Archives for category: Donuts

Just a quick post before the transfer to WordPress.org begins in a few hours from now…

I’ve covered this question in the most recent post I did on the bonus levels (you can read it here, but be warned that it was written before level 29 came out), but it has never had a post of its own. And it’s important question to address because the release of level 28 changed the way the bonus levels behaved back to the way things were when the bonus levels were introduced at the end of January, a change that remained with the release of level 29.

Once you hit the bonus levels, your pink XP bar maximum increases by 20% each time you pass through a complete bonus level and claim your free donuts. That means:

  • The first time through the bonus round you’re heading for a maximum of 148,896 XP;
  • The second time through, the maximum will is 178,675XP; and
  • The third time through, it’s 226,228Xp…and so on.

This seems to keep going until your XP bar maximum hits 10,000,000XP – something that’s reasonably unlikely while new levels are still being released at a rate of about one every month to six weeks. Once a new level is released, your blue XP bar should return (barring glitches) and once you hit the bonus levels anew, the maximum on your pink XP bar should reset and begin its steady level up all over again.

Throughout March, the pink XP bar maximum stayed at 120,000 each time you passed through a bonus level, but it turns out that this was a glitch. So, this 20% increase in XP per bonus level isn’t really the “new normal” – it simply seems to be a return to the way things were intended to be.

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This week, I’ve been posting on the decorations, the level they unlock at, their cost, their XP on placement, the rating they contribute to, and the points they contribute:

  • Part 1, which looks at all the game dollar decorations up to level 14 is here; and
  • Part 2, which looks at all the game dollar decorations from level 15 to level 29 is here.

This post looks at the contribution of the premium decorations. Just a reminder, again, that this post contains the most recent information – I’ll be updating the original posts on Vanity and Tree-hugging soon. The decorations here are set out in the order in which they appear in the files:

Decoration Donut Cost XP Rating Points
Butterfly Tent 20 20 Vanity 200
Springfield Sign 170 170 Vanity 1800
Tire Fire 40 40 Vanity 800
Apple Tree 15 15 Tree-hugging 400
Orange Tree 15 15 Tree-hugging 400
Tree-Swing 20 20 Tree-hugging 400
Burning Bush 20 20 Tree-hugging 400
Bench 6 6 Vanity 200
Dumpster 10 10 Vanity 200
Flower Planter 10 10 Vanity 200
Picket Fence 1 1 Vanity 40
Homer’s Hammock 5 5 Vanity 200
Piece-of-crap car 30 30 Vanity 310
Channel 6 News Van 40 40 Vanity 200
Worldwide Broadcast Dish 30 30 Vanity 200
Ambulance 30 30 Obedience 10
Cannon 20 20 Vanity 200
Burns Limo 40 40 Vanity 200
Tetherball 20 20 Vanity 200
Police Car 40 40 Obedience 200
Mount Carlmore 120 120 Vanity 1200
Hot Tub 60 60 Vanity 600

As you’ll notice, the Police car and the Piece-of-Crap car both make higher contributions to Obedience and Vanity, respectively, than might have been expected. I was a bit surprised, so these have been checked and double-checked. I’ll need to update the Obedience post to reflect this as, initially, I’d read the 200 points for the Police Car as a Vanity contribution. But it looks like buying the Police Car may well solve any Obedience problems you may be having.

Tomorrow – the limited-time decorations…

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As longer-term players know, Gil Gunderson, Springfield’s hapless salesman, occasionally appears to offer an unbeatable deal on promotional items. He’s appeared 4 times so, but we haven’t seen him since February (and, for newer players, here’s his deal history.) For months, we’ve all been expecting him to appear again, but he’s resolutely stayed away from New Springfield. If he does appear, though, what might he have up his rather capacious sleeves?

There are 7 deals in the files that we haven’t seen yet. Five of them are for donuts:

The Observatory plus the Tire Firefor 75 donuts
The Aztec Theater, a Homer Buddha, and Lard Lad for 150 donuts
A Broadcast Dish and a Burning Bush for 30 donuts
Otto’s Bus and $5000 for 75 donuts
A News Van and a Mystery Box for 30 donuts

There are also 2 that are a bit odd in that they have cash prices attached to them rather than donut prices:

Squeaky Voice Teen and a Mystery Box for $4.99
The Duff Brewery and the Springfield Sign for $29.99

So, when will he next appear to offer any of these? Honestly, there’s no indication yet of when that might be. The Observatory and Tire Yard is the next deal on the list after the ones that have already appeared, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the next one we’ll see. But I hope he’ll be back soon – and that EA are busily preparing some slightly less resistable deals that include some of the more recent premium items.

