Review: Tapsplosion

One minute.

That’s a fairly standard length for your first game of Tapsplosion.

Fortunately, it’s also about the length of time necessary to fall for the game.

Tapsplosion is a simple game: avoid the nasties for as long as possible while accruing points by blowing said nasties to kingdom-come. It’s a mechanic that’s been around, well, almost as long as computer games have been around. And indeed, nothing that Tapsplosion does is particularly unusual or unique: if anything, it plays like a more claustrophobic, aggressive version of Every Extend. Only, where that game had you blowing your own ship up in order to cause chain-reactions of exploding enemies, Tapsplosion has you setting explosions off wherever you like by (appropriately enough) tapping on the screen while you manoeuvre your ship around the screen by tilting your phone – a simple and immediately tactile experience.

The challenge in the game comes from the cooldown period between explosions, and the fact that touching a single enemy results in your game ending immediately. However, you’ll sometimes want to hold back on clearing a path, as when enemies are destroyed they will detonate, creating a small shockwave that destroys any other nearby enemies, allowing you to set up large chain-reactions – if you have the nerve to wait for the enemies to converge on your position.

Helping you in your mission to survive long enough to post a high score is the occasional power-up – nothing too fancy, but used correctly they can be lifesavers, or simply excellent ways to accrue points. They also add an extra element of risk-reward to the proceedings, with an out of the way power-up tantalising you with a chance for a quick breather, even as you realise that approaching it through the waves of enemies between you and it will only increase your chances of meeting an explosive end.

This, combined with the swift build up of ever-faster enemies, leads to a tense, frantic experience, and one absolutely ideal for short bursts of play while (say) riding the bus to work. The fact is, Tapsplosion has no need to offer great innovation or complexity: it sets out to be a satisfying, solid point-chasing game, and succeeds magnificently.

Oh, and as an added bonus, it can be had for free in ad-supported form – so what are you waiting for?

In case anybody is wondering about the break from my standard format here – this was written as my application to write for another website – they already had a review of Tapsplosion up, so couldn’t make use of it, so I decided to stick it up here, as hey, it might be of interest to some of you! Apologies for the rubbish video quality, too – it’s the first I’ve done, and has the added fun of having been made as my computer room was being rearranged, which effectively meant I could only play the game at a very sub-optimal angle.


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May 2011
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