Review: Tappingo

Tap into a whole new way to play puzzles!

By Anthony Vigna. Posted 03/05/2014 09:00 1 Comment     ShareThis
The Final Grade
1-Up Mushroom for...
Compelling gameplay mechanics; simple, yet deep puzzle structure; hours of content; affordable price.
Poison Mushroom for...
Lack of sound effects; devoid of features.

I love the Nintendo eShop. The online service has provided me with some of the most interesting and creative titles I’ve ever played on my 3DS. Independent developers on the eShop typically take more creative risks than those with big budgets, leading to some innovative titles with awesome ideas. Tappingo, the latest creation of Goodbye Galaxy Games’ Hugo Smits, is a perfect example of one of these unique titles.

At first glance, Tappingo may look like a variation of Picross, but it stands out as its own through its gameplay mechanics. Like Picross, the objective of each puzzle in Tappingo is to complete the picture on the screen. However, instead of filling in individual blocks, the player must extend lines from pre-existing blocks on screen. Each of these blocks has a number on it that shows how far the block must be extended, so the player will need to figure out which direction each block must go in order to solve the puzzle.

There’s a twist though: you can’t extend a line unless it’s being blocked by another line, an individual block, or the edge of the screen. This may not seem like a big deal, but this rule can act as a major setback in the middle of puzzle. For example, say that you extend a long line to create a wall for other lines to stand on. If you find out later on in the puzzle that the long line is supposed to go in another direction, then that means that you have to fix all of the lines touching that wall as well, causing a chunk of your puzzle to become undone. This makes the strategic placement of each line vital to your success.

Tappingo’s puzzles start out really small, but they eventually become enormous in size. Out of the first batch of 30 puzzles, there were a good amount of levels that I could finish under 40 seconds. However, toward the end of the game, I encountered puzzles that took me over seven minutes to complete! Even though new mechanics aren’t presented in later stages, the stages do become surprisingly complex as you progress. The larger the puzzle, the more likely that mistakes will be made.

One of the major flaws with Tappingo is its lack of sound effects, as they are completely non-existent in the game. Sound effects are a basic fundamental of game design, so I’m shocked that they were never included. Extending each block without hearing anything felt strange to me because I had no feedback for my actions. Adding sound effects to each stylus tap could have gone a long way in satisfying player input.

Tappingo also lacks any kind of features outside of the core gameplay. Sure, it’s fun to see what the fastest time was on each puzzle, but there is no reason to replay any of the puzzles once you complete them. There could have been extra incentives, such as a ranking system that grades you based on your performance or leaderboards that allow you to compete with friends, but sadly these features weren’t implemented.

However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be getting your money’s worth. After going through each of the game’s 104 puzzles, I clocked in over seven hours total, which is pretty impressive for a game that is only $2.99 on the eShop. At such an affordable price point, Tappingo is perfect for anyone who’s gaming on a tight budget and looking for a quality experience.

For those who love puzzle games like Picross, Tappingo will be right up your alley. While the lack of features and sound effects remain a disappointment, the game makes up for it with its compelling mechanics and challenging puzzle structure. Tappingo’s gameplay doesn’t disappoint and offers hours of content, making it an excellent addition to the 3DS eShop library.

One Response to “Review: Tappingo

  • 24 points
    simsjoe says...

    The game seems interesting!I only had my 3ds few weeks ago and I’d totally like if I could get 10 or more games which are worth buying and spending time for! Thanks for this review.

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