Wii | SEGA / Prope | 1 Player / 2-4 Players (local multiplayer) | Out Now
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote (pointer)
Related Game: Let's Catch (Review)
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26th August 2010; By KnucklesSonic8
In order to play Let's Tap, you'll need a box of some sort. In Europe, the game includes an orange box to play on, but for gamers in North America, you'll need to seek out a box used to contain tissues, or your favourite board game. The game requires that you place your Wii Remote with the A Button facing down, and you use a mixture of light and hard taps to perform various actions in the game.
Now, let's get one thing out of the way. Prope clearly put a lot of effort into making the game entirely immersive, and certainly the strong focus on presentation values has helped them do just that. Everything in the game looks just great - from the impressive Disc Channel intro, to the entire layout and organization. You can make menu selections either using the D-Pad or the Pointer, but once your controller has been calibrated, you can use a single tap to advance, and two quick taps to accept.
Naturally, sensitivity plays a big role here but the game is to be praised for its accessible controls. Not only is the interface easy to navigate, but the entire mechanic of using taps to get around is well done and hardly problematic. Under the Options setting, you can adjust the tap strength if for some reason you're having issues, but if you play the game as its intended to be played, you should rarely have to make use of this.
et's Tap is a mini-game collection for better or for worse. When you compare it to other games on the Wii, it's very easy for you to pick out the limited availability of things to choose from. Nevertheless, when you consider the amount of innovation that went into this and just how much fun can be had with each of these games, those feelings can easily fade away. Especially during multiplayer sessions do you really see why the game has been designed the way it has. Let's Tap includes 5 different activities: Tap Runner, Rhythm Tap, Silent Blocks, Bubble Voyager, and Visualizer. Let's consider these one at a time.
Tap Runner definitely carries the most appeal and it's the type of game that will definitely be a hit amongst friends for heated competitions. You can play by yourself or with up to 4 different friends in the same room. Essentially, you use your fingers to perform continuous light taps to get your stylish runner moving. It's all about finding your own rhythm and once you do, you'll be dashing towards the finish line with relative ease. Each track is like an obstacle course of sorts, full of escalators and slides, hurdles, moving blocks, and even special stations where you try to pop balloons.
When playing on your own, your eyes will likely be set on obtaining a high-score in the form of an impressive time. Depending on the quality of your run, you'll earn a Bronze, Silver or Gold Medal, so there's something to work towards there as well. Seeing everything take place in outer space with galaxies and planets in the background is pretty cool. As is the fact that this mode also carries a very cyber-like feel to it, which bodes well as it's wonderful to look at. Tap Runner is loads of fun if you can get a group together and it's easily the most fun activity of them all.
Next up is Rhythm Tap, another really, really strong showing. Little dots scroll from the right of the screen to the circle on the left. Once they reach the orange circle, you'll need to perform a tap in tune with the music. The strength of your tap needs to be monitored, as the colours on each dot serve as an indication as to how much force you need to put into it. The songs up for selection are commendable. Both electronic and happy hardcore genres of music are represented, and many of these could even pass as tracks for a Dance Dance Revolution title. The melodies and beats are quite infectious on a majority of them, but watch out that you don't start tapping your feet: if the box is on your lap, the game will pick it up.
As you play, eye-catching visuals are shown off in the background. And, too, if you have your Wii Remote's speaker activated, you'll hear the sounds of enthusiastic children cheering you on from time to time. Amongst friends, this one is a lot of fun for those who love music games. And even when you're not playing with other people, you can aim for records, striving to S Rank all the songs in the game. Either way, it's definitely something you must experience for yourself. It's totally addictive and definitely a winner in my books.
Silent Blocks plays a lot like Jenga mixed with Bejeweled. Each player has a tower of coloured blocks that they need to match up in order to create solid metals. Your cursor will scroll along each block at a steady pace, and when you'd like to isolate one in particular, just tap the box. Then you'll need to try to remove it from the tower without causing the entire tower to topple over. Merging multiple metals together will earn you combos and stars that go towards your overall progress. As you become better, new colours get added to keep things interesting. Silent Blocks definitely doesn't carry the same level of excitement as the other two games, but it's still something that can be enjoyable to play from time to time.
Pretend that Nintendo took the Balloon Trip mini-game from Balloon Fight, and remade it into something more appealing and varied. That's basically what Bubble Voyager is. You control a jet-pack wearing sprite, flying through a series of obstacles that travel from one side of the screen to the other. Making light taps will get you to hover in the air and double taps will fire a missile. Along your path, in addition to mines and spiked balls, you'll also spot collectables that can increase your points or upgrade your attack. In between segments are landing points you can use to refill your energy gauge if it's running low and you can even score bonus points if you land properly. Playing with friends is an entirely different matter altogether. Battlefield, the multiplayer component for this mini-game, involves firing missiles at each other in an open-environment. It's an interesting concept that almost harks back to the days of games like Asteroid, but it's not executed entirely well.
Last but not least is Visualizer, which is less of a game, and more of a demonstration. You have a small variety of different background styles to choose from. Under 'Fireworks', you can use taps to create beautiful explosions on the screen above a cityscape. You have a canvas set before you in 'Paint' and 'Ink', and depending on the strength of your tap, you'll see various kinds of brushstrokes and flowy lines appear. Sometimes you'll even make objects come to life for the patterns you execute. 'River' and 'Ocean' act like virtual screensavers where you can make ripples and splashes to interact with underwater fish. 'Gem Game' is quite interesting, where you try to get coloured balls to bounce into the air so that they land inside tubes. If you manage to fit the specified number of balls in a given container, you'll advance to the next level.
Each and every one of these are neat to experiment with once or twice, but after that, there's little reason for you to see these again for entertainment. However, I must say that the Visualizer carries a practical appeal that goes back to Hudson Soft's My Aquarium. This mode is definitely something you can have playing to set the mood in your living room when you have people over at your home. And curious guests will definitely ask how everything works, prompting you to get them involved for a few minutes.
In a rather smart move, Prope made arrangements to award people who tried Let's Catch. If you have a save file of the game active on your Wii, you can unlock certain extras in Let's Tap right off the bat, instead of going the long way. Even if you're not getting anything exclusive, I thought this was a great way to thanks those who supported their WiiWare title.
So, at the end of the day, does Let's Tap contain enough to keep you coming back? Definitely. Sure the game isn't deep by any means, but it sure is innovative, unique and memorable. Playing on your own, you can aim to unlock new stages or aim for a new high-score. It carries a great party appeal that almost anyone will want to look into, especially considering the budget price. With great aesthetics, and a strong focus towards both gameplay and presentation, Let's Tap may very well be a hit with friends and family at your next gathering.
24/30 - Very Good
Gameplay 8/10 - Very innovative gameplay, excellent use of the Wii Remote, sensitive controls yet still quite accessible, multiple ways to play
Presentation 8/10 - Eye-catching visuals, infectious music, Visualizer mode acts as a cool screensaver for your TV, really well done overall
Enjoyment 4/5 - Fun to play on your own - especially the first two games, multiplayer is a lot of fun, a great party game
Extra Content 4/5 - Unlockables, high scores and other rewards to aim for, not meant to be played on a regular basis, bonuses for Let's Catch owners
Equivalent to a score of 80% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)