TSTO – a 2016 Tapping Year In Review

Initially, I was pleased that Alissa tasked me with writing the “Year in Review” post. And then I realized that as more of a “Critical Review” that takes into account the good and the bad, it is actually easier for someone who is opinionated to write it. Alissa is very nice…and for the most part wants everyone to get along and be happy.  I don’t mind that some (many/most) people may not agree with everything I write. I get it. These are personal opinions at best, as we have found out in this Holiday/Winter/Christmas/Pagan event.

Let’s face it. There are some people who LOVE everything that EA does (they don’t call him HappyTapper for nothing!). And others that are a tad more critical (I will refrain from naming names at this point).  But, we all experience the same updates in the same way, through our own Tapping Lenses…which makes all of this subjective at best.

So…taking into account that this overview is just my opinion, and that you are perfectly free to disagree with me (although I secretly want you to agree with me so I feel ratified and relevant), LET’S LOOK BACK ON THE YEAR THAT WAS… IN TSTO.

I suspect that you will do a lot of what I do, when I look back on past TSTO events.  I realize that I have already forgotten a whole lot of what may have made me mad or cranky. and remembered just the high points.  There were very few super low-points. But admittedly, I suspect the times where you said, “Holyfreakinshirt! This is SO COOL!” were infrequent,  mostly because I don’t expect much of anyone to say “holyfreakinshirt” out loud. Perhaps it’s  because if you do, you owe me a nickle for using a trademarked (pending) phrase in print.  But, I digress…

The simple truth is, once we got into a rhythm of back-to-back-to-back updates and mini-events (and realizing that they were serious about killing “Level Updates” for the most part), the year settled into a lot of “the same.”  But, we’ll get to my final analysis at the end of this post (hence the word, “final”).

Tapped Out Maggie Simpson Artwork.pngWinter 2015 Carryover-  As in every year (except this one), the Winter/Christmas episode is the First/Last event of the year, because it always carries over from the end of December, into the first couple of weeks of January (except for this year…so be careful using the words “always” and “never”).  2016 actually started with the final act of Winter 2015.  It was a GREAT way to start the year, as WE FINALLY GOT MAGGIE!!! Whooohooooooo!!!

“Much Apu About Something”
The Simpsons: Tapped Out “Much Apu About Something” episode tie-in content update is the one hundred and fifteenth content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on January 13, 2016. A seriously random episode tie-in, that gave us Jay, and the Police Tank. As it turned out, 2016 was not a great year for anyone of Jay’s color, or the police.  It was an episode tie-in, for a pretty “meh” episode.

Deep Space Homer
Deep Space Homer.pngThe Simpsons: Tapped Out Deep Space Homer content update is the one hundred and sixteenth content update and was released on January 21, 2016. Now…I know that a ton of people LOVED this update. But, it was a harbinger of things to come, as it was tied to a random Simpsons episode, and once again, loaded us up with tons of decorations that were hard to place in a traditional Springfield. A LOT of land was required, as well as a thematic concept in your town, for where you placed it. I created an amusement part/museum near my Viva Springfield casino resort area.  We did get a cool rocket…Deep Space Homer, and Astronaut Barney as well.

Tailgate and Daily Challenges System
The Simpsons: Tapped Out Tailgate and Daily Challenges System content update is the one hundred and seventeenth content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on February 4, 2016. It was basically a VERY LAME attempt to get us to spend donuts on sports related stuff. Nothing new of import. We got the “Big Box.”  Big whoop.

Valentine’s Day 2016
Mona Simpson.pngThe Simpsons: Tapped Out Valentine’s Day 2016 content update is the one hundred and eighteenth content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on February 10, 2016. – In the tradition of true romance, TSTO brought out a Dead Chick and a Hick.  OK. That’s kinda harsh. It gave us Mona (ghost back from the dead) and Becky, a random Premium character that unlocked with the Krusty Kraut, which I did not buy. The update was really pretty sweet, with Grandpa and Mona reconnecting in his memories. We got the Coconut Babaloo, which was a great addition to my Gambling/Resort area.  Mona and Grandpa spend 99% of their time, “feeding the birds” which in my case, means feeding pigeons into the small black hole, to keep Springfield safe from Quantum annihilation.

