Now I knew when I bought my Wii that I was probably going to feel a bit silly to start with. As a very shy and introverted person the idea of jumping around playing Wii Tennis while my neighbours watched in fascination from across the street was a little unnerving. So nearly 3 years later it’s Sega’s time to throw a loop and brings us another unusual control method for their latest budget title; Lets Tap for Wii. Let’s find out if this new title developed by Prope; the same team that launched Let’s Catch on WiiWare have a hit or miss in my review of Lets Tap for Wii.
If you hadn’t already heard by now, Lets Tap doesn’t even require you to hold the Wii Remote let alone wave it around like a looney. Instead you are suggested to place the controller upside upon a sturdy box (such as a box of tissues) and tap your way through the game with just your fingers. Yes it’s a bit crazy sounding but publishers Sega seem confident in the game which is all the encouragement I needed to give it a go.
Lets Tap for Wii features five basic game modes designed to test your tapping skills to the extreme.
Tap Runner is a futuristic looking track and field game that mixes sprinting, hurdles and even rope swinging with Sonic style speed gates and walls of ice. Imagine Pitfall, Tron and the Olympics rolled into one. Up to four humans (or three CPU’s) compete at the same time to run to the end of the track negotiating the obstacles. Lightly (but quickly) tapping the box makes your character run to the right and firmly tapping the box makes him (or her) jump. The combination and precision of these two methods is all you’ll need to succeed but getting gold in all 16 races isn’t as easy as you may think.
Rhythm Tap If like me you enjoy tapping your fingers along to your favourite tunes then this is the game for you (especially if J-POP makes up most of your record collection). Guitar Hero esque beat boards for each player appear on the screen and tap symbols scroll across the screen and your job is to tap along with the beat of the music. Light green circles represent soft taps and dark orange circles represent hard taps, you’ll also have to perform a crescendo roll by rapidly tapping gradually increasing from light to hard. It’s very simple but cheaper than buying a drum kit. Your tapping skills are ranked from E through to A and then S depending on your tapping skills.
Silent Blocks is Jenga with tapping. In all modes a large tower of blocks is stacked and your mission if you choose to accept it is to select one block and gently tap your box to slide it out of the stack. If you’re too heavy handed the stack will fall and you’ll be sad. Alchemist mode spices this up by not only needing you to slide blocks out but get three of the same colour to match (Sega Columns style). When you match three of more they will disappear and another bunch of blocks will appear at the top of the tower.
If you’ve been waiting for a 21st Century update to the swimming levels in Super Mario Bros then Bubble Voyager is here to whet your appetite before New Super Mario Bros Wii comes along and probably does it better. Whilst not underwater controlling this side scrolling platformer works very similarly to those underwater Mario levels I just mentioned. You character has a rocket pack and as you tap lightly it fires the thrusters to keep steady and gain height. If you stop tapping he will start to fall and eventually die when he leaves the bottom of the screen. Tapping firmly on the box launches a missile, this is very useful and can destroy bricks blocking your path and enemies too. This is probably the most fun game mode on the disc and even has a multiplayer battle game too.
Visualizer features five microgames of which four are more like interactive screensavers than anything else. Tap your box to create firework patterns, paintings, fish, ripples in water and ink splashes on paper. Graphically these are very attractive (stunning even) but will only keep your attention for sustained periods if used in conjunction with a popular spiky green leaf. Luckily there is one game here and it’s called Gem Game. The simple premise is to tap your box which bounces coloured balls into the air and hopefully, land in the collection tanks. Nothing more to it but it’s nice to see the Wii being asked to do draw lots of objects and handle physics for a change.
To sum up I would say that Lets Tap is a sequel of sorts to Wii Play, a small collection of well made mini games which show the interesting abilities of the Wii Remote. They’re fun, well made but ultimately a little shallow. Luckily Sega have priced Lets Tap accordingly and with a retail price around $30 this offbeat title is half the price of some rather standard mini game fests available on the Wii. Featuring slick and sometimes gorgeous visuals and some not bad electro J-POP tunes; Lets Tap won’t amaze you or any of your friends but if you’re after something a little different for a party weekend then Lets Tap will provide some entertainment. Lets Tap is like a case of beer; better with friends than in single player and scores 6 out of 10.
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