Buying donuts pays for the game and that’s why EA doesn’t just give them away or let you buy them with game dollars (with one exception). Despite that, though, you can pick up a limited number of free donuts as you progress. The current count is 70-ish. I’ll explain why I can’t be precise in just a moment.
First, you earn donuts for levelling up. At the moment, you can earn 30 that way. For most of leveling up you do, you get just one donut. For some levels though, you pick up an extra donut: your level 8, 11, 13, 17 and 24 promotions all earn you two donuts.
For Apple players, signing up to Origin (2 donuts) and adding friends (5 donuts in total) nets you at least 7 donuts. The friends donuts are earned by completing the “I Choo-choo-choose You” task, not simply the act of adding friends. When Origin finally comes to Android, Android players will be able to earn these, too. For the moment, though, they’re only available to players on Apple devices. That’s 37.
Tapping on Homer 10 times while he’s in task doesn’t just get you the Jebediah Springfield Statue, it also gets you 10 donuts. And the first Mystery Box you get in the game also surprises you with 10 (making you think that this happens every time) – although you have to pay 4 donuts to get it. That’s 53.
There are at least 4 donuts hidden in the trash to be collected by Homer or Lisa and, during the tutorial, you’re given 4 donuts to speed up tasks (which apparently you don’t need to use – I haven’t tested this). You also get 5 to buy Homer’s Hammock (I bought it and I’m not sure what happens if you don’t). That’s 67, unless you felt obliged to spend the last 9.
The arrival of the bonus levels mean that it’s quite difficult to give a definite total number. After level 26, you get the chance of 1,2 or 3 donuts every time your XP bar fills up – and you can pay 50,000-100,000 game dollars to make sure that you get three if you’re not lucky first (or second) time around. That makes around 70 free donuts by the time you complete level 26 and get lucky.
So, 60-70 free donuts. And more every time you hit a bonus level. Has anyone managed to save them all?