I don't need to tell you who the Simpsons are. Everyone knows. That's just a marker for how popular they've become. So of all the things America's first family have found themselves a part of, it is unsurprising for even the most unschooled gamer to hear that they've been the focus of a number of video games. I was inspired to write this after seeing this article running down http://gamereactor.eu/the-best-marvel-games-ever/ some of the top Marvel games, so for the Simpsons, which ones come up best? Let's find out.
We'll start this list in chronological order. Obviously I can't run through all the Simpsons games, because we'd be here a while. You might be surprised to know though that there have been 27 Simpsons games created, with a big number of them (nine in fact) being created from 1991-92. A lot of them seemed to focus on Bart, and were aptly named as such, like the first ever title to be released, Bart vs the Space Mutants - which was a 2D side-scrolling platformer.
However, the first title to feature the whole family in the title was 1991's arcade game, simply called 'The Simpsons'. It was a side-scrolling beat 'em up where the family had to rescue Maggie from Mr Smithers after a jewelry heist went awry. Because of its never-before-seen look at Springfield in game, it was said to transport you all the way to Springfield. However, if you wanted to go to Springfield for real, then you'll need to head over to Universal Studios Florida. To get there you'll probably need a plane, and to get to the airport you'll probably need a car. http://parking-at-airports.co.uk/ Parking at Airports can help when you need to find cheap parking at airports for when you jet set off on your holidays, so don't leave things like that to chance.
Hit (& Run) Success
Probably the most popular and most critically acclaimed of all the Simpsons games has to be Hit & Run. Released on Xbox, PS2 and Gamecube in 2003, the game sold over 5 million copies worldwide. The game was basically a parody of Grand Theft Auto III that had been released a couple of years previous. It was the most open-world game so far, and had levels where you could play as Homer, Bart, Marge and Lisa, as well as level where, quite weirdly, you can play as Apu. Because it has been a while since its release, you can sometimes get a greater insight into how the game was made. In this video from http://youtube.com/watch?v=4y07g7N2ROo, he breaks down what the mechanics of the game looked like off-camera with developer Cary Brisebois.
The Simpsons Return
Following up from the somewhat unexpected success of Hit & Run was a big ask, and something that the next in the series, simply titled 'The Simpsons Game' failed to do. Whilst it was reviewed positively by some critics, it was bemoaned for its persistent camera faults and short story with repetitive jumping puzzles. But more importantly, it failed to capture the public's imagination like its predecessor. Hit & Run was a cult phenomenon and every household that had a games console had that game. The Simpsons Game, however, seemed to pass the zeitgeist by, much like recent episodes of the Simpsons. However, the game isn't totally without its merits. It's still the most graphically advanced, and has a detailed and comprehensive open-world map for you to explore. If you're a Simpsons fan you would still get enjoyment out of playing this title.
Tapping Tapped Out
First released on iOS in 2012, this app has been a big success for developers EA Mobile, with it still going strong today. The premise for this mobile title is that Homer unwittingly destroys Springfield, and you have to help rebuild it by collecting buildings and the familiar Springfield residents that go with them. This city-building game is free to play, but does come with addons that can be purchased using real money. It is fun to play and to do all the quests and collect all the characters, however after a while you get the feeling that it's a never-ending story, which is fine for those who want to build and just keep building, but not good for those who like a bit of narrative in their gameplay.