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There have been a few questions about the Homer Buddha since the Yard Sale update and whether the odds have changed. I’ve checked the files and everything seems to be exactly as it was – nothing seems to have changed. So, here’s a repost on the odds of winning something good (this originally appeared at the end of March).

As the instructions to the Homer Buddha say, your 15 donut spend means that you win a premium item every time. But can you win anything really good, like the Duff Brewery or the Volcano Lair? Well, it turns out you can, although the chances of doing so are actually very, very low.

When you buy the Homer Buddha, your game is doing a little bit of calculating behind the scenes, and generating a random number between 0 and 1 (a bit like a roulette wheel). Each item available through the Homer Buddha has a number assigned to it – a “chance”. You win the item that has the first number that’s greater than the random number the game generates.

So, what are the chances, then, of winning any of those coveted premium characters or a pile of donuts (rather than a fence or a dumpster)? Here’s a list of what you can win and the probability that the Homer Buddha will actually give it to you:

Mystery Box – 9.98%
Bench – 10%
Planter – 10%
Dumpster – 10%
Picket Fence – 10%
Burning Bush – 10%
Orange Tree – 10%
Apple Tree – 10%
Tire Swing – 10%
Squeaky Voice Teen (or 30 donuts if you already have him) – 4%
Hans Moleman (or 60 donuts if you already have him) – 4%
Frink’s Lab (or 150 donuts if you already have it) – 1%
30 donuts – 1%
Tire Fire (or 40 donuts if you already have it) – 0.01%
Springfield Sign (or 170 donuts if you already have it) – 0.004%
Duff Brewery (or 190 donuts if you already have it) – 0.002%
Volcano Lair (or 200 donuts if you already have it) – 0.001%

So, if you’ve been lucky enough to win any of the last 4 items on the list(and I have seen reports), you’ve been very lucky indeed! And if you did, it would certainly justify a bit of Duffman-style partying down!

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This post has been a long time in coming, particularly as Otto is one of my favorite characters. At just 120 donuts, he’s one of the cheaper character plus building combinations – and honestly, one of my favorites. And I really don’t know why it’s taken so long to write about him…

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Before going through the reasons for and against spending donuts on Otto, here is his task list:

Task Length Dollars XP
Smoke Break (inside the bus) 30 minutes $60 15XP
Work on the bus (under the bus) 60 minutes $105 26XP
Jam on the guitar (outside the bus) 4 hours $260 70XP
Get guitar restrung (at King Toot’s) 8 hours $420 105XP
Sleep it off (on top of the bus) 12 hours $600 150XP
Squat in the Brown House 24 hours $1000 225XP

So, just why do I think he might be worth those hard-earned donuts? Here’s some reasons in his favor:

1. He’s a character with a “building” (and I use the term loosely) – but the School Bus makes a great addition to the game. And as an 8×8 square, the bus is very easy to place.
2. At just 120 donuts, he is really the most affordable of the character and building combinations (except perhaps if you decide to buy the Aztec Theater and the Squeaky Voice Teen together).
3. He earns premium rates for all his tasks. While this is true for most premium characters, it certainly makes him a better purchase than Tatum, Barney, and Miss Springfield, who all earn standard rates due to their legacy as event prizes.
4. He comes with a quest (and I’ll be posting on this in a day or so), adding a little additional extra enjoyment to your game while you wait for the next big thing.
5. He helps you to complete the School Workers character set and gain that set completion bonus cash and XP.
6. He uses King Toot’s and is the only character to do so regularly. This helps keep whoever runs the store from going bankrupt. Otto knows how to support local businesses even if his fellow Springfielders have no clue.
7. You’ve already got the school – you need a School Bus.
8. It’s Otto, man!

