Let’s Tap

 

Let’s Tap is a novelty within a novelty, getting creative with the Wii’s motion-sensing controls by having you place the Wii-mote face-down on a flat surface and tapping your fingers next to it so it picks up your vibrations. But the problem with novelties is that their charm tends to wear off, which happens quickly with Let’s Tap, thanks to its limited handful of quickly mastered modes. It winds up coming off more as a concept demo than a game. Even if you linger, you’ll see it all after half an hour.

After you wrangle up a suitable surface to tap on—the gimmick doesn’t work well on tables, but a box or sheet of cardboard will do—you navigate the menus by tapping once to go onto the next item, or tapping twice, as you would on a mouse button, to make your selection. Let’s Tap is gussied up with a new take on the Wii’s controls, but, really, this is just another mini-game collection in disguise. Why does Nintendo think so many of its customers throw parties?

The five modes each integrate finger-tapping in different ways, but only four of them are multiplayer. They range from Tron-looking races laden with obstacles like electric mines, escalators, and exploding hot-air balloons to a more traditional rhythm-game mode called Rhythm Tap. Then there’s the Jenga-like Silent Blocks, which ostensibly calls for precise strikes to maneuver blocks out from the stack above it, but, really, there’s no strategy involved. The remaining two are barely worth mentioning: There’s a halfhearted but interesting stab at a side-scroller in Bubble Voyager, and Visualizer, as its name suggests, isn’t even a game, but more an interactive screensaver with taps resulting in fireworks, bouncing balls, or calligraphy. Perhaps the game should’ve been called Let’s Tap, But Only For A Little While.

Beyond the game: Extra levels can be unlocked, but their mystique is deflated a bit as the game manual explains exactly how to earn them. 

Worth playing for: Aside from just trying the controls, the racing mode, Tap Runner. With more players, the minute-long races can feel like exhilarating chase scenes as you frantically drum on Kleenex boxes.

Frustration sets in when: You realize you’ve quickly burned through all the game has to offer. It’s obviously intended more for short spurts than extended sessions. Also, tapping repeatedly on a box can occasionally result in the controller drifting onto the floor.

Final judgment: A kooky idea on paper with diminishing returns in reality.

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