World’s Largest Redwood
The Simpsons: Tapped Out World’s Largest Redwood content update is the one hundred and nineteenth content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on February 17, 2016. Let’s be honest. Most of the “World’s Largest” end up being huge and out of place in our Springfields.  But this really looks pretty cool in my forest area. We got a Tree-Hugger skin for Lisa…and a huge-ass tree that you built in stages.

Burns’ Casino
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The Simpsons: Tapped Out Burns’ Casino content update is the one hundred and twentieth content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on February 23, 2016. OK. I have to admit it. I LOVED this update. I mean, really loved it. It was hilarious…even with a few glitches thrown in to freak people out who “wanted everything!!!”   There was hilarious dialogue, loads of fun buildings, and a crazy reward system that kept you tapping like a gambling addict at a casino.  There were a ton of characters, that were all simply funny in their overt, “Vegas-style” tackiness. Make no mistake…there was some weird stuff that went immediately into storage (Casino Nessie)  But Gabbo and Arthur, and Reclusive Mr. Burns, walking around in his kleenex-box shoes, is hilarious. It also gave us their homage (though severely undersized) to the “Spruce Goose,” the flying boondoggle that Howard Hughes built, which now resides in Oregon.

The Marge-Ian Chronicles
The Simpsons: Tapped Out “The Marge-Ian Chronicles” episode tie-in content update is the one hundred and twentyfirst content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on March 9, 2016. This was an episode tie-in that gave us a large, random, Deep Space building and storyline, and  a couple of forgettable Premium items. Even with the Space Shuttle Simulator, it was Meh…

St. Patrick’s Day and Easter 2016
The Simpsons: Tapped Out St. Patrick’s Day and Easter 2016 content update is the one hundred and twentysecond content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on March 16, 2016. Looking back now, I can see that this was actually in many ways a precursor to the current “De-Christianization” of TSTO.  By tying St. Patricks and Easter together, they mostly diminished any real tie-in to the religious holiday. Nothing says celebrating the Risen Lord like “Shredded Ned” and “Groundskeeper Shamus,”  Argh. 

Crook and Ladder
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The Simpsons: Tapped Out Crook and Ladder content update is the one hundred and twenty-third content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on March 31, 2016. This was really pretty anti-climatic, in that the Fire Station had been one of the most rumored items “in the files” for more than three years. THREE years. It has some pretty funny animation…when you actually remember to send Moe, Homer, Apu, or Skinner on a fire run.  But, it is pretty easy to forget.

Spring Cleaning
The Simpsons: Tapped Out Spring Cleaning content update is the one hundred and twenty-fourth content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on April 13, 2016. This was another HUGE attempt to Suck Donuts from our coffers with a giant, spectacular, REBATE SALE from Gil.  It had a ton of stuff…and offered a lot of great deals. But, knowing that something BIG was coming next, many, if not most people stayed away, and horded their donuts and bonuts.

Wild West
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The Simpsons: Tapped Out Wild West content update is the one hundred and twenty-fifth content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on April 19, 2016. OK. I’m going to say that I LOVED this update.  Living in the REAL West, and having the chance to visit so many amazing historic places in the Northwest that resembled these decorations, AND…Knowing that I was going to be driving through Arches National Park during an epic 30-Day Cross Country trip, which is ALSO what a lot of the rocks are fashioned after in this event…It made it ALL amazingly fun (just like that last run-on sentence).  I have a very extensive and permanent section of my town now dedicated to an homage of the West, our national parks, and our trip.  The dialogue and storylines were great, as were the introductions into the way they had multiple areas of crafting/winning/building to earn prizes (loads of prizes).  LOVED THIS UPDATE.

Whacking Day 2016
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The Simpsons: Tapped Out Whacking Day 2016 content update is the one hundred and twentysixth content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on May 9, 2016. Hated this update. After the AMAZING Wild West update…if you can’t put anything into this, except bringing back a ton of old stuff, and re-purposed stuff…Why. Even. Bother?  Oh. That’s right. It was another donut-suck for new players.  Hey. EA!!! Those of us who played the original Whacking Day remember what Whacking Day was like. And this was no Whacking Day event. Meh!!