And here are a few reasons against:

1. He doesn’t interact with other characters and doesn’t have a role to play in any standard quests or tasks (but that’s the same as other premium characters really, so you can see how I’m struggling to come up with reasons not to buy him.
2. While he has a voice, he’s one of the quiestest characters in the game and can be quite difficult to hear.
3. If you don’t have King Toot’s yet, you may want to put off buying him until you do.
4. If you have strict views on game characters using controlled substances, you may want to pass on him.

On balance, though, Otto and the School Bus is a good, relatively affordable purchase that really adds value to your game.

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People have been looking at the posts on the Squidport expansion and calculating which donut package they would need to buy to get everything they want. So here’s a repost of something from about 6 weeks ago on which donut package is the best value – but remember that the quest buildings look like they’ll all be available for game dollars…

Before answering the question, I just want to give the usual reminder: you don’t really need to buy donuts if you don’t want to. While premium items are tempting, they’re not essential. You can play Tapped Out perfectly well without buying a single premium item – that’s one of the great things about the game.

Now, if you do decide to buy the donuts, how many donuts should you buy? To a certain extent, that depends on where you are in the game (are you at the bonus levels?) and how lucky you think you are (are you on a winning streak with the Golden Scratch-Rs?). But to buy one of all the premium items, you’ll need around 3,000 donuts, which is quite a lot.

Assuming you have some real world cash burning a hole in your pocket, then what’s the best package to buy? The table below shows what you need to spend on each donut package, the number of donuts you get, and the price per donut in each package (with a little rounding). The prices are in US$, but the price per donut holds in other currencies:

Package Price Donuts Price per Donut
A Dozen Donuts $1.99 12 $0.17
A Stack of Donuts $4.99 60 $0.08
A Tray of Donuts $9.99 132 $0.08
A Truckload of Donuts $19.99 300 $0.07
A Store Full of Donuts $49.99 900 $0.06
A Boatload of Donuts $99.99 2400 $0.04

To buy or not to buy? Always remember that the choice is yours. The game doesn’t make you do it!

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The Duff-Barney Blimp appears very, very briefly in the opening couple of minutes of “A Tree Grows in Springfield“, the 6th episode of the 24th season of the Simpsons. Like many of the Yard sale items, it’s one of those blink and you’ll miss it appearances, and it’s taken me since the update to acquire an image I can use in this post (which is why it’s the last to appear):

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In the episode’s opening sequence, Homer dreams of being in the World Series, but his food and beer fixation keeps adding some very strange touches to his dream, including Barney as the Duff-Barney Blimp. In its few-second appearance, the Blimp drifts gently over the stadium, lets out a belch, and shoots backwards. But those few seconds were enough for the Duff-Barney Blimp to make its way into the Yard Sale at a price of 70 donuts.

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The question, of course, is this: is it worth 70 donuts? There are a number of arguments in its favor:

1. It gives out the largest bonus multiplier of all the Yard Sale items at 2.75% on cash and XP from all your characters’ jobs and all the rent you earn. As with the Duff Party Bus, there are very few other decorations that will give you a similar return per donut spent. For example, Mount Carlmore, at 120 donuts, only gives you a bonus of 3.5%, and the Springfield Sign at 170 donuts, gives you a bonus of 4.5%.
2. It has animation – it gently wafts in the breeze but looks like it’s belching when you tap on it.
3. It’s a limited-time item.
4. It’s Barney and Duff – what a winning combination!

There are also a couple of arguments against it:

1. No characters interact with it or even acknowledge its existence in any way.
2. It’s a lost opportunity to add sound to a decoration – after all, they already had Barney’s belch! (Or I thought so – it seems that it belches in the Android version but not in the Apple version!)
3. It stays tethered very close to the ground rather than floating upon high (although that could have been both distracting and difficult to position properly).
4. It’s from 2 seconds of a dream sequence and, like the Inflatable Gorilla and Baboons, doesn’t really have anything to do with “real” Springfield” – although all of the Halloween buildings and decorations would also fall into that category.

So, again, The Duff-Barney Blimp is not an essential purchase, but it’s still an interesting addition if you’re decorating your Duff Stadium.

