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Let's Tap Review

Sonic creator Yuji Naka plays mad professor with the Wii's oddest party game yet

Thumb screws? Pah. Water boarding? That's child's play. Electrodes to the nipples? Don't make us laugh. When it comes to truly sadistic torture in the 21st Century, nothing quite matches the sheer unrelenting suffering experienced when sitting next to someone enjoying Let's Tap.

Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap. Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap. Tap tap tap tap. And so on and so forth, until the passing of time relinquishes all meaning, and the four horsemen of the apocalypse ride over the horizon, rip out your soul and toss your quivering remains into a giant pulsating black hole.

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Trust us, if you're not actually playing the game, Let's Tap is one of the most brutal, horrible experiences a gamer could ever hope to endure. Our first hands-on session very nearly ended in disaster when we found ourselves begging for our lives at the ankles of a foaming, delirious, axe-wielding co-worker who could no longer endure the endless tapping. No word of a lie. But what about if you're the one doing the tapping? Is Sonic creator Yuji Naka's bonkers, unique party game as fun as it is zany?

Heralded as the first ever 'controller-less' game, Let's Tap comes packaged with a cardboard box upon which you place the Wii Remote face down. You then choose one of five mini-games, all of which are controlled via the medium of tap. The static Remote picks up your vibrations and transforms them into movements.

The most enjoyable is Tap Runner which sees you racing across a 2D obstacle course by tapping on the box as fast as you can, Track & Field style, with a more forceful tap making your sprinter leap over anything in his way or let go of a rope swing. It's basic stuff but very, very addictive, especially when you're racing a friend.

Also great fun is Bubble Voyager. Essentially a futuristic take on NES antique Balloon Fight, here you have to guide your mecha space dude through an endless side-scrolling, randomly-generating environment littered with mines, obstructions and various nasties who'll blast away at you with rockets. The faster you tap, the more thrust you put into your jetpack, making you ascend. Tap slower and you'll start falling. A thump on the box fires your weapon, which can be upgraded by blasting power-up boxes. Again, it's straightforward stuff, but you'll find yourself chasing those top scores.

Silent Blocks is less effective, seeing you try to tap blocks out of a Jenga-like brick pile without toppling the stack. It works but you won't be coming back for more. Visualizer is a pointless-but-lovely chill-out tool that has you tapping away to set off fireworks, splatter ink on a canvas or trigger ripples in a karp pond.

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Finally, Rhythm Tap's slight Guitar Hero clone is the worst of the bunch and the game that most exposes the frailties of the control system.

So, it's a mixed bag, made worse by the fact that the tap controls aren't always 100% accurate. The mini-games are all pretty shallow and were it not for the unique control scheme you probably wouldn't look at any of them twice. Having said that, there's something rather endearing about its genuinely clever core idea, stylish visuals and fresh, innovative spirit. Let's Tap is essentially a sexy look-at-me plaything, and as such it'll win many wry smiles, even if it doesn't hang around in your Wii for long.

You might not pick it up that often, and there's not a great deal of content in any case (ditch Rhythm Tap and Silent Blocks and this would've made for a great WiiWare title) but bust it out next time you've got some open-minded buddies round and you'll have some fun. Just make sure there aren't any non-participants in the room, or you might have a blood bath on your hands.

Comments

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  1. thecoop Thursday 18th Jun 2009 at 09:31

    Your review score is quite a bit lower than others I've seen, primarily I assume becuase of the accuracy of detecting the taps. Could you elaborate at all? Nobody else seems to have picked this up? And also can we have more details on Rhythm tap? Again, other reviews call it out as one of the best modes? What issues did you have?

  2. FrederickONM Thursday 18th Jun 2009 at 10:14

    Your review score is quite a bit lower than others I've seen, primarily I assume becuase of the accuracy of detecting the taps. Could you elaborate at all? Nobody else seems to have picked this up? And also can we have more details on Rhythm tap? Again, other reviews call it out as one of the best modes? What issues did you have?

    The metacritic score for this is 73, so our review is actually slightly above average. It's a fun game, but flawed in parts and there's not enough content. Rhythm Tap was my least favourite mode. It's all down to personal preference of course but I thought it was just a fairly average rhythm action game, and it was the event that most showed the limitations of the otherwise excellent controls. Differentiating between light, medium and heavy taps was very hit and miss.

  3. thecoop Thursday 18th Jun 2009 at 11:30

    Ah OK then. Thanks. I pre-ordered this for Ł17, so with a review like that I wasn't going to cancel, just wanted to know what I was in for really. I'd only seen a few reviews myself (didn't look at any averageing sites) and I've seen an 85, a 90, and some very positive previews, which is why yours seemed a bit low. Cheers!

  4. funmaker11 Thursday 18th Jun 2009 at 22:49

    What does it mean by "style favoured over substance"? :?

  5. thecoop Friday 19th Jun 2009 at 00:07

    Looks good, no content. Oh did anyone see that thing that has been done with the visualiser? Put the remote on top of a speaker and turn up the volume ;)

  6. Liam12nin Friday 19th Jun 2009 at 14:57

    Looks good, no content. Oh did anyone see that thing that has been done with the visualiser? Put the remote on top of a speaker and turn up the volume ;)

    Yeah, that visualiser thing was pretty cool actually. I went ahead and ordered it, Ł17.99 from Play.com so I'm not too worried. I'm sure it's still a fun game. :)

  7. shadow.x Friday 19th Jun 2009 at 15:23

    sounds fun!!!!!!

  8. zapper01 Saturday 20th Jun 2009 at 20:09

    i have it now. tap runner is really fun and hilarious with a friend. its so funny when you're little stick people get hurt. all though i suck at the sections where you blow up balloons. i tried to get get the little bubble voyager guy as my avatar but it didn't work. any ideas why??

  9. sega Saturday 20th Jun 2009 at 20:56

    i swear you just hate sega dont you

  10. dreadzrus Sunday 21st Jun 2009 at 11:11

    I suppose it could be quite fun. More people would make it more fun though.

  11. dreadzrus Sunday 21st Jun 2009 at 11:11

    I suppose it could be quite fun. More people would make it more fun though.

  12. thecoop Monday 22nd Jun 2009 at 23:04

    I think it's a really good game - innovation is key for me these days when it comes to games, hence my choice of console. Bubble Voyager is too addictive!!! And I personally like all the modes. Alchemy gets addictive too, if a tad long winded to make all those gems! I agree the animation in tap runner is very funny. I can never seem to get the timing right with the hills though. Just go flying through th eair and land SPLAT on my face! ha!. For less than Ł20 you really can't complain.

  13. Akriloth2160 Tuesday 23rd Jun 2009 at 10:33

    I heard the theme tune to this game, and it's extremely catchy, and not just because it features the one and only MICROSOFT SAM!!!!!!

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