It’s a good sign when a game controlled with finger taps has music we’d happily tap our fingers to. Yes, Let’s Tap’s big ‘thing’ is the fact that it’s a game played with a single finger. On a technical level it works. You navigate menus in Morse code style – one tap for next, two taps for select – while setting the thing up is as simple as placing the remote face down on a surface.
Above: How it's done
There are five games within Let’s Tap, and Rhythm Tap is where the musical marvels are heard. Looking like a simplified Donkey Konga and playing like Guitar Hero reinvented for a one-fingered man, it has you tapping a conveyor belt of colored blobs. Hitting the blobs wouldn’t trouble a nodding desk toy, but hitting with the right intensity – soft, medium or hard – takes superhuman control. It never feels exact differentiating between soft and medium, but patience sees those high scores gradually climb.
It makes more sense with multiple players. Although you compete for the highest scores, by giving each tapper a different ‘blob belt’ there’s a hint of co-operation in bringing a track to life with your choreographed finger work. Not unlike the late ’90s tap sensation Tap Dogs (or Stig-of-the-Dump-meets-fresh-out-of-drama-school-nightmare Stomp), the four tapping fingers layer into another music track. It’s homemade Dolby surround sound, albeit a fleshy 3.1.
Tap Runner is the most traditionally ‘gamey’ of the five activities. Gentle taps run, a hard tap jumps. New furniture is added to each successive track – tightropes, electro barriers, escalators, slides – making sure that the 16 races don’t grow old fast. It helps that the racers themselves are an endearing bunch – a gang of neon-colored Morph lookalikes that trip, stumble and get electrocuted with comic gusto. And the robo-voice that begins the race with an angry “DON’T MOVE!”? Absolutely terrifying.
Playing Tap Runner you begin to get a strange vibe off Let’s Tap – it feels light, frothy and throwaway, yet somehow maintains an addictive one-more-go quality. We’d liken it to WarioWare’s bonus minigames: often trifling asides, but also often the reason those games are played for 50+ hours. In effect, Let’s Tap trims back WarioWare’s girth and hedges its bets on these asides.