First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Let's Tap's unique gimmick is fairly impressive: you place the Wii Remote on a box and tap on the surface to control a variety of mini-games
- Interesting and innovative use of the Wii Remote tech
- The included mini-games lose their appeal after a while, is there enough 'game' to satisfy gamers?
I didn't quite know what to make of Let's Tap when it first showed up in the GP offices, and was even more surprised at the amount of attention it was drawing. When I finally sat in on a few rounds of Tap Runner, I'll admit — I was automatically intrigued. Interesting control mechanics meet surprisingly solid game design in this fun, if simple title.
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I once called Wii Sports a glorified tech demo on the GamePro forums, much to the chagrin of the Wii fanboys. I didn't do it to demean the game in any way -- after all this time, it still remains the quintessential Wii experience -- but let's be honest here: Wii Sports wasn't a game so much as it was a showcase of the Wii Remote's capabilities. And really, there's nothing wrong with that. There's also nothing wrong with what Let's Tap is trying to do either: it's yet another tech demo that further expands upon the Wii Remote's unique capabilities. The only problem is, I'm not sure if that's enough to sway gamers to buy it.
Let's Tap's unique gimmick is fairly impressive: you place the Wii Remote on a box and tap on the surface to control a variety of mini-games. The vibrations are picked up by the Wii Remote's accelerometer and translated into on-screen action. There are five types of mini-games that take advantage of this unique control scheme and while they're all interesting, some are more successful than others. Honestly, I had the most fun with the Visualizer mode; it's a freeplay mode that lets you just tap out rhythms to do things like shoot off fireworks and create calligraphy drawings. Tap in the right combination of light, medium and strong taps and you'll unlock a cool visual treat -- it's like using Morse code to spell out words.
It's actually a lot of fun and I could easily see kids being enthralled by it. The fact that you can go at your own pace and that something is always happening on the screen makes it the perfect little visual toy to play around with. The other modes are a mixed-bag, though. I thought Tap Runner was pretty entertaining (you race a little faceless man through an obstacle course by tapping in rhythm) and Rhythm Tap has some potential (you tap to the beat of various songs) but Silent Blocks (it's basically Jenga but you tap out each piece) and Bubble Voyager (you keep a jet-packed character in the air by tapping and help him navigate through trap filled levels) were rather weak.
Straight Out of the Tap
I almost wish that Let's Tap's control scheme had been invented by WarioWare developers Intelligent Systems instead. A combination of the unique tap controls with a series of quirky rapid-fire mini-games would have been awesome because Let's Tap's mini-game collection quickly loses its appeal. I grew bored with the five modes after a while; even the Visualizer starts feeling dull eventually.
Still, the control scheme is interesting and unique enough that I think some Wii owners will dig it. The novelty wore off pretty quickly for me but some of you might find it charming enough to play through all of the modes multiple times; multiplayer also holds some potential and I can easily see people tapping together at Wii parties. And if you want a silver lining, the technology is damn solid and proven, so here's hoping that other developers take notes and find other innovative uses for it.
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