begins with an allocation of game currency. This is used to purchase buildings and other required items. The game’s premium currency is donuts, which are much harder to earn and can be bought for real money.  Homer instructs the player on what they need to do. Players are also set tasks – some can take hours or days to complete. Donuts can be used to speed up the game. Completing tasks earns dollars and XP points (which move the player up levels). Many buildings and characters can only be unlocked as the player moves up levels. Some require many donuts to be accumulated.

The game has frequent themed updates, for example Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day and is full of typical Simpsons humour and sarcasm.

In App purchasing

Game currency can be bought with donuts. Donuts can be bought with money ($1.99 up to $109.99). The iTunes and Google Play stores advise “You may disable in-app purchasing using your device settings”.

Online information

Players are asked to log in if they have an Origin ID, or can choose to play anonymously. Players can sign in to Facebook to see Facebook friends. When the player logs in to Facebook the app receives their public profile and friend list. Requests can be sent to Facebook friends. Players can visit “other” Springfields – either those of their friends or one which is part of the game.

Gambling

Every 6 hours, players are given a “Scratch-R” ticket, with which “everyone’s a winner”.  Donuts can be used to buy another ticket without waiting. When the player is given the chance to spend $250 game money for the chance to win $10,000 game money, Lisa remarks “Isn’t that gambling?” to which Homer replies “Nonsense Lisa, you can’t lose in a social game”.

Gender stereo types and sexual references

One of the characters which can be unlocked is beauty queen called Miss Springfield.

Coarse language

A car is referred to as a “piece of crap”.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

One of the activities for Homer is to break into the neighbour’s house to watch their TV – this earns the player currency and XP points. Homer also suggests using the neighbour’s Jacuzzi while they are away. A male character tries to get Lisa’s attention by following her and staring at her.  One of the buildings which can be unlocked and bought to set up in the town is called “My First Tattoo”. It is possible to make a character (who is of ethnic origin) work a 168 hour shift at a store.
Two of the buildings which can be unlocked and bought to set up in the town are a beer brewery and a tavern. One of the character’s tasks can be to “self medicate” and to “brew moonshine”.

Other

The game suggests that players get addicted and play every day for bigger rewards.

Public Reviews

ACCM Admin

22/5/2014

ACCAN (Australian Communications Consumer Action Network) has called on the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Association) to "take action on apps that advertise as free but aggressively encourage or require in-app purchases to keep playing." This app was mentioned in their media release on 16th May 2014.

Get involved

Provide your own review of this app here.

Have you found something of interest in this app that we haven't? Share your thoughts here.

Couldn't find the app you were looking for? Suggest an app to review, or provide your own public app review.

App Review Search

Title:

Tip: Leave out the first A, An or The

Alphabetical:

Age suitability:

Selecting an age will provide a list of apps with content suitable for this age group. Children may also enjoy apps selected via a lower age.

Platform:

Apple App Store img Google Play img Facebook img

Date added:

About our colour guide

Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

Content is not age appropriate for children this age

Gambling content advice

Simulated casino style gambling. Not suitable for minors

Contains some elements of gambling. Some content is not recommended for minors. Parental guidance recommended

No gambling content found in the levels played

About games and gambling

Most games contain elements of risk, chance and knowledge, that is why they are fun to play. There is growing concern about the impacts of simulated gambling games on the health and wellbeing of children. That's why we are identifying games that contain gambling elements on our site.

The State Government of South Australia's web site http://nogame.com.au/ contains information about these concerns.