Friday Filler – When EA Gets it Right…

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

I’m not going to go so far as to say that EA/Gracie always get it right. Far from it.

HOWEVER… this game continues to evolve…EA continues to listen…and the best part of it all (when compared to other mobile games), it JUST KEEPS KEEPIN’ ON!

I’m really not sure how many of you play other Mobile Device games.  I admit to being pretty limited.  Mostly because almost none of them hold my attention.  I’m not into “Shoot ’em up” games, or games that require loads of time each session.  But, more important, I am not a fan of games that get “stuck” in one mode…and bore me.

I am going to ask a very specific question…and I am asking the good folks at Gracie Films/Fox, and specifically Matt Groening… “Why In The Hell Did You NOT Choose EA for your Futurama game?”  I get it for Family Guy. After all…Seth McFarland likes to “be different” (while mostly copying other shows for his content).  But, Matt…you have a good thing going with EA and Tapped Out…what made you flip to Tiny Co for Futurama??

I can’t imagine it was the answer to that question might be. But the much touted, “Futurama Worlds of Tomorrow” should be renamed to “Futurama…not much future tomorrow.”

But, this isn’t about piling on to Tiny Co.  This is a post about the recent things that EA has done, to prove that they still care about the game, and the best choice for Tapped Out. Even if they make us nuts once in a while! 

There really isn’t any comparison between Tiny Co and EA. Let’s be honest about it…Tiny Co is tiny…EA is huge.  That is a great advantage when it comes to creativity, support, and overall game operation.  Yes…the SNAFU’s that happen with each major event have become predictable.  But, when it comes to Tiny Co’s offerings, Family Guy is tired…and the same old, same old. And Futurama has just stopped updating, after just a few months. It’s still there…but no new levels. No new real content…just the same characters that can be “leveled” and then…pffffftttt… Done.

But, it’s more than just “hanging around,” that makes the TSTO/EA combo worth continuing.  It is the wealth of new ways that EA keeps the game fresh…and even goes so far as to make playing EAsier, and more productive with your time.

The recent addition of the Golden Goose Realty was brilliant. The fact is, it rewards newer players, as well as older, more real estate rich players.  The ability to earn tokens (until you are so greedy and silly as to use up all of your land), and exchange those tokens for donuts…is a Win/Win/Win proposition.

There are a bunch of ways to play TSTO…but, as I have written about before, the “not enough land” whiners get no sympathy from me.  Sheesh…try a little land/town planning.  Try not using loads and loads and loads of land for donut farming.  Try learning the word, “enough.”  But I digress…

However, just when I am poking fun at the Land Whiners…they seemingly get rewarded!! Until they don’t…

The Golden Goose Realty is a blessing and a curse…with more questions than answers at this point (because EA never really explains things when they hit). Which is weirdly now part of the game, and our role as a community…figuring out what just happened!

So…again, proving that EA is “keeping it interesting,” and are clearly reading what we write about the land token thing being a royal Pain In The Keester, they did something about it. But, being EA, they didn’t really tell us EVERYTHING (actually nothing). They only created a Reward for Buying All Of the Land…ALMOST.


I admit…I kind of love their Machiavellian twist on this. It is a true conundrum…with no real answers, yet.

If you buy the Golden Goose Real Estate... it generates Free Land Tokens every 12 hours (if you still have land left to buy).   So…if you still have land available to buy, it works great…to generate free tokens to buy the remaining land.

However…if you already bought all of the land before this…you may really hate the fact that it won’t create land tiles, unless you have free land. Whaaaaaaaa?

Then they dangle the “Reward” for the Donut Mongers…by creating a new feature that allows you to trade those same tiles in for DONUTS!

But…ONLY after you have bought all of the available land. You won’t see the Token/Donut swap until you have bought the last chunk of land. I won’t see it…because I have TONS of land left to buy…and am in no rush to do so. 

Yes. This is confusing. It is like EA is trying to force people to rush through all of the available land… and then rewards them for doing so, IF THEY DON’T BUY THE LAST PIECE OF LAND!