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Throughout this week, I’ve been digging into the files to see how the Conform-o-meter works and how you can maximize your conformity bonus. If you missed these posts, or you’d like to re-read them, here;s a list of them:

  • Part 1 of a post on the regular buildings and their ratings contributions (from the beginning of the game up to Moe’s Tavern) is here
  • Part 2 of a post on the regular buildings and their ratings contributions (from Jake’s Unisex Hair Palace up to the Skinner House) is here
  • A post on the premium buildings and their ratings contributions is here
  • A post on the limited-time buildings and their ratings contributions here (Duff Stadium, the Springfield Coliseum, and the Sleep-Eazy Motel can be found here as they were all limited-time at the time – however, their contribution status did not change with the Yard Sale update!)
  • A post on the points needed in each category at each level is here
  • A post on the number of shops you need to maximize your Consumerism rating is here
  • A post on the number of houses you need to maximize your Indolence rating is here

According to your Conform-o-meter, to boost your Obedience rating you need to have public buildings to keep your people docile:

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Keeping the Obedience rating high helps move your Conformity Bonus to its 5% maximum, giving you extra cash and XP every time you tap. Every public building, whether it’s regular, premium or limited-time, contributes 10 points towards the rating. But it’s not just buildings that have an impact on your Obedience rating – there are decorations that have an effect as well:

– Stop Sign ($385 and unlocks at level 22) – 1 point
– Hail Ants Sign ($450 and unlocks at level 23) – 1 point
– Ambulance (30 donuts) – 10 points
– Police Car (40 donuts) – 200 points (yes, you read that right!)

So what are the public buildings that contribute towards your Obedience rating? Here’s a list (note that all buildings contribute 10 points except where marked):

Regular Buildings:
– Springfield Elementary
– The Nuclear Power Plant (each element looks like it contributes 10 points)
– Springfield Library
– First Church Of Springfield
– Jake’s Unisex Hair Palace
– Springfield Downs
– Police Station (1 point)
– Springfield Penitentiary (1 point)
– Town Hall
– Channel 6
– Springfield Post Office
– Hibbert’s Family Practice
– Springfield General Hospital
– Springfield Buddhist Temple
– Adult Education Annex

Premium Buildings:
– Aztec Theater
– Springfield Observatory
– Duff Brewery
– Krustylu Studios
– Lugash’s Gym
– Open Air Stage

Limited-time Buildings:
– Fort Sensible (Whacking Day event – no longer available)

So, just how many public buildings and decorations do you need to get that 5-star rating for Obedience at each level?:

Level Points Buildings Notes
1-11 10 1 You should maximize your rating once you unlock the School
12-13 50 5 Each element of the Nuclear Power Plant appears to contribute 10 points
14 60 6 You should be able to maximize your rating with regular buildings alone
15 70 7 You should be able to maximize your rating when you unlock Jake’s Unisex Hair Palace
16-19 80 8 As you unlock the buildings at these levels, you should be able to keep your rating up
20 90 9 You should be able to maximize your rating with regular buildings alone
21 100 10 You should be able to maximize your rating with regular buildings alone
22 110 11 You should be able to maximize your rating with regular buildings alone
23 140 14 You should be able to maximize your rating with regular buildings alone
24 160 16 This number appears in the files, but it looks like it’s a coding error
25 142 14 You’ll also need a couple of signs to maximize your rating
26 152 15 You’ll also need a couple of signs to maximize your rating
27-28 162 16 You’ll also need a couple of signs to maximize your rating
29 200 20 To maximize your rating, you’ll need premium buildings/decorations or lots of signs!

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Just a reminder about the poll on the site this weekend…

As just about everyone reading this blog will know by now, 9 new items were released with the Yard Sale update – they’re all limited time and possibly only available until Monday (although they could be around for a bit longer). 2 of them are available for game dollars, and 7 of them are premium items. And as of Saturday, I’ve now posted on all but 1 of the premium items. Here are the links to those posts:
Should I spend my donuts on Frink’s Robot Dog?
What episode is the Excellence Prize Statue from and should I spend my donuts on it?
What episode is the Inflatable Gorilla and Baboons from and should I spend my donuts on them?
What episode is the Frinkosonic MHV from and should I spend my donuts on it?
What episode is the Giant Grasshopper from and should I spend my donuts on it?
What episode is the Duff Party Bus from and should I spend my donuts on it?
What episode is the Duff-Barney Blimp from and should I spend my donuts on it?