Level 60
The Simpsons: Tapped Out Level 60 content update is the one hundred and twentyseventh content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on May 18, 2016. Weirdly…the real reason for this Level 60 update, was to pretty much announce that they would no longer being doing Traditional Level Updates anymore. There was also a couple of HUGE GLITCHES…that allowed people to do the new “Non-Update Updates” very easily (as in cheat the system while it was broken) allowing them to level up to 900+ if they went into frantic KEM farming status.
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I admit that I miss the traditional Level Updates. I am just not motivated to farm KEMs or Bloodmobiles….so I am currently at level 180.  I’m fine with that. rEAlly!

Homer’s Chiliad
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The Simpsons: Tapped Out Homer’s Chiliad content update is the one hundred and twentyeigth content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on June 2, 2016.  I really Hated/Ignored this update. I was just getting ready to leave for our trip at the end of the month and was working double-time to get prepared. So, I was glad this was a “meh” event. The items were all weird, way out of place in our Springfields, and to this day, I can barely reach 20 on my best day of tapping turtles in the Calderon/Insanity Peppers  game.  The drug dialogue was really lame…and made all drugs seem weirdly psychotropic. Let’s face it…Homer would never do Peyote or Iowaska. So, I don’t know what the coyote had in his pipe…

Superheroes 2
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The Simpsons: Tapped Out Superheroes 2 content update is the one hundred and twentyninth content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on June 14, 2016.  I admit that once again, my emotions on this update were likely skewed by the fact that I was on a cross-country trip for 30 days, which crossed over most of this update.  It wasn’t so much that it didn’t hold up to the Original Superheros update, but that just like so many of the Comic Book epic spectacular movies, they rarely live up to our expectations as fans.  It was another THREE FULL FRANTIC ACTS of tapping… and in the end, the only really recognizable thing that remained in my Springfield (because loads went to storage) was Charcoal Briquette…because she’s hot!  I was happy to get Clobber Girl for Lisa…but admit that I never have her in uniform. This act had WAAAAAAAAAAAY too many retreads and not enough fresh, new content to rate it “Super.”

4th of July 2016
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The Simpsons: Tapped Out 4th of July 2016 content update is the one hundred and thirtieth content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on June 29, 2016. Well…again, not surprisingly, I was pleasantly pleased to get Teddy Roosevelt and the National Park, as deep into our cross country trip, where we were visiting a number of National Parks.  If you were new to the game, you had LOADS of retreads to choose from. If you were a long-time player, this update felt a bit random, as it was mostly directed at Retread Presidents, scandals, and semi-patriotic clutter.

Dilapidated Rail Yard
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The Simpsons: Tapped Out Dilapidated Rail Yard content update is the one hundred and thirty-first content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on July 26, 2016. This update felt scattered and disjointed at best. While it DID introduce a tunnel for our monorails to be able to run between Springfield and Springfield Heights, there were loads of design issues that came about, and it took FOREVER to earn the required 2nd tunnel to be able to do a full loop.  The most positive thing to say, is that it did give newer players a chance to get/start the Monorail if they missed it. What the super villains had to do with it…I still don’t understand.

Springfield Games
The Simpsons: Tapped Out Springfield Games content update is the one hundred and thirty-second content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on August 3, 2016. As much as I wanted to like this update, I didn’t. At all. It was random…poorly executed and conceived, and just wandered all over the place in regards to dialogue.  It was like they needed some way to re-purpose their Tap-Ball programming/concepts…but, just didn’t have the content to really pull it off. I’m pretty sure that the torch and the Go-Cart track are the only edifices to remind me that I even played this. The rest is in storage.

Stephen Hawking character.pngPresident Lisa.png
The Simpsons: Tapped Out SciFi content update is the one hundred and thirty-third content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on August 16, 2016. Well…this is where things become TRULY SUBJECTIVE. If you are the kind of player who doesn’t mind weirdly incongruous, very out-of-place characters from the future, wandering side-by-side with characters from the present, then you think that this was a GREAT update. Who doesn’t want Lisa as a Future President and Bart as a Skateboarding ne’er-do-well walking around side-by-side?  Me. That’s who. I prefer to keep my “Time/Space” realities real.  No matter what Hollywood would have you believe, a “future you” can’t go back in time to visit a “past you,” as long as Newtonian physics exist. But, what the heck. It’s a cartoon…right?  I DID love the wrinkle on alternate universes, and the possibility of multiple outcomes from a single slice of Free Will.  But, the event ultimately left me remembering little about it. The only really redeeming residual prize was Stephen Hawking…zooming around in his rocket chair.

