Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Joystiq fingers-on: Let's Tap (Wii)

Jem Alexander

Let's Tap is certainly unique. As the world's first "controller-less" game it has already set itself apart from the myriad other minigame collections found on the Wii. As the first game from Yuji Naka's (Sonic series, Nights) new development company, Prope, Let's Tap will form expectations of the studio's future output. Based on what we saw, that means unique, experimental, yet ultimately shallow minigame collections.

Like we say, Let's Tap is "controller-less." That's not strictly true, however. You'll still need up to four wiimotes, depending on how many players are involved. The wiimotes are placed upside down on cardboard boxes, two of which are bundled with the game -- you're expected to provide the other two yourself. We're assuming you probably have quite a few empty tissue boxes lying around, so that should be no problem. Tapping on the box is the extent of the game's required input.

Sadly, the controls aren't perfect. Tapping works fine, there are no qualms there, but double tapping can take some time to get used to. That's all you'll be doing, even when navigating the menus. Single taps move through the menu options and double tap selects. It's quite frustrating to move through the twenty-odd options on screen, only to have the game register your double tap as a single, meaning you have to navigate through the entire screen again. Of course, you can always pick up the wiimote and point at the screen, but that sort of defeats the point, doesn't it?


Just like the controls, Let's Tap is very simple, both in terms of style and substance. We were shown two of the different gameplay modes: Tap Runner and Silent Blocks. The former is a racing game where your tapping will affect the speed of your stick man. A short, sharp tap will make your character jump, allowing you to reach or avoid various "gimmicks" which can help or hinder your progress. Each of the 16 levels gets more complex as you progress and are quite fun to play, particularly against other people. Let's Tap is definitely more social than solo.

Silent Blocks is more likely to be played solo, but is still geared towards a multiplayer experience. It's basically Jenga. You're given a tower of blocks and have to remove them one at a time, simply by tapping. The faster you tap, the faster you'll pull out the block, but the more likely you are to disturb the nearby blocks. When three or more blocks or a similar color connect they either disappear or mix together to form a new color. It works reasonably well, but it certainly doesn't beat the classic tabletop version (though it is a lot easier to clean up afterward).

Let's Tap includes three more game modes, though one doesn't actually involve any gameplay. This Visualiser mode takes the form of interactive backgrounds, like a fish pond, that respond to your tapping. Rhythm Tap is, obviously, a rhythm game and looks like a simplified Donkey Konga. The final mode, Bubble Voyager, looks like the most "gamey" of the five, but we saw little more than a screenshot, so it's hard to say.

From what we saw, Let's Tap has an interesting concept which will draw people in, but once you're at the table there's not enough meat for a full meal. Tap Runner has only 16 levels, which you can get through fairly swiftly. Silent Blocks has two different gameplay modes but, again, we're not sure exactly how long these can keep players' attentions.

Rhythm Tap and Bubble Voyager will no doubt elongate Let's Tap's longevity, as will the multiplayer modes. There's a reason why it's called "Let's Tap," after all. It strikes us as a great post-pub game, though this may depend on how your friends feel about spending the evening tapping on tissue boxes.

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr