Let's Tap -- Sega's Rez-like game you play by not touching the Wiimote

cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
edited February 2009 in Games and Technology
So Sega and Yuji Naka are making a game called Let's Tap that just recently got confirmed for an American release. It's a party game... wait, don't leave yet! For one, it doesn't have a single badly-drawn cartoon in it... in fact, it looks more like Rez than anything. And for another, you control it without touching a controller.

What you and up to four people do is place your Wiimotes on a flat surface, then tap around it. The Wiimote's accelerometer registers the speed and pressure of your taps and translates them into on-screen actions. How, you ask?

RHYTHM TAP

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This is the most obvious one. You and your friends take turns tapping to the beat when your circles reach a certain area. Supposedly there's a wide variety of tunes available, though demos have shown interesting electronic music.



BUBBLE VOYAGER

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Here you're navigating a maze of mines by propelling yourself with taps. Enemies about to knock you down? Tap harder to launch missles and blast them.



VISUALIZER

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I'm really not sure what's going on here, so I'll let IGN explain it:
Of all the modes displayed, Visualizer is undoubtedly the most incomprehensible. All we know for sure is that a maximum of two players can interact with its six distinctive scenes simultaneously. It's an open-ended exploratory mode and your tap-based tinkering results in everything from paint scrawls on canvas to elaborate fireworks and water ripples. We also spotted segments based on bouncing balls and a thoroughly mystifying under-sea element replete with elaborately-rendered marine life. Without going hands-on with the Visualizer it's hard to tell how engaging the mode will be in the long-run, but there's no arguing it's another incredibly imaginative application for Let's Tap's basic control conceit.



TAP RUNNER

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Tap to run. Track and Field 2009, right? Well, Sega's throwing in jumping (via heavy taps) and speed boosts when you tap in rhythm with the music, as well as odd level layouts.



SILENT BLOCKS

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Jenga with tapping. Select a block with a tap, then tap carefully in the direction you want to pull to get it out without causing your tower to collapse. Apparently there's a variety of rulesets in this one.



http://wii.ign.com/articles/950/950530p2.html

Let's Tap is coming here this summer, and I have to say I'm intrigued. It's about damn time someone besides Boom Blox decided to be innovative in a party game.

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Posts

  • pslong9pslong9 Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    You forgot to link to the "oh God it's so catchy I can't listening to this" music:

    I'm tempted to get this game just for the music. Also, it's reportedly only going to cost $30, which is very nice.

    pslong9 on
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  • Brainiac 8Brainiac 8 Don't call me Shirley... Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I was hoping they would announce this for the US. I'll support this project as quickly as I did Boom Blox. It looks unique and really fun.

    It is games like this that prove that gaming can be an artform. (Other examples of this are Okami, Rez, and Ico.)

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  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I love strange things. This is the kind of party game I want in my life.

    The first screenshot is what made me think of it at first, but now that I think about it, if the entire game has the frantic hilarity that a four-player round of Donkey Konga can hold, then this may be GOTY 2009.

    EDIT: Donkey Konga + Wario Ware = Megaton explosion

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  • PeewiPeewi Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    pslong9 wrote: »
    You forgot to link to the "oh God it's so catchy I can't listening to this" music:

    I'm tempted to get this game just for the music. Also, it's reportedly only going to cost $30, which is very nice.

    This music is very catchy and what I thought of immeadietly upon seeing this thread.

    Peewi on
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  • ChenChen Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Eurogamer review.

    Welp I'm sold.

    Chen on
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  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    pslong9 wrote: »
    You forgot to link to the "oh God it's so catchy I can't listening to this" music: I'm tempted to get this game just for the music. Also, it's reportedly only going to cost $30, which is very nice.
    Can't. Stop. Listening.

    Glal on
  • Brainiac 8Brainiac 8 Don't call me Shirley... Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Chen wrote: »
    Eurogamer review.

    Welp I'm sold.


    I can't see the site from work...can you post the review?

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  • ChenChen Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    When you first open Let's Tap's oversized box and pull out about seven nicely decorated pieces of cardboard, which the packaging implores you to assemble into further boxes and rest your Wiimote upon, it makes absolutely no sense. In the same way that Wii Sports Tennis has people waving tentatively the first time they play it, reluctant to believe that their actions will translate onto the screen in any meaningful way, there's a bit of a belief barrier between the average person and accepting that you can control a videogame by tapping a cardboard box.