Season Premiere 2016 “Monty Burns’ Fleeing Circus”
The Simpsons: Tapped Out Season Premiere 2016 “Monty Burns’ Fleeing Circus” episode tie-in content update is the one hundred and thirty-fourth content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on September 21, 2016. There is really little to say about this. It mostly LOADS of retreads…and little more. Forgettable in every way.

Treehouse of Horror XXVII
Death.pngGravedigger Billy.png
The Simpsons: Tapped Out Treehouse of Horror XXVII content update is the one hundred and thirty-fifth content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on October 4, 2016.  It’s true that we hold the THOH updates to a higher standard than other updates. This is supposed to be where the programming and writing team really pull out the stops to have a blast with new content, wild tie-ins, and loads of spooky fun. When comparing it to past THOH events, this one would have to rank near, or at the very bottom. Sorry. But, it just didn’t deliver. There were so few original characters and buildings introduced, that you really started to wonder if the game could be sustained in the future. The ratio of Retreads/New Content had to be close to a 70/30.  What the update lacked in creative characters, it made up for in spades in the SIZE of the buildings. So…Much…Room…Needed…if you really wanted to place it all. And frankly, who would want to?  I have a large section with the Cathedral, and a couple of the castles. But little of this stuff made the final cut to have a permanent place in my Springfield. The best part of this event, is that it was SUPER EASY to finish it on time…and you got most everything you wanted, along with a ton of stuff you didn’t.

“Havana Wild Weekend”
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The Simpsons: Tapped Out “Havana Wild Weekend” episode tie-in content update is the one hundred and thirty-sixth content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on November 9, 2016.
Well…what can really be said about an update that was so thin on content, that I actually forgot it happened, just a month after it debuted.  Nice old car. That’s it.

The Most Dangerous Game
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The Simpsons: Tapped Out The Most Dangerous Game content update, the Thanksgiving 2016 event, is the one hundred and thirty-seventh content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on November 16, 2016.  This was another “Retread-Reliant” update that had little too offer if you had played all of the past Thanksgiving updates. It did roll into a handful of “Black Friday” deals with rebates, but for the most part, just left you less than “Thankful” for what was supposed to be a Thanksgiving update.  I DID like the Wildlife sanctuary and the camping tent/RV, as the all went well in my National Park tribute.  But BigClaw?  Really? Ergh….

Winter 2016
The Parson.pngThe Wiccans.pngSatyr Willie.png

The Simpsons: Tapped Out Winter 2016 content update is the one hundred and thirty-eighth content update for The Simpsons: Tapped Out and was released on December 6, 2016. It is in this kind of a Long-Winded annual recap, that I take advantage of the fact that most of you have stopped reading long ago. I can therefore give my real, and no-doubt controversial opinion of the Winter 2016 update.  And here it is….I liked it. A lot.  I have to admit that I am chock-full of Christmas stuff of every flavor. It was about time that EA shook things up a bit. And boy…did they. I find almost all organized religion as a bit of a melting pot of beliefs that never completely satisfy my soul.  With my past experiences, and what I consider the gift of having an NDE that made a few things pretty clear about choosing one “ism” over another as being pointless, I was able to simply laugh at the way EA/Gracie tweaked at the basic concepts of the Christmas holiday being owned by one faith or another. Let’s face it…what this country really wants/needs/worships is the fact that almost every year, the Christmas season fuels the GDP of country.  If we actually celebrated in a more traditional way, the economy would stagger.  So….BRING IT ON!  Pagans, Wiccans, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and every other flavor in the rainbow. We are all made of the same sub-atomic particles that make up everything that is and ever shall be. So…chillax. It’s just a game. Right? BEST part of Winter 2016?  It was short. The Gift boxes? Meh. Grandpa in a Diaper for New Years?  Funny…but ageist (and no…before any of you young whippersnappers ask…I am a long way away from “diaper time”).  Maggie killing a lamby?  Yucky. But, like I said…I’ll get over it. My hope is that this is as bad as it gets in the coming year…because in the end, it was a really funny, interestingly different event!

MY OVERVIEW- of the overview. Final Thoughts
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When you take the time to chart my opinions of the past year, it looks like the patient is very much alive….but REALLY erratic in regards to “Quality of Life.”  The bottom line here, is that EA is giving us loads of content, especially for a Freemium game.  But maybe that is the problem.  Less clutter, and more real content…as in MORE dialogue, more tasks that aren’t just repetitive grinding…and a LOT more time and effort put into Halloween.

