The Simpsons Arcade

The Simpsons Arcade is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

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The Simpsons Arcade Hands-On Preview and Video

Remember the old Simpsons arcade beat ’em up from 1991? Have you ever thought it would be a great fit for the iPhone? Well, EA seems to have had a similar thought, but this is not the exact same game you pumped your quarters into as a kid. It’s obviously inspired by that earlier classic, but with some pretty significant changes to make it completely original.

For starters, you only control one character: the American everyman, Homer Simpson. The plot of the game, which was written with the help of one of the show’s writers, is that Mr. Burns intends to steal Springfield’s resources, and hides the plans in a donut. Through Smithers the donut unexpectedly lands in Homer’s hands, and Homer must fight off Men in Suits and a dozen familiar Springfield locals.

This new game has several things going for it that the 1991 arcade version didn’t. For one, the bosses and minibosses in this game are actually established characters from the show. In an early level on the mean streets of Springfield, we fought against Mayor Quimby and Police Chief Wiggum (who was armed with a nightstick and Taser). Later in the game we saw a showdown at GOP Headquarters, where the Rich Texan and Rainier Wolfcastle are your main opponents.

This arcade brawler uses voice samples from the show featuring the entire main cast, so you’ll hear Dan Castellaneta’s annoyed grunts and Hank Azaria’s “glabens”. As a Simpsons tribute, it seems very faithful. As a game, it still remains to be seen how successful The Simpsons Arcade will be.

The controls feature just two buttons, a punch and a jump, which can also be used in combination for an area-of-effect belly flop. Holding down the attack button allows Homer to charge, and occasionally other members of the family like Bart, Lisa, and Marge will activate screen-clearing special attacks, such as Bart’s rapid-fire slingshot or Lisa’s earth-shaking jumprope slam.

There are even a few minigames, one of which is lifted directly from the original arcade game. You have to pump up a balloon by rapidly tapping a button, tying to out-tap your computer opponents. Also, when Homer is beaten in the side-scrolling part of the game, you can slap him around to make him get up. Another minigame lets you tilt your device to catch donuts in Homer’s mouth.

While we have mixed feelings about The Simpsons Arcade not being a straight port, but rather a completely original game inspired by the arcade brawler, there’s still a lot to be excited about. The production values seem great, and it will be a treat for fans to encounter the dozen familiar bosses and minibosses across six themed locations. It’s a single-player game, though, so don’t expect any multiplayer family action. You won’t have to wait long to try it out, because The Simpsons Arcade will be available soon on the App Store.

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The Simpsons Arcade Review

For over 20 years, we’ve come to know Homer J. Simpson and love him as the head of Fox’s most famous and enduring family, The Simpsons. Homer is many things, including lazy, stupid, and dangerously overweight. But despite his flaws, Homer has proven to be a man who is inherently goodhearted and usually does the right thing.

Whether it’s unwittingly saving Springfield from a nuclear meltdown or creatively finding ways to bring Christmas joy to his family despite the lack of a holiday bonus, he has revealed his true character in the most important moments of his life. So yeah, we love Homer! In one of EA’s latest iPhone projects, The Simpsons Arcade, you get an opportunity to take Homer on a whirlwind adventure that’s 100% pure fan service.

The Simpsons Arcade is a new and original game and it shouldn’t be confused with the classic coin-op that was developed by Konami back in the early nineties. Unlike Konami’s timesuck, this game doesn’t feature drop-in and drop-out 4 player co-op action. At its core, this is a side scrolling solo adventure starring Homer Simpson. Don’t be concerned about this being a solitary experience, though. Springfield is full of characters, and you’ll run into many of them along the way.

Wiggum brutality.

Managing the action is a piece of cake (Mmm, cake). With a transparent joystick and buttons occupying the bottom left and right areas respectively, Homer is as nimble as your thumbs. The two buttons control your attack and jump actions, and there are a handful of combo actions to do things like belly flops on enemies.

Like most beat-em ups, the enemy variety is unimpressive. Homer is usually taking down ‘Men In Black’ rejects that all look the same. Sometimes the baddies show up with weapons you can dislodge, allowing Homer to use baseball bats and tasers as a welcome break from the belly-to-hand combat. While each new environment skins these guys with a different look, they are basically the same dudes throughout.

The rest of the Simpsons family gets involved through the ‘Family Frenzy’ powerups. Cracking open crates sometimes reveals icons that have a headshot of Bart, Lisa, or Marge. Usually placed in areas that are densely populated with enemies, each powerup launches a ‘clear the whole screen immediately’ attack. You can’t play as Bart or Lisa, but these powerups are a decent concession.

Battle anonymous, suited toughs.

What makes The Simpsons Arcade truly shine are the boss battles. Granted, there are only 6 of them, but these encounters are beautifully executed. We were surprised by who the bosses were, and we don’t want to spoil your own discovery, so go in blind and enjoy the hilarity.

The glue that really binds it all together here is the fantastic presentation. All the locations, characters, and signature personalities are intact. Animations are spot-on, and it’s great to see so many of Homer’s idiosyncrasies captured. We’re not shocked, as EA is a world class developer, and their love for the brand comes through with all the subtle details they’ve included.

From top to bottom, this is a definite “Must Have” game. Give yourself a belated Christmas present by adding The Simpsons Arcade to your home screen.