    Still, let's play along. Assemble the boxes, rest your Wiimotes face-down on top of them, stick in the disc, and a tutorial appears, which won't help out much in the sense-making department if you don't read Japanese. Thankfully that's the full extent of the language barrier here - once you make it through to the main menu and into one of Let's Tap's five mini-games, it all falls into place. The game's control system is so simple and so natural that it almost defies explanation; you'll watch others tapping away with a furrowed brow, but as soon as you sit down to play you suddenly understand what to do without a shred of clarification.

    We'll give it a go anyway. There are five different games, each controlled by tapping the box. It doesn't need to be a special Let's Tap-branded box, obviously - discarded pizza boxes work just as well. It registers hard, medium and light taps, but that rarely comes into play. One tap moves between options in menus and two taps selects, or you can pick up the Wiimote and point for easy navigation. The menus are all bright orange, loud and energising and bolstered by arcade-style Japanese techno, and each of the arcadey mini-games has its own, endearingly minimalist visual design. There's a definite old-school SEGA flavour about the place.

    Rhythm Tap is the simplest and most obvious of the game concepts on show here. It's an uncomplicated rhythm game where beats scroll towards you from the left, and you match them with light, medium or hard taps. Any tap at all will keep your combo going - getting the velocity right is only important for high-scoring. Twelve thumping, techno-ey, occasionally bouncy J-pop tracks provide the soundtrack, and though they never get particularly hard, they're an ample enough challenge for the after-pub Wii multiplayer crowd.

    Like all of Let's Tap's games, Rhythm Tap is best in multiplayer. Like lovely, neglected old Donkey Konga used to, Rhythm Tap gives each different player a slightly different part to play. You can get a pretty good symphony of rhythmic tapping going in combination with obnoxiously loud, repetitive music if you want to be especially popular with non-participating bystanders in your flat/Japanese dormitory.

    Tap Runner, though, holding pride of place on the selection screen, is without a doubt the star of the show. Four little men line up at the start of an abstract neon racecourse, four players furiously tap through hazards and across gaps and past infuriating traps, and one emerges victorious in a flurry of insults, yelps of agony and thrown cardboard boxes. Tapping lightly in rhythm gets your man running at speed and bashing the box makes him jump, and that's the extent of the controls; the complexity comes from the courses themselves, which progress from simple running and jumping to incorporate tightrope-walking, trapeze-swinging, electric traps and warp gates.

    You occasionally end up tapping the box a bit too hard and doing accidental jumps in moments of desperation or fury, but that's all part of the fun. Tap Runner is ludicrously competitive in multiplayer, drawing just enough from both skill and luck to ensure that every player has a chance at winning and races can be turned upside-down at a moment's notice by one lapse in concentration. We stress-tested Let's Tap's multiplayer in a roomful of excitable Japanese students, and of all the games on offer Tap Runner proved by far the most popular, probably because it's so worryingly competitive.

    Silent Blocks, meanwhile, is by far the most complex game here. It's also the most subversive - it's the game that two or three entranced people are still playing at two in the morning long after everyone else has gotten bored and gone home. There are two variants: one is a very slightly more elaborate Jenga where the velocity of your tapping affects the stability of the tower of blocks, and the other is a slow-paced puzzle game where you remove blocks from the tower to match three like-coloured ones together. It gets steadily more and more complicated - three red or blue makes copper, three copper make silver, three silver make gold and so on up to diamond - and you're in constant peril of collapsing your entire tower and losing all your progress, at which point it's difficult to hold onto the will to live, let alone keep playing.

    Bubble Voyager is a little mech shooting game, more notable for its angular, retro visual style than the simple fly-and-shoot gameplay. It has a multiplayer component that weirdly resembles Asteroids - tapping sends your constantly-spinning spacecraft off in whichever direction it's facing and tapping hard launches a missile. Shooting down other players is usually more blind coincidence than skill, but it's entertaining nonetheless.

    The collection is rounded off with Visualiser, which is a more concept piece than mini-game. You cycle through various scenarios and accompanying music - a cityscape, a canvas, a pond - and tapping produces different effects, creating ripples in the pond, exploding fireworks over the city nightscape or daubing the canvasses with ink or paint. The game gives you hints as to which patterns will attract enormous fish or other special effects if you can read kanji, but Visualiser is there to show how accurately the tapping works rather than to attract hours of your attention.

