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Game Play and Features
The game is your straight out beat 'em up arcade style of game composed of six major levels with 25 sub-levels in all. Suffice to say, you need to beat one level before you can proceed to the next level. At the end of each level you will need to defeat a level boss.
In those six levels, you control Homer as he beats the bad guys. Along the way Homer will be helped by friendly folks including the other Simpsons - Marge, Maggie, Lisa and, of course, Bart. But these characters only appear at pre-determined scenes. They hide in brown wooden boxes you need to destroy for them to help you out in taking down the bad guys.
Each of these characters have specific attacks you can use. Although they could be a good help, their presence is not really necessary unless of course you want to hear their special dialogues in the game.
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Graphics, Controls and Sound
Since this game is based on a cartoon series, rendering the game for the iPhone was not a big challenge at all. The game environment depicted the different places in the TV series quite faithfully. Simpsons' fans can easily identify where the different levels are set. The same thing is true with the rendering of the game characters. So as not to lose the appeal of the original TV series, the game utilizes the real voice actors of the characters. Although there is not much dialogue in this game, it's still nice to hear Bart's voice when he comes out to help his dad, or Homer screaming out loud after you've revive him.
The game mimics the classic D-pad controller by way of a virtual button located at the left side of the screen. On the other side are the punch and kick buttons. You use the virtual D-buttons to move Homer across the screen or to do a special attack. The simplistic approach in game controls somehow contributes to the fun aspect and overall beat 'em up theme of the game. If you've played other arcade beat 'em up games before, you'd be familiar with this dual-button-punch-and-kick controls.
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The game is simple and yet fun. And it is probably the objective of the game developers which they've achieved excellently. The $4.99 price tag of the Simpson's Arcade may be a bit too high, but if you're a Simpsons' fan, you will not think twice about getting this game from the iTunes Apps Store. Hard-core gamers might get turned off at how easy it is to beat this game, but hey, that's how beat 'em up arcade games ought to be, anyway. If you're not a Simpsons fan, you will still enjoy the game, if only for the fun and enjoyable aspects of it.
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Screenshots of The Simpsons Arcade by Electronic Arts.