Brilliant!  This is the kind of evil logic that keeps programmers dateless, and living in their expensive San Francisco apartments…playing Fortnight alone. 

So…the illogical logic is…
1. Buy all of the land, EXCEPT FOR ONE CHUNK…
2. Save Up a TON of Tokens…hoping that EA doesn’t give us more land, because then it may start the process all over again. And no…we can’t tell when new land is coming…so don’t ask! 
3. When you simply can’t hold off any longer… CASH IN YOUR TOKENS for Donuts (that you can earn more efficiently with KEM farming)!
4. Wait and see what the hell happens next…because nobody knows for sure.

That’s right. Nobody knows.

Possibility #1- It might just be that we don’t get any more land…ever. In which case, the Token/Donut swap is One and Done.

Possibility #2 – It might be that when/if we get more land, the cycle starts again…and you can build it up for hundreds if not thousands of free donuts.

REALITY– None of it is clear. And “Logic” when it comes to EA is a pretty elusive thing.

My best guess, is that it is a permanent feature, like the KrustyLand ticket swap used to be (before they killed the old Krustyland).  BUT…IT IS A GUESS. It will only become “valuable” for donut farming, if we get more land at some point.

This whole thing is actually a brilliant twist by EA.  It just keeps us playing…and ringing up tiles…and hoping that we will get more free donuts, or land, or something…because it means the game is continuing!

But, EA continuing to evolve the game it goes way beyond that for me these days.  For whatever reason…it feels like the writers care again…or are at least being made a critical part of every update. They even went so far as to BEG us to not just click through the dialogue.  I truly laughed out loud.  The dialogue for Lewis and Bart is great.  READ IT!!

And speaking of reading…perhaps my padular devices have become way too smart for their own good. As in “they are reading my mind, and passing it along to EA.”

Case in point…

Recent politics have made me want to expand my “Political Swamp” section in my water park (and maybe build a wall around it). It really needed something with a clearer statement…. like say…The CAPITOL BUILDING????  Holyfreakinshiirt… in an update that has no real relationship to “the swamp that is DC,” BOOM! There it was in the store.

INSTANT BUY… Instant remodel to accommodate it. Prefect. Just perfect.

There is just so much to like about TSTO these days. Yes…the 4 hour grinding can get to you if you let it. But, after a couple of years of the same ritual…and with all of the rewards that come with adding a couple of 5-minute routines every 4 hours (as in KEM harvesting), the need to whine about it has dissipated.

For all of you waiting for me to whine about the Time/Space whackiness of bringing back to life another dead character (Alice Glick), I give up!  At this point, I’m just going to roll with it.  In fact, I’m now voting from at least three version of every character… CHILD/CURRENT/DEAD.  Ghosts of people still alive, or not yet adults…it’s pretty much how I feel every day now that I’m 65.  So screw it. Bring on the dopplegangers and cross-dimensional characters.  The More the Merrier!  Let President Lisa sort it all out! 

So…I guess, my wish for 2019…is that we all learn to appreciate what we have…and appreciate the fact that The Simpsons continues (LOVED LAST WEEK’S EPISODE… LOVED fresh and edgy!!), and with it, we get to keep playing TSTO.

At this point…some of you have to be asking, “WHO STOLE CRANKYOLDGUY?”  I know. It seems that Alissa and I have switched places…she’s cranky…I’m happy. Weird.

But, it probably has to do with my 12 day “full baby immersion” therapy with my grandson, Jake.

Oh. Right… and my daughter and son-in-law and his sons Austin and Brandon, and Alissa, Riley, Sam, and Andrew.  But, who am I trying to kid?  It was a very Jake-centric visit.

L/R- Katie, Ali, Alissa, Sam, Riley, Andrew, Me, Deb, Bill (Ryan’s Dad) Jake, Ryan at our favorite Italian restaurant!

One side trip to the city to see the Christmas stuff at Macy’s and Rockefeller Center…an afternoon at the MOMA…more Italian food than any West Coaster should ingest…but mostly just hours and hours and hours of “Grandpa Day Care” time.  I had two extra days solo, as Deb had to fly back Sunday. It was treasured…and simply soul cleansing. What a wonderful gift.

