Game Music, Reviews

Let’s Tap: Unique Concept, Fun Game, Amazing Soundtrack (Review)

June 24, 2009 | | 2 Comments Share thison Facebook Let’s Tap: Unique Concept, Fun Game, Amazing Soundtrack (Review)on Twitter

I’ll be honest. Aside from knowing that Yuji Naka, Basiscape, and SuperSweep were involved with Let’s Tap, I barely knew anything about the game. Based on some videos I watched prior to its release, I thought it was mostly focused on running and jumping through a variety of mini-games using tap controls, but it turns out that this description only applies to the “Tap Runner” portion of Let’s Tap. There are actually a number of different games and modes to check out, with “Rhythm Tap” being my favorite.

So what is “Rhythm Tap,” you ask? It’s exactly what it sounds like, and that’s a rhythm game that utilizes tapping as the sole input mechanism. I know it sounds much too simple, but it’s actually really engaging and a whole lot of fun. Plus, with an amazing soundtrack provided by Basiscape and SuperSweep (you can win yourself a copy in our contest here), there’s no reason not to give the game a chance for the $30 asking price.

Read our impressions of “Rhythm Tap” and the other mini-games inlcuded in Let’s Tap after the jump.

So, obviously I have the most to say about “Rhythm Tap” given that it’s a built-in rhythm game. The premise is to tap in rhythm with the music, but of course there’s a catch. You have to tap with varying intensities, which are indicated by different colored notes on the screen. Blue notes require you to tap ever-so-gently, while red notes let you vent your anger with some heavy tapping. Green notes fall in the middle.  It may still sound overly simple, but it’s actually rather challenging to get the intensity just right. The game is pretty lenient on the rhythm detection, but the intensity detection seems inconsistent at times, making it difficult to get a perfect score. While this can be frustrating, at least the little sound that comes out of the Wii Remote speaker when you miss a note is cute enough that you can’t stay mad for too long.

Now, depending on which of the 16 songs you’re playing, you may be tapping along to an existing drum track or creating your own instrument with your fingers, which really adds a sense of interactivity to the game. You can also tap to your heart’s content without any sort of penalty, which is a definite plus if you’re like me and really get into the music. However, beware of tapping too vigorously: since the remote is upside down and resting on its smooth buttons, it often slides around on your tapping surface, which is another point of frustration when the remote keeps falling on the floor during the performance.

As far as the songs are concerned, Carl already described the majority of them in his review, but you’re going to find a variety of musical styles, including trance, techno, disco, chip music, synth pop, drum ‘n’ bass, and even bossa nova. “365 Children” is a fun starter with a slow tempo, while the last track, “From Universe,” is a crazy-fast paced techno track with an epic chorus section. I particularly liked the retro style of both “Kung-Fu Disco” and “Tap de Papapaya,” and enjoyed the note placement of “City Night Line” and “Tap a Gogo!” (one of my favorites) as well. I’d love it if they were to put out an entire game based on “Rhythm Tap,” as long as they got the same team of composers behind it.

Other mini-games include “Tap Runner,” which will have you tapping at different speeds and intensities to clear 16 different obstacle courses, and “Bubble Voyager” which is a pretty odd take on a side-scrolling shooter utilizing tap controls. “Silent Blocks” is like a game of Jenga, but isn’t as interesting from an audio standpoint given the, well, silence, and visualizer is sort of a playground where you interact with different backgrounds to trigger visual events and sounds by tapping at your own leisure.

While there’s admittedly not a whole lot do by yourself, Let’s Tap is meant to enjoyed as a multiplayer experience. It also serves as a fun conversation piece that you’re definitely going to want to show your friends at least once, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to take off once casual gamers see it in action. Also, did I mention it’s only $30? It’s a really unique concept, and the way music is utilized in “Rhythm Tap” makes it worth the purchase in my book. I’d love to see a “Rhythm Tap” spin-off series on its own with a whole lot more music and different difficulty levels, but I doubt it’ll happen. In the meantime, check out Let’s Tap on the Wii and don’t forget to enter our contest for a chance to win the soundtrack!

Do you see Let’s Tap as just another mini-game collection on the Wii? Would you be willing to fork out extra dough for an all-“Rhythm Tap” sequel of the game in the future?

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