REVIEW: Tapper

I’m not a indie game developer (of course), or even a partial expert on the craft. I try not to pretend to be, either. Though I imagine if I were, my first prototype for a twin-stick shooter would look and play a lot like Tapper ($1.00). Notice I said ‘prototype’ in that previous sentence, and not ‘the final product’ I planned on releasing.

Tapper - Screen

The reasons against releasing it would be partially cosmetic. My game is nothing but a series of squares. I know I’m not making Thomas Was Alone: Shooter Edition, and that my square art isn’t intended to be ‘art’. That is to say that it’s not a stylistic choice, or meant to evoke an emotional response. They’d simply look and feel like placeholders for actual art that didn’t happen, and that wouldn’t be right.

Gameplay too, would be a sticking point. Sure, I’ve got an able, functioning twin-stick shooter framework. It’s a simple game of survival, one life to live. I’ve got my hero ‘green square’, facing off against an unending army of ‘red squares’, Green Party versus the Communist Party, maybe, or just a bunch of squares going at it, to simplify. Some blue squares too, acting as mobile bombs, which I can then detonate at key moments (typically, surrounded by red squares in a no-win situation). It’s okay, but hardly something I’d be impressed by for more than a few minutes.

I could try to disguise that fatal lack of depth a bit, say, with a online leaderboard, or some additional modes or mechanics. But I don’t. I do, however, include the option to zoom out or in, making the squares and the battlefield bigger or smaller, depending on player taste. It doesn’t really add anything to an already bare-bones roster of gameplay components, though, so I’d feel guilty asking money for it.

Tapper - Screen2

Thankfully, I don’t have to feel that guilt or question my product’s worth on the marketplace, because I’m not an indie game developer. Zyborg Mobile Ltd. is, and Tapper is entirely his game. I want both you and him to know that the above sarcasm isn’t my attempt at a lame joke or a putdown, either, I’m just wondering who the prospective audience for something this basic would be.

It’s the studio’s first title on Xbox (he’s primarily a mobile developer), but he’s hardly a stranger to more complex game design. I was pleasantly-surprised to find out that Those Who Survive, an intense-playing Minecraft / Slender mash-up, was done by the same guy. That’s absolutely a game worth downloading, while Tapper should have been left on the cutting room floor.  

16 thoughts on “REVIEW: Tapper”

  1. I was also expecting a root beer tapper type game. Root beer, one of the four food groups. Its Root beer, crunchy stuff, sweet stuff, and healthy things.
    Yes it warrants its own category.
    I think it would make it easier to see if the bullets were black or maybe even purple? Distingusth them a bit more?

    1. Hmm, what a coincidence. Crunchy Stuff and Sweet Stuff are in my favorite food circles as well. Must be a popular choice.

      As for bullet color? That would help, agreed, but bullet color is probably the last thing plaguing Tapper. I’d take substantial gameplay over bullet color any day. They could make it grey to match the background, so long as it was fun to play. 🙂

    2. I used to play that back in the 80’s on my Commodore 64. Ha, now I’m in the mood to fire up my C64 emulator.

    3. Some really needs to remake that game. The person playing on the video is really good. I loved the game but was never that good at it.

    4. I was always terrible at it too. Not the C64 version, of course. Even that was before my time. 🙂

      Never could keep up with those empty glasses on the way back. Simple fun for its time, but I don’t know how well it’d hold up in the modern era. You’d have to add an FPS to it, or some RPG mechanics. 🙂

    5. Now you’re talking, sir! How could I miss such an obvious incentive for XBLIG?! And you could still keep the RPG-style stuff, like unlocking clothing options for said strippers. Man, these game ideas build themselves. 🙂

  2. It sounds like you’re all… wait for it… “tapped out” on twin stick shooters. Oh ho ho ho ho! … cough… ahem… sorry about that…
    Seriously though, I like the way you wrote this one. You managed to make an interesting read out of a very dull sounding game. Good job!

    1. Oh, no, keep the puns coming. My comedic repertoire thrives on them and other laughably-bad jokes. 🙂

      Thanks for the compliment! That was exactly what I was going for, as there was absolutely nothing thrilling to say about this game otherwise. The developer has skill, going by the above-mentioned mobile game, but you’d think he would be more of a ‘student’ of the game world, and realize that something like this is not going to be enough for the majority of gamers living in the year 2014. Even for the price of one dollar.

    2. Orange you glad he didn’t tap into the Zboring existence of this game. I personally think they were lazy but leaving everything as blocks and wanted to push it out there to make a few bucks before the 360 dies. Not that I see the death anytime soon but with those major announcements yesterday MS is trying their best to put some nails in that coffin even though they keep supporting the 360. ( was super happy to see Super Time Force on the 360 )

      When I saw this name I got real excited for a true “Tapper” gamer like Beer Tapper and Root Beer Tapper. I absolutely loved those games and can’t believe there isn’t a clone for them. Least not that I can/have find/found.

    3. The puns! The puns! 🙂

      Tapper is a strange name for it anyway. No tapping going on. Might as well call it Shooting, since that would be literal.

      And yeah, Microsoft is swinging for the fences now. Figures they finally listen, and now they’re going to do exactly what they didn’t want to do— fracture the XbOne crowd into two groups; one that owns a Kinect, and the other that doesn’t. Once again, it’ll be the 360, and no one will put any serious money or development into making a worthwhile Kinect game when the market (potentially) isn’t there.

      The new ‘Games with Gold’ is a right step. Most people will keep their subscription anyway, so if it brings us Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Spartan Assault— both games I’m interested in playing— then I’m all for it. Sony’s been knocking it out of the park with their free games FOREVER, so Microsoft had to step it up. Smart move.

      As far as processing power / graphics, the damage might already be done. They say there may be more power to push without the Kinect attached, but with games running at a higher resolution and framerate on PS4, it’s hard to argue otherwise. That said, the differences aren’t really major, and if you’re worried about games looking pretty, the Xbox One does just fine. Started playing Ryse yesterday, and OMG, does that game look brilliant on my TV. Stabbing people in the neck never looked so good. 🙂

      Either system, so long as I get some good indies, is a winner in my book. Super Time Force is a must buy. Probably will end up reviewing it for Indiepitome.

    1. No kidding. It’d take some work to swap engines, but if there’s two things that’d sell well on XBLIG, it’s anything-Minecraft and anything that even remotely looks like zombies. They’re not zombies, there’s no combat (you can shake enemies off you), and the control scheme on mobile is alright (touch the screen where you want to move), but porting that over to consoles, with controller support, could be enough to get people interested. Far better move than to make Tapper.

    1. I like that. A little Netflix-ian humor. 🙂 Also, I forgot to mention that the bullets that the square shoots are orange, so it’s all relevant.

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