Let's Tap will polarise opinion. It's a game that for many will epitomise what's going wrong with the games industry today, but for others it'll be a shining example of fun gaming for the masses. Whatever your view, try explaining to someone that you've been tapping a tissue box to make a man run across the screen and you'll be greeted by an uncomfortable smile. This isn't normal gaming.
Just to be clear, there's only one control scheme in Let's Tap. You place a Wii Remote, face down, on top of a small box (the included boxes in the Limited Edition work great, but a sturdy tissue box does the job just as well), and then you tap the box with your fingers. The strength of your tap will determine the action that's carried out in each game, with the five mini-games on offer requiring timing and subtlety. It's playable alone, but for the true Let's Tap experience you're going to need four Wii Remotes, four boxes and ideally a table to sit in front of.
Now comes the tricky matter of figuring out if the games included are actually worth playing. First up is Tap Runner, a game that we imagine a toddler could grasp from the name alone. This on-foot racing game pits you against three other characters in a race to the finish line, with small taps making your guy run and big taps making him jump – that's all there is to it. It's not just a race across a flat surface though, with obstacles, escalator, balloon pumps, tight ropes and more getting in your way. It's kind of like TRON meets the Gladiators Eliminator, except with no physical conditioning being needed whatsoever.
Next up is Silent Blocks, in which towers of blocks must be taken apart by removing one block at a time. Once you've chosen the block you want to remove and the angle you want to remove it at, you tap the box in order to nudge the block free. Light taps cause the block to to sort of wobble about a bit, while hefty taps will make the whole structure shake and send blocks moving in all directions. Finding the right balance is key. Rhythm Tap is pretty simple, with you having to tap to the beat of more than 16 songs, while Bubble Voyager resembles that flash browser-based helicopter flying game – tap to make your guy fly up, don't tap and he'll fly down. You can also fire off rockets with a heavy tap, and pick up numerous power-ups.
Lastly there's Visualizer, which isn't really a mini-game at all, but instead a collection of interactive screen savers. These scenes let you tap to make things happen on the screen, so you can let off fireworks at night, splash water in a river and attract fish, toss a load of balls into the air or paint on a canvas. We're not exactly huge fans of these non-games but they might appeal to gamers looking to kick back and relax.
That's your lot, which is where Let's Tap really falls down. Tap Runner is great fun alone or with friends, Silent Blocks can get tense when played competitively and the tunes on offer in Rhythm Tap are quirky enough to make it worth spending some time with. The other two, though, aren't up to much and didn't really provide us with any lasting multiplayer shenanigans. The game retails for far less than your average release, but at £20 you're still only getting five extended mini-games, and only three are worth playing more than a handful of times.
Fans of quirky Japanese productions will find the visual presentation and the audio work quite appealing, although a few of the mini-games are a bit rough around the edges. In Silent Blocks, for example, the blocks don't appear to be touching each other and the physics seem wonky at best – which is especially apparent if you've been playing Boom Blox.
So should you invest in the novelty that is Let's Tap? If you're after a quirky multiplayer game that won't break the bank, then it's probably worth a shot, but if you generally play alone or want more substance from your games you'll likely feel a bit short changed. With more mini-games to take advantage of the tap mechanic Let's Tap could have been a must have party game, but it's just too light on content to whole heartedly recommend.