Let's Tap Reader Review
You know you're seeing a piece of gaming history when after pressing A+B to start you're presented with a screen showing a picture of the orange Let's Tap! base (assembly required) next to a picture of a blue box which has "Tissue" printed on the side -- no joke, the suggestion seems to be that you can use a kleenex box as an alternative accessory for the game. Brilliant! But, before you can play you need to complete a tutorial about tapping.
There are two types of tap: soft and hard, but you also need to be able to double-tap, at which point you might be thinking "why not have a tablet add-on controller?" which will become more hoped for later, but clearly a cardboard box is a cheaper accessory, no? From here on out you can use the tapping as the sole interface to the game. Single taps cycle through selections; double taps launch games or exit. This is possibly the most frustrating part because you need to double-tap by doing a strong initial tap and a weaker second tap -- you'll get the hang of it, I promise!
Tap Runner -- run a race 1-4 players with non-humans being controlled by the computer. I've seen four levels so far with four stages per level. They can be replayed at will after each match. Run with small taps; jump with big ones; as you get to higher stages you have more obstacles and alternate routes. Coming in 1st gets you a gold medal and a triumphant pose for your little stick-man. Visually it's quite appealing with transluscent coloured backgrounds and playfield. It's fun, but will stress your fingers later on unless you're a professional typist!
Rhythm Tap -- Music rhythm game very similar to Taiko Master -- tap in time to the appearance of coloured dots in one of five initial tracks with more to unlock. Music is nice ambient electro -- the Let's Tap! theme is ace!
Tower Game -- I cannot remember the name of this one, but basically it's jenga with discs. Discs are highlighted one at a time from top to bottom and you tap to select one, then tap again to choose which angle to push it out, then tap to push the disc out whilst trying not to upset the stack. Discs are different colours and clear out in groups of three. Clear enough and the level increases which introduces more colours. Probably the weakest offering in the collection if only because it's not clear what will upset the tower, so it's just random feeling whether or not you're at risk of failure. Still a fun diversion.
Bubble Voyager -- Use taps to make your polygonal space hero fly through a horizontal playfield with mines, asteroids and pickups. Get as many stars as you can, pick up the power-ups and avoid the baddies! Fun stuff. Big taps to launch rockets (upgradable) at space squids and rocks; also to unlock power-ups. At the end of each stage is a landing platform to recharge your battery (repair damage) at which point it's like Lunar Landar using taps of the box to fire retro bubbles (rockets). Nice retro action with a multiplayer battle mode to boot.
Visualiser -- Different ambient musics with different backgrounds. Tapping causes events on-screen like fireworks, water droplets, paint splashes, etc. You can play one at a time or create a playlist. One at a time loops the music until you press the B button to move on. Your actions produce different effects depending upon the Visualiser: Fireworks creates special fireworks in response to different patterns of hard/soft tapping, River reveals different animals in the river. Paint and Ink show you different objects. In the Gem visualiser you're making balls fly in the air and trying to get them in little cups -- more game-like than the other Visualiser modes. As with the Rhythm Tap game you start out with five songs/visualisers, with more to unlock (though I cannot see what you need to do to unlock them!).
Well, is it up to snuff? Surprisingly, yes! Tapping becomes second nature to make selections and the like. For the painting visualiser you'll wish you had a tablet so you could control the paint strokes, but a tablet controller add-on would cost more than a cardboard box, wouldn't it? Having said that this isn't a cheap game. With the current exchange rate it's about £40. Is it worth it? Well, you have a novel control interface and 4-1/2 decent minigames that very well may not see the light of day outside of Japan -- of course I think you should hop on a plane and buy this if that's what it takes!
What's good about it?
Leaderboards (local; not online) for the four game modes and fun gameplay. Tapping is fun!
What's bad about it?
Well, tapping makes your wiimote want to fall off the box, so you'll need to keep an eye on it. Doing the double-tap in the menus can be a bit hit-and-miss at first, but you get the hang of it in time (or you go insane!). You only get two base boxes, so extra players will need to bring tissue boxes to play. My wife says listening to the tapping is like Chinese water torture and suggests that it's a good thing there's an extra box packed in just in case something happens to the one I'm currently using -- oh and add finger strain to the list of the Sun's Wii Medical Ailments -- Tapping is torture!