Let’s Tap is the first official new IP to come out of Prope, Yuji Naka’s personal development studio. After a successful run as head honcho of Sonic Team, Naka saw the writing on the wall and jumped ship on the beat up blue yacht know as the S.S. Sonic the Headhog and dove into a sea independence hoping to dream up the magic once more. Experimental in nature, Let’s Tap proves that Prope still has that magic touch seen last during the Dreamcast renaissance (anyone else remember the Sonic Team 5? Chu Chu, Samba, Phantasy Star oh how we miss thee!) and brings a whole new way to play on the Nintendo Wii.
Priced at $29.99, Let’s Tap never pretends to be a big budget piece of software. It’s bright, simple yet effective visuals forced a giant smile on my face during the entire experience. The game’s controls are really where Let’s Tap shines – for those not in the know, you actually play Let’s Tap without the Wii remote at all! Let’s Tap opts for a non traditional play mechanic – light tapping of the fingers. While the game can be played on any surface, after experimenting I found the most responsive movements came from a shoe box configuration, but it’s still a shame that Sega didn’t include a fold out cardboard box with the game.
The game itself is split into five different categories, each offering a different play on the tap mechanic. Here’s the breakdown:
- Tap Runner – By far the most addictive game, Tap Runner plays like a finger tapping intensive version of Track and Field. The visuals have a neon glow to them that is extremely appealing and at times reminded me of the PlayStation gem Vib Ribbon (which I scored a 99 out of 100 during my GameFan days). Split into multiple levels this can be an extremely competitive party game that anyone can enjoy! If I could add anything to this mode it would be a edit track option similar to Excitebike, but as is the mode provides a good challenge and is easy to play but extremely difficult to master (track memorization is a must in later levels!).
- Rhythm Tap – Taiko Drum master eat your heart out. Rhythm tap test you reflexes on how fast and hard you can tap to the beat. Featuring an eccentric music selection. Rhythm Tap has 16 tracks that are guaranteed to challenge even the most veteran rhythm game player. Think Donkey Konga with less monkeys and better musc and get get a real clear picture at what this category has in store for you.
- Silent Blocks – Silent Blocks is by far the most boring of the bunch. This game requires the lightest of taps to remove blocks Jenga style… the problem is that the physics of the game are extremely frustrating. Perhaps it’s because I recently wrapped up playing the delightful Boom Blox Party just a few weeks back, but internet cat sez DO NOT WANT to Silent Blocks!
- Bubble Voyager – If Tap Runner is the most addictive game in Let’s Tap’s handful of gameplay modes then Bubble Voyager is the most stylish. Best described as the bastard child of Nintendo’s Balloon Fight and Sega’s Rez, Bubble Voyager has you tapping a robot through a maze of obstacles with light taps and adds a shooter element with heavy taps. It’s all about high scores here, and I really had a good time continually trying to get myself to the next launch pad in the game’s endless mode.
- Visualizer – A few other reviews mentioned how pointless this mode is, but as you can see in the following video, the games Visualizer is quite a creative piece of software. I do wish there were a few more tweaks you could make to each visual screensaver, but as is, the game is an excellent chill mode that can really trip out your friends when put together with music.
I really enjoyed all aspects of Let’s Tap. Each game has multiplayer components, the game is extremely original and it’s price of admission is just right for this type of experience. One of the game’s original tag lines was ‘it’s so simple, even a penguin can play’ and I have to agree – anyone with to moveable limbs will have a blast wailing away.
I do hope the game is successful enough to warrant a Let’s Tap 2: Electric Bugaloo – there are just a few things missing that could have made this a solid gold title. That being said, the game deserves a solid B in my book for it’s modern visuals and come-back-at-anytime-gameplay.