I rented Let’s Tap for a weekend party game. And it was perfect for that. One weekend. One small gathering. Beyond that, I don’t think I’d ever look to Let’s Tap ever again for entertainment.
Compliments do need to be paid to Let’s Tap, however. As far as innovation goes, I can’t think of many games that require such a non-standard approach to controls. In Let’s Tap, four players flip their Wii Remotes button-side-down and place them on top of card board boxes. Players then tap the cardboard box to interact with the game. It’s very clever and the Wii Remote reacts surprisingly well, properly registering very light taps, medium taps and very hard taps.
Let’s Tap offers players five different mini games to choose from; Tap Runner, Rhythm Tap, Silent Blocks, Bubble Voyager, and Visualizer. The only one of the five worth playing is Tap Runner. Tap Runner is so good, I wish it wasn’t packaged with the other games. I also wish it was available through WiiWare so more people could enjoy it for a lower cost. The other titles simply don’t pull their own weight and in the end, they weigh down Tap Runner to their level of mediocrity. The developers must have thought that Tap Runner couldn’t stand on its own, so they tacked on the other games to add more value. Tap Runner could have stood on its own. Tap Runner should be standing on its own.
Tap Runner pits you and three other players in a neon race to the finish. Light taps will have your runner sprint, while hard taps will make him jump to avoid electric obstacles or to grab onto swinging ropes. The levels are incredibly fun and feel like mini obstacle courses from American Gladiator. The levels are challenging, but they still retain their entertainment value. The winner of each race will feel like they’ve earned it. In the end, bragging rights are definitely achieved. My one complaint is about Tap Runner is that if the four races get too separated, the screen zooms out to an unusable distance, even on a 52″ screen. Fortunately, most races will stay neck and neck through to the finish line. Tap Runner is truly a gem, and a gaming experience that I think everyone will enjoy in a group setting.
Coming in a distant 2nd place in terms of fun factor is Silent Blocks. Tap lightly to remove blocks and line up 3 of the same color to progress. Easy, peasy, one-two-threesy. There’s little challenge or strategy involved. After one game, there’s nothing to come back to. If you want a good puzzle / block game, look to Super Puzzle Fighter.
Rhythm Tap is a poor man’s Dance Dance Revolution or drum kit for Rock Band. Players tap their box as the orbs zip across the line to the beat of the generic music. The game doesn’t display a gamer’s skill. It just shows off how poor their sense of rhythm is. You don’t need a video game to figure this out. Just keep an eye on the dance floor at the next wedding you’re attending and you’ll achieve the same results. But at least there will be food at the wedding.
Bubble Voyager seats you the four players against each other to shoot each other out of the virtual sky. Your ship spins wildy out of control until you tap it to move in the correct direction. Tapping hard will make you fire your missiles. It works, but it’s not fun or good by any stretch of the imagination. The concept has been done to death since Tank on the Atari 2600. In fact, Tank‘s controls were much better.
Finally is the Let’s Tap Visualizer which is less of a game and more of an interactive screen saver. Players can tap their boxes to make ripples in goldfish ponds, create fireworks in a city sky or make balls bounce in an invisible glass jar. Again, after one play through you’ll feel you’ve had your fill. Like Tap Runner, I feel this experience would have been best sold as a separate WiiWare title and not part of a brick and mortar box.
Let’s Tap is a valiant effort to make another great party game, but it only succeeds in Tap Runner and to a lesser extent, the Visualizer. The rest of the titles are shovelware. It’s definitely not worth purchasing at full price, but I can recommend giving it a try. Renting Let’s Tap poses a slight problem, however. Most people don’t have four cardboard boxes just sitting around their homes so players are forced to improvise (during my four-player experience, we used tupperware containers). Like most party games, Let’s Tap does not a deliver an enjoyable single player experience. But if you’re looking for a something to entertain some guests for a couple hours, stop by your local rental store and look for Let’s Tap. Right now, the game retails for $30 USD. I suppose you could do worse by accidentally purchasing Carnival Games (note: never ever ever buy Carnival Games).