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I guess I just like liking things

For the longest time I never understood how anybody wanted to play Farmville.  It made no sense to me – clicking on things, waiting, clicking on more things, begging friends to click on some of your things… this was surely the height of Sisyphean tedium!

But now I understand completely, and all it took was someone wrapping The Simpsons around it.  I still don’t care two licks about growing virtual crops (well, except for the ones on Cletus’ Farm), but I do care about earning enough donuts to build the Secret Volcano Lair and leveling up enough so I can build Moe’s Tavern.

My version of Springfield (Click to embiggen)

I can set up Springfield however I want and watch the characters set about the tasks I’ve given them.  The voice actors are all here and there are new cutscenes to be seen, so I”ll keep leveling and earning money until I can’t anymore, most likely.

Each task earns money and XP.  XP levels you up and the cash lets you buy new buildings and scenery. Each task takes a certain amount of time, so you have to decide if the reward is worth the wait.

In the interests of figuring out the best use of my in-game time, I had an accountant friend whip up a spreadsheet for me to see what tasks had the best return.  The results surprised me a little. Here is a sample, using Krusty the Clown:

Click for full chart

I am used to games where the longer a task takes, the greater the reward. In this game, though, it’s the opposite. The more often you’re willing to load up the game and put the characters to work, the greater your reward. Once the initial surprise wore off, it made sense: the gamemakers want you to play more.  More specifically, the gamemakers want you to play more so that you’ll want things to finish faster so you can get the new stuff, and since you can use donuts to speed tasks and building along, hey, maybe you’d want to spend actual money on buying virtual donuts to do just that?

Site: The Simpsons: Tapped Out

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