    Obviously, Let's Tap's simplicity means that people who barely understand videogames can play and enjoy it perfectly well. But accessible as it is, the long-term gamer in us still finds Let's Tap compelling because of the minimalism of the design, and the purity of the concept; the games are built around simple, addictive arcade competitiveness. Tap Runner and Bubble Voyager especially have a real retro-SEGA appeal to them, but Let's Tap feels new and innovative - it's a great example of how a new control method can reinvigorate game concepts as old as videogames themselves, and hook a new audience on them. There's something wonderfully heartening about it.

    Of Let's Tap's five offerings, one is essential, two more are excellent, and all are inspired examples of minimalist and creative game design. We can only hope that decision to present five perfectly-rounded little slices of action rather than a grab-bag of duds, filler and occasional flashes of brilliance will inspire other developers to do this same. This sits alongside Wii Sports as one of the few worthwhile and interesting mini-game compilations in existence, and as a multiplayer classic for the platform. Can we have it in Europe please, SEGA?

    8/10

    Chen on
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  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    The game comes with its own cardboard boxes? Awesome.

    cloudeagle on
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  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent The World on This SideRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Shame Tetsuya Mizuguchi isn't on board. Where's he been, anyway?

    Music sounds awesome, though.

    cj iwakura on
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  • CullenCullen Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I'm pretty much sold on this. Any word on a EU release date?

    Cullen on
  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    Shame Tetsuya Mizuguchi isn't on board. Where's he been, anyway?

    Working on Rock Band: Japan, supposedly.

    And I hear this is indeed coming to Europe.

    cloudeagle on
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  • GilderGilder Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    For anyone who really can't tell the purpose of Visualizer Mode, it's a screensaver. Just put the wiimote on top of your subwoofer and let the vibrations from the bass do the work.

    Also while I want this game, I just don't know how long it'll last. Rhythm Tap and Tap Runner are the only modes really worth playing but when you're done with them... that's kind of it. I might still buy it for the novelty though.

    Gilder on
  • Brainiac 8Brainiac 8 Don't call me Shirley... Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Thanks for posting that Chen...it has me sold also.

    It was announced yesterday or the day before that it's being localized for europe and the U.S.


    can't wait.

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  • PeewiPeewi Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    cloudeagle wrote: »
    The game comes with its own cardboard boxes? Awesome.

    I hear that the box comes in a box. Crazyness I tell you.

    Peewi on
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  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Gilder wrote: »
    For anyone who really can't tell the purpose of Visualizer Mode, it's a screensaver. Just put the wiimote on top of your subwoofer and let the vibrations from the bass do the work.
    That, and substance abuse.

    Glal on
  • Brainiac 8Brainiac 8 Don't call me Shirley... Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Peewi wrote: »
    cloudeagle wrote: »
    The game comes with its own cardboard boxes? Awesome.

    I hear that the box comes in a box. Crazyness I tell you.


    What'll those crazy japanese come up with next? :P

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  • MinionOfCthulhuMinionOfCthulhu Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Peewi wrote: »
    cloudeagle wrote: »
    The game comes with its own cardboard boxes? Awesome.

    I hear that the box comes in a box. Crazyness I tell you.

    That's what happens when you go to Xzibit for ideas.

    MinionOfCthulhu on
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  • Drunk_caterpillarDrunk_caterpillar Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    LET'S TAP LET'S TAP: FUTURE TAPPING GAME!

    Drunk_caterpillar on
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  • B:LB:L Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I have to buy a table accessory for my Wii!? :P

    B:L on
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  • LemmyLemmy Registered User
    edited February 2009
    B:L wrote: »
    I have to buy a table accessory for my Wii!? :P

    And a house to live in.

    Lemmy on
  • FireflashFireflash Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    This looks fun. Bring it over here please!

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  • ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    BOUGHT.

    This looks like so much fun.

    ArcSyn on
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  • METAzraeLMETAzraeL Registered User
    edited February 2009
    lets-tap-screens-20081017092244117_640w.jpg
    makes me think of Wave Race for the GC a lot

    METAzraeL on

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