UPDATE: The word on Terri…is that she is “feeling better,” but still has two more rounds of chemo (one yesterday), before they can do surgery.  KEEP THE PRAYERS COMING, PLEASE!

Finally…I will be posting over the weekend to start this round of Buyijja Books/Supplies fundraising. Those that care enough to help, are greatly appreciated by the 279 students there.

If I look back at the reams of complaints I have had about TSTO and EA over the years, I’d like to believe that part of the changes that have happened, have come because we keep them on the hot seat.  But, the fact is…they continue to evolve the game…and make it better, and better (while explaining none of it!).  I hope they took a look at some of the suggestions in the recent “What Should EA DO NEXT?” post. There were some good ones there.

For me?  I’m willing to take whatever they give us in 2019…and appreciate the fact that it has been so many years of great content. It is such a part of the fabric of my everyday life…I can’t imagine how it must feel to be abandoned…like the poor schmucks who play Futurama.  Sorry, Matt. you blew this one.

Happy 2019!  And thanks for all that YOU do to keep us on our toes.

58 responses to “Friday Filler – When EA Gets it Right…

  1. Any one know when they’ll bring back the golden goose realty?

    • Magic 8-Ball said to ask again later… 😉

      Nope, no one knows. It’s EA..they do what they wanna do, when they wanna do it and often leave us all scratching our heads.

    • I recently spoke to an EA representative and asked him specifically about the golden goose Realty possibly returning. The guy was obviously a company hack because he only said that there were no plans to engage it again. I asked him to convey to the powers that be that we need to have this there’s some other means to purchase property to expand our game. He could not have cared less.

      • Well…sometimes, when dealing with EA…NO ANSWER is better than the answer they give. It really depends on how high up the ladder you go. But, in our case, we don’t get much clearer answers than “I don’t know” at any level.

  2. I love Futurama, but the game setup is horrible. I can’t get past the last mission even though all my characters are maxed out. It’s terrible because I really want to play. Family Guy has it set up so it’s really hard to get anything no matter how much time you spend on it. The Simpsons is fun and you can achieve all goals if you try hard enough.

  3. TinyCo just killed the other time waster I played, Avengers Academy, after changing it so much it lost a ton of players because it became an openly horrible cash grab. I hate them. And I love Futurama even more than I love the Simpsons, but I could only play the game for a few weeks before I gave up. It’s just horrible.

    Whereas this game I’ve been playing since we got it on Android in 2013, and I’ll keep on playing it until they kill it. Yeah, they can be jerks sometimes, but they’ve actually learned and changed unlike other companies. It’s still a fun time waster, not a grind. And one day I’ll start trying to KEM farm.

  4. I played both TSTO, and Family Guy, the latter of which I stopped 6 months ago, after some weird glitch refused to let me enter the game, and even if I could, cannot log in to my saved game account. This is supremely disappointing, as I have spent the same inordinate amount of time playing both games, and perhaps a little more for Family Guy, but now its just unfair that I am locked out of my saved game with no solution in sight.

    Glitch aside, I think my preference lies with Family Guy because of the characters which resemble more of the real life personas, and also of the higher challenge (and hence satisfaction) it offers, not just the 4 hour grind from TSTO. Guess my boredom with TSTO stems from fact that I am a more seasoned player and I have most of what I wanted, and the only element that I rEAlly liked about TSTO now is its Monorail. I was hoping more train stations to be added, but they never arrived. That said, I also loved to visit some of my neighbors lovely towns, whom I never ever met, but somehow kept our acquaintances alive after all these years.

    A word of conclusion is that after FG’s experience, I learnt not to take the smooth gameplay or how EA takes feedback seriously to improve the game for granted. Now, if only EA will take over Tinyco to continue with FG…

  5. EA is a million times better then TinyCo 😂 and yeah, Futurama needs to be taken away from TinyCo (even Adult Swim would do a better job of maintaining that Game App). 🤔

    EA (I agree) is listening to most of our suggestions (notice I didn’t say complaints), even though my minimal complaints (ok here’s where I do complain) have turned into an inside joke, (ie any Event, or Mini-Event, is guaranteed to have some kind of snafu) – but I’d still appreciate a fix on that “roll back glitch” (that has to be done!) 👍

    I’ve continued to remodel my Springfield and gained back tons of free space, yet spending 🍩’s on the Golden Goose Reality was a no brainier (exploit what you can before EA says “no more”) …. and choosing wisely what Premium Character Building Combos means I won’t run out of space anytime soon.

