Electronic Arts has announced its biggest update ever for The Simpsons: Tapped Out, bringing a massive holiday event to gamers on smartphones and tablets. From now until January 7, players will be able to collect presents from friends and give some of their own, as they complete over 50 quests and unlock a variety of new buildings, costumes and characters.
Like last year, the town of Springfield has been updated for winter with snow-covered buildings, lights on homes and more. Group General Manager and Vice President of EA Mobile development Aaron Loeb [pictured] tells us almost every asset in the game has been redone for the update, from frozen rivers to snow covered trees, snow sculptures and more.
The main holiday event this year will see players leaving Christmas presents in their friends’ towns, and receiving some of their own in the same way. These presents come in various sizes and contain gift cards which can be exchanged for valuable prizes. The event is similar to the game’s Treehouse of Horror update from earlier this year, where players collected Goo, instead of presents.
Presents may also contain spin tickets for Krusty’s Non-Denominational Holiday Wheel. This wheel contains both gift cards and special prizes. Once the prizes are earned, they’re replaced with additional gift cards, so the wheel always has a purpose throughout the event. In addition to the free spins they’ll earn simply by playing the game, players can also purchase spins on the wheel with Donuts.
The event’s 50 quests will see players “uncovering the true meaning of the holidays,” says Loeb, with multiple isolated plot lines available for completion. As examples, one sees Barney vowing to become the Plow King against Homer’s Mr. Plow, while another sees Mr. Burns turning into Ebenezer Burns for a quest line based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Elsewhere, players will help Mr. Costington prepare for the Christmas rush, while also running into characters never before seen in the game, including The Yes Guy.
A variety of new buildings, decorations and more are available as quest rewards (or for purchase), from the Happy Elves Ride in Krustyland to Santa’s Workshop, a Present Depot and the Helter Shelter, Springfield’s Homeless shelter. Players will unlock Yetis, multiple skins for their characters, an Egg Nog Bar and much more if they complete the entire event.
While most of the game’s holiday content can be skipped with Donuts, five special prizes are only available through the global community prize pool. These items will be unlocked as the game’s entire player base reaches certain milestones for sending prizes to their friends.
Loeb joined Electronic Arts in 2011, and now oversees the development of The Simpsons: Tapped Out, among other titles. With so much content in this new update, he says the development team worked diligently to ensure all players had the same chance of success in the long run.
“What we try hard not to do is create really fun stuff that is only accessible to a set group of players. We try to make sure that everybody can get access to the fun,” Loeb told us.
The only major requirement for unlocking this content is that players have completed the tutorial and reached Level 6. Loeb assured us that even lower-level players would have a chance to complete everything here, so long as they “put their shoulder into it.”
The Simpsons: Tapped Out holiday event is now available on iOS and Android. Check back soon to follow The Simpsons: Tapped Out on AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.