They're starting to get serious!
I am glad that The Simpsons: Tapped out finally updated from the Christmas edition. I was getting a little tired of the ever-falling snow. And it always kind of bothered me the way that no one was wearing winter clothes as they walked around in the snow. (Put on a parka, Homer!)
The latest update for Valentine's Day brings little hearts as the "currency of the day." Like candy at Halloween and Santa Coins at Christmas, you can earn little hearts for tapping things. These hearts can be exchanged for premium items to help decorate your world.
Fair enough. But I notice two other interesting features of this update: first, you now know which friends have visited you. When you visit a friend's town and click the Valentine's Day cards, you both earn hearts. And when your friend fires up their game, they will see who clicked to leave them a heart.
This puts a lot more social pressure on players to keep on top of visiting their friends' games. And given that earning hearts is on the line, I predict that a lot of needless friend drama will arise from this new "feature."
The second feature is that not only do YOU have to update YOUR game to play… your friends also have to update THEIR games before you can visit THEIR towns.
So what, you might ask? Well, this is basically going to eliminate all the dead wood off the books. It means that if you have a friend who is no longer actively playing, their towns are now off limits to you. Unless you can convince them to log into their game and update it, that free ride is over.
It also means an extra hurdle for players who have set up multiple accounts in order to be their own friends. You will now have to go through the process of logging in and out of each account in turn, in order to update them. (It's a two-part update: updating the software through the App Store, and an update that downloads and installs when you start the game.)
In addition to a new set of love-related quests, I noticed that they also added two new super-expensive items for purchase in the Buildings menu: an Escalator to Nowhere ($1,000,000) and a Popsicle Stick Skyscraper ($2,000,000). I have about $70,000 so I should be able to buy one of those in about… never.