It is unfortunate to see an otherwise promising title fall flat due to a small amount of content. After playing through Tap-Fu’s incomplete story, this is exactly how we felt. While it has redeeming qualities, there was simply not enough fun to keep our interest.
Tap-Fu is a side-scroller beat-em-up in the vein of Castle Crashers. As you walk around the terrain, ninjas jump down from the sky and attack you. Since you are the Kung-Fu master’s apprentice, you let your fists and feet do the talking.
The controls work pretty well. The first of two options, gesture, is surprisingly responsive. This is a button-free method where every movement is controlled by taps and slashes. For example, moving your finger in a circle unleashes your deadly fireball while a semi-circle initiates your back-kick. Another option has a joystick and buttons, but these tended to be too small and unresponsive for precise combos.
As much fun as we had with gesture-based karate, it was abruptly ended by a ‘to be continued’ screen after 45 minutes of gameplay. At this time, the story is incomplete and contains only one chapter. On top of that, the entire game feels like a tutorial. The Kung-Fu master teaches you new controls up to the last minute and then has you fetch him candy. We would have preferred the entire game from the start, and we hope further chapters will come as free updates.
Give me back my candy!
The gameplay is extremely repetitive. In the story mode, the entire game has you slashing ninjas and grabbing candy. Two other game modes, Survival and 100 Rounds, are just as they sound: fend off enemies for as long as possible. This got stale soon after it began, even with achievements and online scoring.
We did enjoy what existed of the story, though. The candy-obsessed Kung-Fu master has all his sweets stolen by the Sweettooth Clan and, since he is too afraid, he sends you out on an assault mission to get it back. He then lies to you and says all the candy is going to the children, when he is actually hiding it under a rock. The writing is very witty, which was a plus.
Also, the game has interesting graphics. The sprites are shifted at a slight 3D angle on top of a 2D world, giving an effect that really pops out at you. The art style is quite nice as well, although the UI doesn’t fit.
Unfortunately, Tap-Fu does not have enough content to justify a purchase. Until more is added, we suggest taking caution before buying this game.