So, here’s the question: imagine that you’re only able to buy 1 of them – which one do you buy? Cast your vote even if you can’t or won’t buy donut items, so that we can help out people making this decision (and that’s why there’s no “None of them” option).

The poll will stay open for the duration of the Yard Sale, but vote early to help others make the right choice.

Like the Frinkosonic MHV, the Excellence Prize Statue comes from the 8th episode of season 24, “To Cur with Love“. At the beginning of the episode, the residents of Springfield are pitching their energy-saving ideas to Mr. Burns in the hope of winning an award. Professor Frink is pitching the Frinkosonic MHV , but he loses control of it and it crashes into the Springfield Retirement Castle. Here’s a screenshot of Kent Brockman reporting on the event before all that happens, with the Excellence Prize Statue in the background:

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The Statue costs 20 donuts and is the cheapest of all the Yard Sale premium items – but is it even worth paying that price? Like all the Yard Sale items, it’s limited-time, which means that once it’s gone from your premium store it’s quite likely to be gone forever. And for its price, it earns you a quite respectable 0.5% bonus on your cash and XP collections from all jobs and rent (the same as the Burning Bush, the Cannon, and the Tree Swing). But the best point in its favor is the one Mike Shuman makes:
The Excellence Prize Statue goes well in a well laid out Burns estate (I have 2 for each side of the main driveway to the estate).

I just have one, though, and here’s what it looks like in my game:

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It’s quite a nice addition and, for a limited-time decoration, it’s relatively affordable. In fact, there have been very few premium decorations in recent times at this price-point, so that alone may make it worth snapping up if you don’t have many donuts to spare.

However, if you’re buying it purely for the bonus, it’s worth noting that the Apple Tree and the Orange Tree give the same bonus amount for only 15 donuts. So, if you’re going to buy it, buy it because it looks good, it’s relatively cheap, and it’s limited time – which means people joining the game in the near future will be asking how they can unlock that Statue they see in the grounds of their friends’ Burns Manors!

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The Duff Party Bus comes from season 24, episode 6, “A tree Grows in Springfield“. Like all the Yard Sale items, it’s not really a central feature of the episode and only appears outside Moe’s Tavern in one brief scene:

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So is it worth your 50 donuts? Here are a few reasons why it is:

1. It gives you a 2.25% bonus on your cash and XP collections, making it one of the highest bonus-earning premium items in the game. Only the Duff-Barney Blimp, Mount Carlmore, and the Springfield Sign pay out more – and two Party Buses at 100 donuts gives a better bonus percentage per donut spent than the Springfield Sign!
2. It really does look good in your town, as you can see in the screenshot at the end of this post.
3. Like all the Yard Sale items, it’s limited-time – so the chances of ever being able to add it to your town again once the sale is over are very slim.
4. It’s a Duff decoration – and goes nicely with Duffman, the Duff Brewery, and Duff Stadium to really Duff out your town.

And here’s a couple of reasons why it might not be:

1. Like all vehicles except the Respectable Moe Limo, there are no tasks that involve it. Not even Duffman gets to party down on the Duff Party Bus.
2. Because you can’t place vehicles on roads (something I’d like to see change in the future), you can’t park it outside Moe’s Tavern, where it was in the episode it’s promoting.

In the interests of full disclosure, though, the Duff Party Bus was an easy purchase for me. And that’s because – if it’s Duff-branded, I’m probably at the head of the queue. Oh yeah!

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Buying premium decorations contributes to your bonus mutliplier. This is different from the 5% conformity bonus that you maximize by trying to get 5 stars in all your Conform-o-meter categories. But it does the same thing – it helps you earn more money from all the jobs your characters do and all buildings you collect rent from.

As you’ll see in the Yard Sale, many premium decorations help you get additional cash and XP from all rent and jobs. You can see what your bonus multiplier is by following the approach set out in this post: http://wp.me/p35pG7-1fY. Alternatively, you can manually calculate it by identifying all the premioum decorations you have and how much they add to your bonus multiplier. A few people doing it this way have come up with a discrepancy between the two.

That discrepancy might come from the Picket Fences. For a cost of 1 donut, each fence adds 0.05% to your bonus multiplier (and, honestly, this may have always been the case, but I really can’t say for sure). And like all premium decorations, they stack – so, if you have two, it will be 0.1%, three will give you 0.15% and so on.

