Tap Tap Revenge 3

Tap Tap Revenge 3 is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

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Tap Tap Revenge 3 Review

When iPhone OS 3.0 launched with in-app purchases, it was inevitable that Tapulous would add this feature to a future version of their smash hit rhythm game, Tap Tap Revenge. However, the company has unfortunately taken its implementation a step too far, to the point where the customer feels nickel-and-dimed from the moment they open the app. This, along with cluttered menus, a narrow scope in available music, and unstable online play, make for a disappointing sequel.

If you have never played a Tap Tap game before, it’s a rhythm music game much like console phenomenons Rock Band and Guitar Hero. However, due to the iPhone’s screen size, there are only three frets. You can also turn on arrows that are hit by tilting the device, but these often get in the way. The game is still a lot of fun at its core, though, and all the songs are the original recordings (even if the majority are by indie artists).

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

The biggest upgrade in TTR3 is the new interface. Aesthetics aside, you now can tap a star power button as opposed to shaking the device to activate the special bonus mode. The multiplier is now always visible, instead of just making brief appearances, and a similar vertical bar allows you to determine your tap accuracy at a glance. Underneath your current score is an indicator of where in the song you are.

This isn’t enough to save TTR3 from seeming like a paid downgrade, though. When you first open the game, there are three tracks to play. The online store hosts about 100 more for free, plus a new song every week. The majority of these are not by hit artists and don’t include custom skins, which was a bit of a disappointment after seeing the extensive catalog of available tracks for purchase.

We’ve been slimed!

Unlike similar rhythm games that give you the content that the average player is interested in (the ‘hits’), these must be bought in artist packs: 2 songs for $0.99 or 5 songs for $2.99. When viewed in relation to Tapulous’ premium artist Tap Tap games, you are getting less bang for your buck. Also, any premium content you may have previously bought must be re-purchased in this game. TTR2 allowed for free imports, so this was disappointing.

Constant ads for paid content intrude around the game constantly. This nickel-and-diming technique only upsets customers, and we hope Tapulous rethinks their approach to it.

For the most part, the available music is very narrow in scope. It seems as if everyone who does not fit into the general pop audience (which we admit is quite large) got the short end of the stick. Even older rock acts such as Jane’s Addiction only had their most recent work included.

Will there be fallout from TTR3’s in-app purchases?

The menus in TTR3 are a pain to navigate due to the slow responsiveness and clutter. Moving the option wheel on the main screen or moving through tons of slow-loading pages just to add an accessory to your avatar is a pain. Previous Tap Tap games had relatively simple menus that worked perfectly, and we wish Tapulous had kept them.

Online head-to-head multiplayer is just as problematic as previous versions. Constant lag over 3G and wifi on our 3GS made this timing-based game nearly impossible to play. The idea is not bad, but some changes (likely server-side) need to be made.

Not everything is bad about the new Tap Tap, however. The new battling feature, which allows you to compete against or challenge another player to beat your score asynchronously, was great for playing against friends. Also, you now gain levels and gold to buy apparel for your customizable avatar. This was purely aesthetic, but still gave the game a little more meaning.

If you need your Tap Tap fix, go download Tap Tap Revenge 2 for free instead of paying for this lesser version. That version already includes a few hundred tracks and a decent amount of free premium content.

More stories on Tap Tap Revenge 3

Tapulous Flees Pirate-Infested iPhone Waters

Tapulous may have one of the most successful iPhone franchises on its hands, with Tap Tap Revenge the most popular game on the App Store ever, according to an FADE LLC report. But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the studio.

In fact, according to a report on music blog Music Ally, Tapulous is looking to port its Tap Tap titles to other formats. One of the main reasons behind the move is the huge piracy the series has reportedly suffered on iPhone.

‘To date we haven’t been motivated to move to another platform, but in 2010 we’re definitely looking to port,’ VP of business development Tim O’Brien said at the MidemNet Mobile Apps and Music panel session.

The franchise has enjoyed huge success on iPhone, with Tap Tap Revenge titles as a whole having been downloaded 25 million times from the App Store. However, it appears O’Brien’s claim that 1 million of Tap Tap Revenge 3’s first 2.5 million downloads were illegal has tainted the company’s experience with the format.

As a result, it seems likely that we’ll see Tap Tap Revenge turning up on other smartphones, though no details have yet been revealed.

Even those pesky pirates have their uses, however. O’Brien stated that some have even been tempted away from the dark side. The ability to buy tracks in-game and the advertising that decorates play has apparently transformed some into valid, paying customers.

Tapulous Making A Million Dollars a Month

With all the recent talk about the problems some companies are having with iPhone development (like studios complaining about time spent waiting for apps and updates to go live, or others concerned about piracy hitting profits), the news that Tapulous may be one of the format’s top earners has caused something of a stir in the UK press. The Telegraph of London yesterday proclaimed that the studio is pulling in the cash from its lineup of rhythm action games.

Tapulous, if the name doesn’t give it away, is the developer responsible for the Tap Tap franchise. Games like Tap Tap Revenge, Tap Tap Dance, and Tap Tap Coldplay all have made assaults on the App Store that, according to the studio, pull in around $1 million a month altogether.

The Telegraph believes Tapulous is a fine example of how iPhone apps are becoming “increasingly significant” in the world of handheld gaming, but of more interest is the example the developer provides for the rest of the industry. With fewer than two dozen employees, Tapulous initially secured funding and now pulls in revenue from everything from the game sales themselves to in-game advertising, not to mention the money that comes from selling tracks to use in play.

Perhaps more important than all this, however, is the fact that, in a similar way to the Dance Dance Revolution craze of the late 90s, the Tap Tap titles tap (ahem) into a simple gameplay ethic, their credibility instantly boosted by the tracks they come with. Like Guitar Hero, Rock Band, SingStar and the like, the Tap Tap series suggests iPhone gaming has gone mainstream, the so called “casual” gamers investing time and money aplenty in the series. Reasons to be tap-happy, perhaps?

[From The Telegraph]