Tapulous, maker of the Tap Tap Revenge games, has introduced another artist-exclusive special edition, this time featuring British rock band Coldplay.
Built on the new Tap Tap Revenge 2 (TTR2) engine, the Coldplay edition offers several new features, including an in-game feed of Coldplay news and a unique look inspired by the band.
The menus do look a little Coldplay-ish, but the levels themselves are pure, psychedelic Tap Tap-style, with portraits of the band members sliding across the background.
I’d say that the game was inspired more by the Viva La Vida iTunes ad, and less by their music videos.
The Tap Tap games are somewhat of an iPhone institution, but for the uninitiated, the game is sort of like Dance Dance Revolution for your fingers (for the young’uns, it’s like Guitar Hero). Following the rhythm of the song, you tap on white blocks (‘tappers’) as they hit the targets on the bottom of the screen.
The game makes full use of the iPhone’s/iPod’s capabilities - sometimes you get arrows instead of blocks, and you have to shake your iPhone in the direction of the arrow.
At some points in the game, you can shake to enter ‘Revenge Mode’. The psychedelia goes into overdrive, and you earn octuple points for a brief period of time. Multitouch also comes into play – on the harder settings, you have to hold up to three targets simultaneously, while alternating between tapping and shaking.
If all that sounds a little too frenzied, there’s a new ‘kids’ mode available. Instead of hitting the tappers, you just tap anywhere on the screen. After awhile, you end up hitting the tappers anyway, but it’s a good starting point for beginners.
There is a multiplayer option; in 2-player mode, the game screen splits in half, and each opponent plays the exact same game on opposite ends of the iPhone/iPod. It works surprisingly well; I did experience a very slight bit of jerkiness on my iPhone, but only on the extremely busy parts.
Challenge mode is quasi-multiplayer – after finishing a level, you can send an email challenge to an opponent. The recipient has to open the email on their own iPhone/iPod and click on a link in the email, which then launches the game. As your opponent plays, a progress bar at the top of the screen shows your own score at the corresponding stage in the game.
Unfortunately, the online multiplayer option available in TTR2 has been mysteriously omitted from this release, along with location features and career mode.
The latter isn’t a huge loss; there are only 10 tracks included (11 including a Thin White Duke Mix of “Viva La Vida”), so you wouldn’t have a very long career anyway. All the songs are playable at launch, with a locked ‘boss track’ for each level of difficulty. The limited number of songs is disappointing, given that even the Nine Inch Nails version includes 13 tracks. Granted, some of their slower songs just wouldn’t be suitable, but 10 songs from 4 studio albums… Maybe throw in more mixes? The Tap Tap games have download functionality built in, so it’ll be interesting to see if the small number of included songs is due to Tapulous waiting to implement in-app song purchases (available with iPhone 3.0).
The Coldplay news feed
Social networking is a core feature of the game. You get the usual online leaderboards, as well as Facebook integration. Enter your details, and get your scores published to your Facebook page. The chat client is carried over from TTR2, and there’s a news feed taken from the official website.
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I don’t know if the omission of online multiplayer has anything to do with the game’s stability, but I didn’t experience any crashes, unlike TTR2 which seems quite crash-prone.
I’m not a huge Coldplay fan, so I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying the game. I tried TTR2 briefly but just couldn’t get into it; I’m a very casual gamer, so I like being able to just jump into a game and start playing. With TTR2, I had to hunt for tracks I was familiar with and download them, but practically everybody has heard (and liked) at least one Coldplay song.
If not for the rather glaring lack of online multiplayer, I’d have no reservations recommending Tap Tap Revenge: Coldplay Edition to fans and non-fans alike; but as it is, people aren’t going to want to pay for a game with less features than the free version. Still, if multiplayer isn’t a big deal and you like their songs, give the game a go.
To celebrate the launch of the game, Tapulous is holding the “Tapulous Coldplay Edition Contest”. For the next 30 days, one player will win the entire Coldplay catalog, amongst other prizes. The grand prize? A pair of front row tickets to the Viva La Vida summer tour and an autographed album. Further details available on the Tapulous blog.
Price: $4.99, ¢3.99 and £2.99 (on the iTunes app store)
What I like: Addictive gameplay, familiar songs, well-designed.
What needs to be improved: More songs would be nice; the reinstatement of online multiplayer.