Motion controls have been employed in a lot of interesting and effective ways since the Wii's arrival in 2006. However, they've never been used in quite as unusual a fashion as they are in the party game Let's Tap. Rather than hold the Wii Remote in your hands, you place it face-down on a cardboard box (or similar surface), and then tap on the box to interact with the game. While there's not much variety, it's ultimately a fun and refreshing budget-priced experience for up to four friends.
6212249NoneSilent Blocks is one of the more addictive games included in Let's Play.
Let's Tap has a great tutorial that helps you come to grips with its unique, and surprisingly effective, control scheme. All you need to do is find a suitable object, such as a cardboard tissue box, and then flip the remote upside down and place it on the box. The remote is surprisingly sensitive to even minor vibrations, so you don't have to tap the box very hard to register a response. You can navigate menus by pointing at the screen, but by and large you interact with Let's Tap solely through single and double taps on the box. Considering that the game uses the remote in a way perhaps not intended, it's great to see this control scheme work without fault.
The collection includes five very different games: running races, a rhythm game, a block puzzler, a 2D side-scrolling shooter, and an abstract drawing mode. The Tap Runner racing game is the best of the bunch, thanks to the amount of variety, challenge, and enjoyment it offers, and tapping your way to the finish line offers plenty of amusement. You run by tapping your box lightly, and you jump obstacles by tapping with more force. There are 16 different courses of increasing complexity, featuring slides, hurdles, springboards, and more, and up to four AI and human racers can compete simultaneously. Finish anywhere other than last and you earn a medal; earn four medals in a four-race series and you can progress to the next. While it's pretty easy to complete each race, it takes some time to unlock gold medals for each one, which offers a good amount of replay value as you progress through the four series. The stick-figure runners each have a unique personality and cute animations, such as waving to the nonexistent crowd, bending over with pain, or giving victory fistpumps after each race.
In Rhythm Tap you tap out a beat that scrolls across the screen from right to left, in much the same vein as Donkey Konga. There are 16 abstract and forgettable J-pop, dance, and instrumental songs to unlock, plus a further four if you earn the highest rating on all tracks. While the mode is fun, it's ultimately too easy and simplistic for long-term enjoyment. You can cheat by tapping continuously, and you can completely ignore the strength that's indicated for each beat as it scrolls by without penalty. Ultimately, this mode let down by its lack of depth and memorable tunes.
Silent Blocks' puzzle gameplay offers a greater challenge. It involves removing coloured circular discs from a tower without making the tower fall over. Gentle taps slowly tug blocks from their place, but if you're too fast or firm with your tapping, the tower becomes unstable. If you remove blocks in such a way that three or more of the same colour end up next to each other, they combine to become a single, more-valuable block, and a bonus is added to your score. Additional colours are introduced in later stages, which makes the game significantly more challenging. Silent Blocks is a strong game mode that's both rewarding and addictive.
Tap Runner's quirky characters are charming to watch in action.