So, if you’ve noticed a difference between the Gulp ‘n’ Blow approach to calculating your bonus multiplier and your own calculations, this may be due to the Picket Fences (although you need to consider rounding as an explanation as well).

Thanks to Andrew Osiris for hightlighting this.

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A few people have commented on the Open Air Stage glitch over the last week. The glitch affects the performances of Willie and Lisa, but can go on to have an impact on the performances of other characters:

From linzdrabble:
Noticed this glitch just now. Had sent Willie to play the bagpipes came back and the stage was flashing but he was standing in front bare chested. Clicked the stage and it’s still showing the task.

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And from Jason, who also identified the solution:
If Willie is in his Bare-Chested costume before you select him to perform on the Open Air Stage he will just stand in front of it and do nothing, nevertheless you will still get your $ and XP, but the next time change his costume back to default before selecting him to play in the open air stage.

It seems that for your Willie and Lisa to successfully carry out their Open Air Stage task in a glitch-free way, you need to make sure that they’re in their regular costumes when you send them to perform. So, if Lisa is in her Gymnastic Lisa costume or Willie is in his Bar-chested Willie costume, the performance is likely to glitch. That’s because their performances are tied to tasks that they only carry out when they’re in the regular clothes.

And while we’re talking about the Open Air Stage, here’s a comment and a request for help from CruisyBoy:
Is it just me or does anyone else find that rotating the Open Air Stage doesn’t achieve the desired effect? The reason I say this is because I can’t position the bench seats to face the stage to create an open amphitheatre type of environment. Any suggestions would be great.

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The Inflatable Gorilla and Baboons comes from the same episode as Frink’s Robot Dog: season 24 , episode 9, “Homer Goes To Prep School“. It appears in a dream sequence as Homer has an out-of-body experience following an injury during a fathers’ fight at a children’s fun center. The Gorilla and Baboons are how Homer sees a Santa and Reindeers Christmas decoration while he’s unconscious, as you can see in this video:


Is it worth 30 donuts? Surprisingly, it is, especially when compared to other similarly priced decorations. It offers a 0.75% bonus on all cash and XP collected from jobs and rent – the same as the slightly more expensive Frinkosonic MHV and the Giant Grasshopper. This is also the same amount as the non-limited time Piece-of-crap Car, and slightly more than the Ambulance, which both also cost 30 donuts. However, unlike all the others (with the exception of the Giant Grasshopper), it’s animated and sways gently in the breeze that apparently blows over the device you’re playing the game on.

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As with many of the other Yard Sale items, it’s not an essential purchase, and it’s probably more a matter of how you see it fitting in to your Springfield. Also, as it’s from a dream sequence, it’s not a “real” item, so you may also choose to bypass it for that reason (but then you’d also have to by-pass just about every Halloween building or decoration for the same reason!).

To help you out, here’s a screenshot of the Inflatable Gorilla and Baboons outside my Duff Stadium, where I’ve also put the Duff-Barney Blimp:

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The Frinkosonic MHV comes from the 8th episode of season 24, “To Cur with Love“. The episode begins with Professor Frink demonstrating the Frinkasonic MHV vehicle (the spelling in the game differs from the spelling in the epsiode) which runs off sound waves instead of fuel. However, he loses control of the car and it eventually crashes into the Springfield Retirement Castle. As a result Grampa has to move into the Simpsons house for a while. Here’s how the Fink’s super car looks in that episode:

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So is it worth 35 donuts? Like all the other vehicles it doesn’t move. It’s sole purpose is to add 0.75% to your cash and XP collections on rent and jobs – and to look good parked somewhere in your town, as you can see in this screenshot:

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There are two problems with it, though:
1. For only 5 donuts more, the Police Car, the Burns Limo, and the Channel 6 News Van add 2% to your bonus multiplier (although for 5 donuts less, the Ambulance only adds 0.5% more).
2. Unlike the Limo from the Respectable Moe promotion of a couple of weeks back, there are no new tasks for Frink or anyone else that allow your characters to interact with it.

But, it’s a limited-time item – and if you’re a fan of Frink, it’s almost certainly worth buying. And if you really like Frink, as with all vehicles, you can buy more than one.

