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A blog dedicated to the popular mobile game, The Simpsons™: Tapped Out

Category Archives: Observations

Fun with Flags

As part of the Thanksgiving update, The Mayflower was introduced into the game as a decoration for the waterfront. Players can clearly see two flags flying on the masts of the ship, but neither of them are historically accurate.

Before getting into what the flags should be, lets take a moment to discuss the flags that are being flown on the ship. One you may recognize, but the other is a military flag that is still in use today.

The flag on the right-side of the ship is the Union Flag, the national flag of the United Kingdom. The discrepancy is that the developers used to the modern day version of the flag, not the one that would have been on the ship in 1620 when The Mayflower made its historic voyage.

On the left is the flag that should be on the ship, as the addition of the red saltire is an indication of Ireland, which did not merge with Great Britain until the 19th century. The merging of these two countries formed what we know today as the United Kingdom.

On the right is the flag of England, also known as St. George’s Cross. This is the other flag that should be shown on The Mayflower. The developers mixed up the colors and by doing that inadvertently displayed the army flag for the country Georgia.
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Kwik-E-Mart Shenanigance

If you haven’t already experienced this little deviant change that came along with the episode tie-in update, the Scratch-R game tickets have been re-arranged in the Kwik-E-Mart game.

So if you are a rapid tapper, you will most likely end up tapping the Golden Scratch-R Ticket instead of the regular Scratch-R ticket because they have been swapped. And, even though you may have the “Confirm Donut Spend” option checked in the “on” position in the Options menu, it may still ahead with the purchase, and not give you an option to cancel it! So, just for ease of mind, please make sure your confirm option is on and did not reset.

Scratch-R reversal

Because I operate 3 different Springfields at the moment, I have already fallen victim to this rather deceptive change on four occasions. Fortunately for me, I had previously removed my credit card information from iTunes so that random charges don’t occur. If I had not done that, I’d be $4 poorer with maybe only 24 donuts to show for it.

EA has done things in the past that have definitely raised my eyebrows, but this time I am definitely calling “shenanigance” on on them. I am sure EA will be hearing quite a lot about this dubious change in the coming days, if they haven’t already.

Real-world connections, Yellow Subterfuge

One of the items you can add to your town (if you’re willing to part with 50 donuts) is a submarine. The official name for the item is the USS Tom Clancy. If you are familiar with the work of that author, you should have been able to pick-up on the reference the writers were making pretty easily.

Tom Clancy wrote, The Hunt for Red October, a book about a fictional nuclear submarine. Though perhaps you are more familiar with the film adaptation starring Sean Connery.

One other real-world reference is in the title of the episode, Yellow Subterfuge. This is an almost too-obvious nod to the song Yellow Submarine by The Beatles.

Homer Must Suffer from Thaasophobia

Thaasophobia is described as the fear of being idle. Homer may suffer from this, as there are very few times in this Treehouse of Horror update where he is left idling.

Homer may be the main character of the show, but with so many supporting characters, does so much of the content really need to focus on him? Many users cite this as the biggest problem with this update. It was even joked about on Reddit how many twenty-four tasks Homer has. He only has five, but it feels like there are a lot more.

So how exactly how busy is Homer? Let’s take a look. Keep in mind this doesn’t even include the Strongman Homer tasks, which would add an additional 2d 60m to the total. If you add up everything else though you get 7d 20h 30m of time that Homer is required to be on task.
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What were the spirits trying to say?

Towards the end of the The Ghost in the Machine-based App, the gypsy fortune teller will present you with a clue. It appears to be gibberish, but it’s actually just written in the ROT13 cypher.

ROT13 is a letter-substitution cypher. When you decode the message “CEBCREGL BS OHEAFHZ” it becomes “PROPERTY OF BURNSUM”. Maybe if Lisa had been familiar with this cypher, she wouldn’t have had to have spent twenty-four hours in the library figuring out this mystery.

Taking a moment to appreciate the title screen

The title screen generally gives players an idea about the focus of the update, for example Homer riding a roller coaster was used to promote the Krustyland expansion.

If you’ve noticed, on the title screen there are several tombstones, some of which have an epitaph engraved on them. The humor of this update begins before the game even starts. Let’s take a look at all the messages hidden on the title screen to truly appreciate them.
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Did you notice the special haunted buildings?

grimes-spirit-iconTypically when a building is haunted, the ghosts that fly around it are the same. It is just a standard animation to show you that the building has been haunted, and that if you tap on it you’ll be able to collect some GOO. There are however a few buildings that, if you look closely, will have their own unique haunt. Can you find them all?

Below are some pictures of these special haunted buildings, all of which I found while exploring some of my friend’s towns. Have you found any other buildings with unique ghosts haunting them? If so, sound off in the comments and I’ll add them to this post.
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The Mayan, the Witch and the Wardrobe

In the master bedroom of the Simpson household, Homer and Marge share a closet. In the context of the game, the only other outfit Marge has is a witch costume. Meanwhile, Homer has five different outfits to wear. In fact the few characters who are lucky enough to even have a costume only have one. Does that seem right to you?

Two of his costumes could have been obtained for free, if you were fortunate enough to participate in previous promotional events. The other three required the purchase of limited-time premium content.

Maybe the Homer in your Springfield only has one outfit, but for most players this central character always has some wardrobe options available. So which of Homer’s many costumes is your favorite? Did you miss out on a costume that you really wish you had? If you’d like to see all of his costumes, check the gallery posted below the break.
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You Just Broke the First Rule of Clone Club

os-mini-mapSince I started playing the game, the town of “Other Springfield” has fascinated me. Sure, it’s just a template town constructed by the developers to give players an idea of how to build their own town, but I’ve always seen it as a challenge.

For several months, my town was a replica of both the Lv. 20 and Lv. 16 versions of Other Springfield. Once I unlocked the full full 13 × 13 grid I found out it was possible to fit both of these towns on one map. Of course you had to pick-and-choose where you wanted certain buildings, which created a bit of an artistic challenge. Once I filled in the basics, the excess land was used to house buildings Other Springfield hadn’t accounted for, like the Springfield Hospital or some of the content from the Treehouse of Horror XXIII update.

It was only in doing this that I discovered that the developers don’t always play by the same rules players do. The following are a few examples where buildings and decorations are placed on the map in ways that are impossible for the player to replicate.
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Zoning Issues in Other Springfield

Prior to the Krustyland update you could actually replicate the Lv. 25 and Lv. 30 version of Other Springfield in your town. This was the first time since the Lv. 12 version of Other Springfield that you could do that if you chose to do so. The reason you can’t copy some versions of Other Springfield, including the revised Lv. 25 and Lv. 30 are because they are built outside of what is possible in the actual game.

Here is one example of what I mean. Take a look at the entrance to the Squidport. In the first screenshot you can see how close to can actually place the tile in the game. In Other Springfield the Squidport Entrance is pushed even further against the shore, with the first boardwalk plank resting on the grass.

Built right up to the beach

Built right up to the beach

Built closer to the land and into the grass

Built closer to the land and into the grass


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