Tap Tap Dance First Look

How athletic, how limber, how graceful, are the second, third, and fourth fingers on your dominant hand? Tap Tap Dance, the latest music game from Tap Tap impresarios Tapulous, is set against some of the most iconic techno and house tracks to be found this side of Ibiza–and it really puts your dexterity to the test.

Tapulous has been making a lot of progress on the business development side of things recently. Their first promotional partner for the Tap Tap franchise was Trent Reznor, who collaborated with the publisher to produce Tap Tap Revenge: NIN Edition. We didn’t much care for that product, but it certainly showcased the licensing possibilities for the infinitely re-skinnable Tap Tap engine.

Now they’ve got two more deals lined up, with who knows how many more waiting in the wings. Tap Tap Dance comes out of a relationship with record label EMI, which owns the rights to a bunch of world-class DJs and electronic musicians, including Digitalism, Moby, Daft Punk, Tiesto, and Chemical Brothers. Tapulous has also announced a deal with Interscope to produce something called Christmas With Weezer, which we can barely even fathom. Tapulous is billing Tap Tap as “a totally new business model and way to distribute music within an interactive game on a platform like the iPhone,” and it seems like the publisher is getting some buy-in from music industry heavyweights.

Back to the matter at hand. Tap Tap Dance is a heck of a lot of fun. Tapulous made numerous improvements to the Tap Tap engine for this game. For one thing, the game’s new look is bursting with light, animation, and a new pastel color palette–it’s like walking into a gigantic rave at 3AM on a Saturday night. There are a handful of custom themes for the big acts, too, like Moby and Daft Punk, so you aren’t stuck staring at the same background and note track the entire time.

Further, while the gameplay in the original Tap Tap Revenge felt like a rudimentary, trimmed-down take on a console music game, Tap Tap Dance is much more of a fully realized experience. Playing the game is akin to breakdancing with your fingers; the hard songs require absolute concentration. In combination with the pulsing trance music, this elicits a kind of meditative state. It seems to us that these are the kind of tunes Tap Tap was made for, much more so than NIN or anything on Revenge.

Tap Tap Dance is $4.99. We’re going to keep playing it and see if we can’t get a review up soon. In the meantime, check out our video to get a sense of the game’s new look.