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9 new items were released with the Yard Sale update – they’re all limited time and possibly only available until Monday (although they could be around for a bit longer). 2 of them are available for game dollars, and 7 of them are premium items.

I’ve already posted on two of these – the Giant Grasshopper and Frink’s Robot Dog – and I’ll be posting on the rest before the weekend is out. In the meantime, though, here’s a poll designed to help people who are considering which one most justifies a little donut splurge.

So, here’s the question: imagine that you’re only able to buy 1 of them – which one do you buy? Cast your vote, and see what other people think. The poll will stay open for the duration of the Yard Sale, but vote early to help others with making the right choice.

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Each time you level up, you get a message from a character that may or may not already be in the game congratulating you and awarding you donuts (you can see the last post I wrote on leveling up and find out how many free donuts you’re getting at the next level right here). And, the good news is that in amongst all information for the Yard Sale update were level up messages for level 30 and 31.

I’ve listed below the level update messages that appear throughout the game, and included the level 30 and 31 messages that appear in the files and who says them. I’m not treating these as spoilers – it’s no secret that levels 30 and 31 are planned, although we probably won’t see these until June and July, respectively.

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Level Message Said by
2 Wow, you put the house down where it told you to. Bart
3 You have been reincarnated to the next level. Thank you, tap again. Apu
4 Woo-hoo! I bet leveling up is always gonna be this easy. Homer
5 It’s always level 5 somewhere! Barney
6 Excellent! You should celebrate by buying donuts with your money. Mr. Burns
7 That’s some fine grinding. Chief Wiggum
8 Now that’s a spicy accomplishment! Luigi
9 If life were a game, leveling up would be birthdays. Happy birthday! Lisa
10 Is it me, or do these levels seem to be taking longer and longer? Otto
11 All that for two freakin donuts?! Krusty
12 I take it you don’t have a family or anything. Marge
13 Congratulations. That was a difficult but insignificant level. Principal Skinner
14 Arr! Ye must be playing this on a long sea voyage. Sea Captain
15 For he’s a jolly good fellow! He’s at level one-five. Lenny and Carl
16 Worst. Level. Ever. Comic Book Guy
17 This game is a lot like life. It stops being fun after a while, but you gotta keep doing it. Grampa Simpson
18 Man, I’d have quit this game long ago… and I got nothing better to do. Moe
19 You’re still playing? You should get a girlfriend… or a rake. Groundskeeper Willie
20 You’ve played further into this game than we thought anyone would. Frink
21 This just in, new content has been added so you don’t have to get a life. Kent Brockman
22 Haw-haw, you just wasted months of your life. Nelson Muntz
23 Even my Elven Mage isn’t level 23! I am green with envy. Martin (thanks Fredie)
24 You’re suffering from video game addiction. Gain two levels and call me in the morning. Dr. Hibbert
25 Duffman has no idea why you’re still playing this game. Oh yeah! Duffman
26 Keep it up. Playing this much of a game is SO attractive to the opposite sex. Edna Krabappel
27 Level 27 humans win a free trip to Rigel IV for a unique dining experience. Kang (or Kodos)
28 Daddy said we’re not allowed to stay up past level 28. Rod and Tod
29 You’ve been playing this game a long time now. I respect that. Fat Tony
30 Ay! Un level est loco! Bumblebee Man
31 There ain’t no number this high in hillbilly math. Cletus (or Brandine)

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According to the game information, Frink’s Robot Dog comes from the season 24 episode “Homer Goes To Prep School“. While I don’t have a video that shows Frink with his dog, here’s a video from the ANIMATION on FOX YouTube Channel the out-of-body experience that led Homer to become a doomsday prepper (and you can also see the Inflatable Gorilla and Baboons):


So, is the Robot Dog really worth your 60 donuts? Here are some reasons it is:

1. It’s a dog – and robot or not, that’s a new member for your Animals and Pets character set.

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2. At 60 donuts, it’s much, much cheaper than the other member of the set, Santa’s Little Helper. And you don’t have to lash out on vet fees!

