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The Simpsons free iPhone and iPad game out soon

Electronic Arts is set to launch an official Simpsons game for free for Apple devices, and Android soon after. Expect it to be huge.

Woohoo! Electronic Arts is launching a free iPhone and iPad game of The Simpsons in the coming weeks, our sister site CNET News reports. The Simpsons: Tapped Out is completely official, made with the help of the show's writers and voice actors. So when Homer speaks in the game, he'll sound exactly as he does in the show.

The game will be free, but you'll have the option of buying virtual currency (doughnuts, in this case) to help you progress. It's what's known as a 'freemium' title, where you can pay real cash money if you want to improve your standing.

So what's the setting? It starts with Homer absent-mindedly causing a nuclear explosion that wipes out Springfield. Your job is to rebuild it all, unlocking characters as you go, starting with Lisa, and moving on to more minor (but more amusing) players such as Duffman and Hans Moleman.

"We want this to be one of the biggest titles this year," said Bernard Kim, EA's senior vice president of global publishing for social media. "We've invested a lot. It's absolutely a top-tier development priority for us."

The show's irreverent humour will be the big draw, with the game taking swipes at itself, as well as the nature of freemium games. As long as it has gags as good as this I'll be happy.

Play on your iPhone, and you'll be able to carry on where you left off on your iPad. An Android version will follow soon after.

Make no mistake, this is going to be huge. Even in the crowded App Store, The Simpsons will stand out. Even though the show is long past its best, it's still huge business. It's also one of the longest-running shows ever, airing its 500th episode yesterday in the US.

Will you be playing? Let me know in the comments, or over on Facebook. Extra points for more obscure quotes.