    I think enough would ♥️ more space available at Springfield Heights, so if that occurs? I’ll say ‘thank you EA’. Going to send lots of ‘good vibes’ from the Buddhist Temple for Terri and wish everyone a nice weekend (I survived CES – again!)😀

  6. I was done with Futurama after a few weeks, the 8 bit games were fun at first but got monotonous really quickly, things just got squished in one little area and it looked like a long slog to open more land which I was already dealing with in Magic Kingdoms I uninstalled it when the Itchy and Scratchy update hit. MK, while having beautiful graphics, doesn’t have near the creative design options that TSTO does. The load time is horrendous, the task times are really long and I got to the point where earnining new characters and questlines took so long, it just wasn’t worth it. I could never make it to the Big Boss battles in events and get my favorite villains, they would show up in a pay chest later (similar to mystery boxes) where you had 6 chances to get your character which would also include decorations you could get multiples of. Try paying $10.99 trying to get Mr. Incredible and get 3 statues of him instead. Too bad too because it has characters from much loved movies but now months can go by without me checking in.
    During the I&S event I drained my treasury buying every available square of land that could be bought with in game cash and used all the tokens as I got them because I had tokens disappear from my inventory (or maybe I just used them accidently or didn’t remember using them. Who knows?) This, with the gifted land at the start of events has lead to an aggravatingly Tetris looking town. The GGR will help that. For a long time I had great swaths of open area but I’m going to try RTT farming soon so a lot of buildings and decorations that earn XP came out of inventory thanks to the EAsy Christmas event and things are really filling in- but I have lots of land that can be purchased with tokens, so Thanks EA for GGR. For people complaining about land, I have quite a few neighbors who bought things like the Globex compound and the townhouse generator who have out dozens of the same building or craftables from the futuristic event, Springfield Jobs, Zenith city etc. They’d have plenty of land if they just stashed all but a few.
    When I get ready to try RTT farming I will break out all my stored SH buildings before I turn on the XP generator but afterwards they’ll go right back into inventory. I do have lots of game cash available water tiles left, and 2 beach hideaways available for purchase too to up my bonus %. I’m at about 570% now and still have like a dozen characters in inventory and even more buildings to place. Who has time for more blogs and mobile games than this one?

  7. I’ve never played those other games but everything I’ve read about them (including the comments right here) suggests that THE key difference vs Tapped Out is that Tapped Out includes all the tools you need, if you so choose, to grind your way through the entire game, including all the premium content (with the exception of items bundled with donut purchases, but even those might not be exclusive forever).

    This fact is one of the main reasons I keep playing, though of course it wouldn’t be worth anything without the steady stream of good-to-great new content.

  8. I know there’s huge hate for EA support out there, it’s riddled throughtout this sites comment section, and I guess I count myself lucky because the first and actually only time I asked for support was back in Halloween 2015, when I didn’t have “confirm donut spend” ticked, leading to me accidentally buying wizard Martin skin with my hard earned donuts. At the time that skin had two 4 hour tasks, so got a pretty bad deal.. anyway though customer support I had a one on one talk with a guy named Brian I think, who told me he was unable to remove wizard martin from my game, so instead he refunded me and added 50 extra donuts, I was a very happy tapper at the time– some time later, wizard Martin was re released with a full set of premium tasks, so good deal all round and shows that’s some of them care

    • Like I said… it really does make a difference to CALL support, instead of trying to email. I think EA mostly gets it right… especially when you take into account that this is a Freemium game, and support costs money.

  9. I LOVE Tapped Out! Need to say that first. It’s fun and not hard to understand the rules of the road. Having said that, however—-

    1) Everything now requires donuts. A quest line can require 3-500 donuts which cost real money. Meanwhile I’m piling up currently $1.4 BILLION dollars and nothing to buy. Game cash is virtually worthless.