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3. It’s a limited-time character, that’s likely to be no longer available within a few days – and if you don’t buy him, there will always be a Robot Dog-shaped gap in your character set.
4. While it doesn’t have any tasks, it keeps your town looking busy when the characters are doing tasks inside.
5. It does bark when you tap on it, though, and you may be able to get a duet going if ever you can every get it together with Santa’s Little Helper.
6. It’s Frink’s dog – Good Glaven – that’s not enough for you. It’s a dog… and it’s a robot…and it’s Frink’s… It’s a geek’s best friend… Isn’t that enough?

Okay, best move on to the reasons against, then… So here they are:

1. Unfortunately, there are no tasks for the Robot Dog and there is no quest associated with it.
2. None of your characters interacts with it – not even Frink. This makes it exactly the same as Santa’s Little Helper and the Funzos.
3. If you already have Santa’s Little Helper, you don’t gain the $500 or the 10XP that comes with completing a set.

But really, the main reason against the Robot Dog is that, like Santa’s Little Helper and the Funzos, it’s another character that just runs around your town. Still, this is the Yard Sale premium item I’m most convinced about and was happy to buy – but that’s possibly because Frink is one of my favorite characters and I suspect that he’s as much of a completist as I am!

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The Giant Grasshopper is one of the easiest of the Yard Sale premium items for me to reference as it harks back to an episode that premiered only a couple of weeks ago – “Pulpit Friction”, the eighteenth episode of the 24th season and the 526th episode overall. (Or I thought so until I read Matt’s comment – see the update note below – turns out it’s from “Penny Wiseguys“. As I like the videos, though, I’ll leave them here!)

In the episode I thought it was from but stand corrected about, the Simpsons Family get a new couch – but it’s shipped from New York is full of bed bugs:


The bed bugs spread and attract a plague of grasshoppers that eat them. And then there’s the frogs (and I may have appreciated a giant frog a bit more):


So, it it worth 35 donuts? Well, it does give you 0.75% bonus money and XP on all job and XP collections. And it does have a nice animation. And it is big (much bigger than those Whacking Day Practice Snakes). But there are no tasks associated with it and no characters interact with it. And it just sits there – thankfully, it doesn’t hop around your town.

I’ll admit to being a bit lukewarm on it. I’m a completist (and it is a word), so of course I bought it. But if you’re on a donut budget, you probably won’t need to feel that you’re missing out on something special if you don’t buy it.

Update: Actually, it might be from the Penny Wisequys episode (see matt’s comments below). As my views on the Giant Grasshopper still stand and I like the videos, however, I’ll leave the post as it is. By the way, I’m having trouble referencing some of the items, so if anyone wants to send in something for a post, please be my guest!

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Miss Springfield was the 10th prize during Whacking Day when, with enough whacking, she was available free. Once Whacking Day was over and the Yard Sale update was released, she joined the ranks of the premium characters at a rather pricey 225 donuts.

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So,if you didn’t win her is she worth the donuts? Here are some reasons why she might be, and some reasons why you may decide to avert your eyes from the sordid goings-on at the Sleep-Eazy Motel. First, the reasons in Miss Springfield’s favor:

1. She’s a female character and, as many people have commented, those are few and far between.
2. The Motel, a bit surprisingly for something that’s meant to be sleazy, has a size, shape and color scheme that makes it a pleasing addition to your game. You can see what it looks like here.
3. She comes with a quest, which adds a bit of extra enjoyment to your game.
4. She has a nice range of tasks, with my favorite being her 60-minute task to open an event (it’s great if she does this while Mayor Quimby is giving a speech). My second favorite is her 3-minute joint task with the Mayor – but there’s only so many times you can send them off to the motel together for their “meeting”.

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And here’s why you may not think she’s not worth the high donut price:

1. She has no voice – which, all things considered, is a probably a good thing, partly due to reason 2…
2. She may be a female character, but she’s certainly a very stereotypical dumb blond. In fact, one of her tasks is to take reading lessons, underlining the game’s own joke that the writer’s don’t know how to write for female characters. But then Homer is not exactly the most positive male role model, either, so there you go…
3. As she was initially free, her tasks only earn you the standard rate, rather than the premium rate that everyone else earns. The same is true of Barney and Tatum.
4. You don’t approve of extra-marital relationships with Mayors or anyone else.

So, she’s a nice character to have, but it’s questionable whether she’s actually worth the 225 donuts that you’re being asked to hand over.

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