When most of the update ratings fall in the lower third of “I liked It” and many fall into the “I Hated It” category, you can’t rely on the infrequent “I Loved It” updates to keep saving the franchise. Consistency…attention to detail…and follow-through. Is that too much to ask?  Maybe…

There was a lot of “Meh” but there were also a load of laughs.  Every time I felt burned out, or ambivalent, they came back with a great update to keep me engaged.

We’ll see what 2017 has in store. But, I know, “I’ll Be Tappin’!”

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE/LEAST FAVORITE Event/Update?  Go ahead. Offer an opinion. The worst that can happen is that someone disagrees with you. Right? (welcome to my world).


65 responses to “TSTO – a 2016 Tapping Year In Review

  1. I loved everything up until the Springfield Games. After that the events and such left a little or a lot to be desired.

    Casino was the best event of the year IMO

  2. Love, love, loved theTreehouse of Horror this year! Love the new road and all the new items items, swamp, castles, haunted horse barn….. That was great and also enjoyed the Casino and Wild West. Thanks for the extra ways to gain doughnuts. Would love a Y for the monorail tract to connect a few together. This is a terrific way to kick back after a full day. Keep up the creative ideas!

  3. I’d have to save what little I got to see of the casino event was my favorite. I started playing three days before the event ended so I really hope it comes back this year. As someone mentioned before the retro Lard Lad and the character it came with was one of my favorites. I can’t say I remember the mini event fully but it’s just nice to have a character (along with Stephen Hawking ) rolling around in a wheelchair since I use one. I thought it was pretty cool. One thing I’d love to see is Mary Spuckler in the game. She was in so many episodes I’m really surprised she hasn’t been introduced in game. I would also love to see new things for the pier and more ocean space to purchase. The winter event was another favorite because as a first year player I liked being able to get traditional Christmas items yet still have the pagan event which I thought was a creative way to celebrate Christmas/ Winter. Anything nature based, that brought in different trees, parks, stones, boulders, cabins, tents, whether it was from the pagan celebrations, Wild West boulders, creepy cabins from Halloween to the Maple and Willow trees from thanksgiving.. if it had nature, I liked it. 🌵🍃🍄🌱☀️

  4. 2016 felt like the ‘year of the greedy grab’. So many of the events would toss out a bunch of retread items, most of which had been free or prizes from previous events, yet now cost donuts. Sometimes far too many donuts. (Thank you Allisa for the many, many SIB posts.) Retreads are fine with new players who haven’t been playing long…But what about giving us long term players items that are genuinely new to us?
    I looked forward to every new event, but found myself disappointed time and again by the lack of items I could get with in game currency. (I don’t even bothering clearly my ‘rents’ anymore because I already have over 22 billion sitting on my task bar. At least my neighbors always have something to tap on.) Why would I cough up donuts for items that do nothing except increase my vanity rating? At the very least, if I am going to spend donuts on something, I want a bonus percentage to go along with it.
    I’m hoping EA tries some new ways of playing an event, rather than falling back on the same ol’, same ol’ grind, grind, grind method. It often feels like lazy programming, and a lot of the prizes/crafting items I either already have, or simply wouldn’t want. I also have a stuffed to the brim inventory, with dozens of items I’d really like to sell off.
    I honestly still enjoy playing, but this ‘everything decent costs a ton of donuts’ attitude of EA’s is little by little sucking all the fun out of the game.

    • If you’re concerned about things costing donuts, why aren’t you farming the hell out of them with your $22 billion?

  5. Which update was all about consumerism and gave us that weird modern art Lard Lad? I don’t like that one very much, but I think the Retro Lard Lad is one of the best buildings of 2016.

  6. I’d like to see some new stories, quest-lines involving lots of characters, simple sequences of tasks rather than events per se. I know they have to be careful not to exclude new players but with some clever coding it’s surely doable.
    I have close to 200 characters now but feel like only 10 or fewer ever have any meaningful involvement.
    I’d like to see Barney, Frink, Wiggum, Apu, Skinner, Carl, Lenny, Nelson, etc much more involved, even if it means giving for free characters I’ve paid donuts for. Main non-Simpsons characters need new quest-lines!

    But most of all I’d like to see Mary Spuckler.

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