    2) EA ignores my questions. I’ve never received a response when I’ve contacted them. I might as well be talking to myself. At least I get answers that way.

    • Well…….. #1 is not true. You can play the game without donuts. You just can’t buy Premium content. And……huge difference, EA gives us loads of ways to get free donuts.

      #2…Agreed. Their online support is awful. You do need to call them. Talk to a person. Then elevate it, if it’s something that is really broken.

    • With 1.4 billion there is something you can buy: donuts. Spend a few on the XP collider, buy and sell rat trap trucks, harvest the donuts as you level up. Obviously the higher the bonus the better for this, but even with a fairly modest bonus 1.4 billion should get you a respectable number.

    • Turn on ur collider and buy and sell rat trap trucks! Soooo many donuts!🍩🍩🍩

  10. Have always loved your posts Cranky.
    The only thing that bothers me about this game now is that NEW content is no longer offered for CASH and therefore those of us who won’t buy donuts miss out on a lot of items because I never have enough to buy all the items offered, maybe one each update.


    • I had the same problem… until I started KEM Farming. I admit to holding out on doing so for YEARS (and Alissa hates it!). But, it has changed my view of the game substantially. Now I do buy donuts on occasion…more as a reward for EA to keep the game going. I just got some gift cards for Christmas- and rather than spend them on Apple iTunes stuff…they are going to EA.

      There are a lot of ways to “casually farm” for donuts…and I do think that if you have played for a long time, it is almost a logical path.

  11. Great post and great family photo, I bought the golden goose but.already have 20 land tokens saved and plenty land to buy, load of space to develop my town so didn’t really need it, will continue developing and hope EA open the land in SH, it’s looking a bit strange with the empty space there, I like the stress free mini events, more time to live the. Real life, will the be a big event soon?

    • Keith- Just so everyone knows, there is no magic to predicting events these days. They are almost always a Major event…followed by a short mini event…followed by a major event. So…if you see that this even ends on the 22nd (a Tues) you can bet your buns that that the next Major Event will start on Wed. the 23rd. Just a guess…as they may wait a week. But lately, there has been very little gap.

  12. I loved your post, Patric 🙂

    I also prefer TSTO to the Futurama and Family Guy mobile games. I just wish Tiny Co would just fully copy EA’s approach. I guess that would be coder plagiarism… but the games already have so many similarities. If only it was easier/quicker to unlock land tiles, character skins, characters, buildings… pretty much everything in Tiny Co games then maybe they wouldn’t be so annoying after a while. I don’t think any of that will change though- The company that bought Tiny Co a couple years ago, Jam City, made the new Harry Potter mobile game… I’ve never been so frustrated with a game in my life.

    I am just so grateful for EA. I usually regret spending real money on virtual games, but I’ve bought things in TSTO and EA’s Sims mobile and never regretted it. EA just does seem to actually care about it’s gamers 🙂

    • I played both of the TinyCo games for a total of maybe 6 weeks each. They are too much tapping and leveling…with no real reason to do so except a theme. For me…it’s about the writing. It’s short…but hilarious, and usually weirdly topical. TSTO is the only game I play anymore as far as padular devices.

  13. Wonderful post! Good that we did not need to use cash money to earn land tokens.
    As for the artist Matt’s choices, let us relish and enjoy his original art work we see in this wonderful game throughout each year!
    Happy New Year and many more!

    • You raise an interesting point… in that Matt seemingly does the splash screens for each event. I thought he did the same for the Futurama…but, it feels like his heart wasn’t into that game. This game really still has an honest feel that relates to the show. The others…just a bunch of tapping, spending, and leveling.

  14. Quick question. Since the Springfield university is now available do we know if the nerds will be coming? Thx.

    • We already got the nerds since they were added during the Secret Agents event nearly 2 years ago but I got them from the last Black Friday update. There can still be university stuff added such as Sir Oinks-A-Lot and Dean Bobby Peterson.

