Playing games and music are two of the more common activities among iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users — and a new app cleverly fuses the two into a challenging and satisfying entertainment experience.
Disney Mobile's free Tap Tap Revenge: Tour is the latest in the popular game series, and while not dramatically different than its predecessors it hits a high note for its engaging gameplay, wide selection of music and other new features.
It's not without the odd sour note, however, but will no doubt be one of the hottest iOS games this summer.
In case you've never played a round of Tap Tap Revenge, these rhythm games are similar in gameplay to the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games on consoles: While listening to familiar songs you'll watch as colored orbs (and other shapes) fly down a highway, until they cross over a threshold near the bottom of the screen; tap the correct circle at the right time and you'll be awarded points.
The game also challenges you to press and hold notes with a solid line for as long as indicated, shake the device when instructed and tap a "multiplier" star icon off to the side — without skipping a beat.
New to Tour is a slice move, where you'll also need to quickly drag your finger over certain circles instead of tapping. There's also a multidirectional shake mechanic, which uses the device's internal sensors to determine how you're shaking the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
As the name of the game suggests, the "tour" mode is also new. You assume the role of a concert promoter, tour manager and rock star rolled into one — while tapping through new songs and funky light shows. Share your progress with friends on Facebook or Twitter, unlock encore acts for bonus points, earn weekly rewards and dress up your tour wall with memorabilia and merchandise.
The game also offers the largest catalog of songs ever available at launch for a Tap Tap game, including a free remix of Carly Rae Jepsen's smash hit Call Me Maybe. Players earn virtual coins for playing well and can redeem them for more free pop songs, including LMFAO's Sexy And I Know It or Selena Gomez's Hit the Lights. For the first time in the series, Tap Tap Revenge: Tour is also giving away a free track daily — take heed to the scrolling ticker tape at the bottom of the home screen — plus you can import songs unlocked in a previous Tap Tap game.
You can also purchase "tracks packs" for a couple of dollars apiece, such as a Katy Perry bundle for $0.99 cents (or 100 in-game credits). There are more than 300 tracks available at launch, be it freebies or paid content.
While the game rocks, there are a few minor issues. For one, a few times when I launched the app to play it hung on a "Connecting" screen, or I saw this message when trying to access the music store: "A server error has occurred, please try again later." Hopefully these technical glitches will be ironed out shortly, if they haven't been already. Secondly, the game was designed for iPhone and iPod Touch primarily, so iPad owners will have to tap the 2x button to expand the game full-screen (therefore not in high-definition).
Overall, music fans with a yen for gaming should download Tap Tap Revenge: Tour for a free, fun and frantic interactive experience.
Tap Tap Revenge: Tour
Platform: Apple iOS
Publisher: Disney Mobile Games
Web site: facebook.com/taptaprevenge
Price: Free (in-game purchases are optional)
Score: 3.5 stars (out of 4)
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