    • Do you mean coming back? They are already in the game. It’s always possible they will come back as returning premium content, in a mystery box or in the vault.

  15. I havent had many negatives since the Halloween event…its just gotten better! Fun stuff again! I bought the reality building. Don’t need its pay offs yet anf not for a good long while….the game will probably be gone before then! Lol. But meh….whatever!
    You guys all look awesome!👍👍👍 Just sent my oldest off to her first formal high school dance. I cried! Lol…really miss the baby stages!!!!!
    Continued prayers!!!!!

  16. I’d probably still be playing the Futurama game if EA made it.

  17. Prayers & Good luck on the project, old man(friendly banter) 💪😂

  18. I am with everything you have said here, Patric. I have enjoyed the game since it’s inception too. I have everything there is to have from the game and still have lots of room to expand. Never was quite sure how people couldn’t have enough land. The only thing I have to gripe about is the neglect of Springfield Heights. Some of the tiles should be made available to that area. Happy New Year to you and your family from mine.

    • Agreed…I is very weird to not deal with the grid above SH. But, hey…it does imply their is still room to grow!

    • Great post Patric! Bill, I agree I have tons of room with still more room to expand as I get those land tokens. Heck, I still have land to buy too. I don’t have absolutely everything but I still don’t understand how people don’t have enough room. We are so lucky that EA still cares and works on this game 😊👍

      • Thanks! I just don’t get it either…but as they say, “there are many ways to play the game.” I had one player call me out and say that my town is “cluttered.” I challenged him to do a topographical look at any real town to see how much space there is between buildings. People who give each building a full square or more are not good Land Managers. Period.

        • Hey…we’re not bad managers, we’re just “decoratively challenged”! Must add more trees…must add more trees…🤪

        • There are those of us who like a less “compact” design and like to give our buildings a bit more breathing room. We just have different design styles. That does not make us bad land managers. However we also do not complain about not having enough room!

          • I have no issue with those who use the land up…but don’t complain. To be specific…I’m notn whining about the non-whiners, only the whiners. 😀

  19. Too bad we cant get a futurama crossover event… even if just with the main crew…

  20. You’re not still exchanging Krustyland tickets?

  21. The Krustyland ticket swap still exists. Or did you mean a different variation?

  22. Funny, gives me a idea, we need more “swamp” tiles. Maybe some giant mosquitoes and alligators and “mist”.

  23. Thanks for a good read Patric. This event so far has been ace. EA may eventually change the payout of the Golden Goose after you get all the land and cash in for donuts so you can continue to trade tokens earned for donuts. Remember the recycling used to be available once a week for getting the 5 donut 🍩 payout and now you can get an average of 5 donuts a day 😀

  24. I appreciate, that EA keeps us interested in TSTO. I also have all three games installed on myPAD. And… have grown frustrated that Family Guy is all about spending real $ to advance in the events. In 4 week events, I typically can only get through the first week and a half playing freemium. So I only log in 1 or 2 times a day, and no longer spend any $ on it. Futurama, I was looking forward to it’s release and as soon as it was, they almost immediately down shifted into slow motion. Now I’m wondering if they will ever release more (events/land/characters, etc.), and leveling up takes so long, so I only log in maybe once a day, and have never spent a dime in the game. But, TSTO I am in every 4 hours, and have occasionally spent $ through the years. Been accumulating $ by using the Google Opinion Rewards app on my Android phone so I can buy more Donuts. So the only $ I will be spending is on TSTO. Sorry TinyCo., EA for the win!

  25. Thanks for this post, Patric. The photo with you, Alissa and your families fills me with joy 😘
    I welcomed the GGR, and I think the land expansions will progress. The algorithm is tricky indeed: the tile-to-donuts conversion makes sense if someone bought all the land and receives more land tiles from events. Still, I’m not gonna convert them: I prefer to hoard them and use them in bulk with the next upcoming expansion 😊

  26. I played both games, Futurama and Family Guy but as Futurama stopped I left both games. Family Guy was fun, in the beginning but if you finished the story it gets boring. The fall of Futurama is a sad thing, but Harry Potter makes more money and so they finished Futurama.

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