Price: FREE (with in-app purchases)
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad mini (Retina)
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
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Tap & Blast is a colorful trip that involves one taking the role of a little imp called Red. Using strategically placed cannon barrels floating in the fireworks-filled sky, the aim is to drop Red in the right direction so that he lands in the next barrel. Keeping the fun of the night going by eating a bunch of red-hot chillies, and gaining both chilly points and "bling" to advance, there's one enemy that he can't avoid - the Sun. Once it comes up, it's game over.
Controlling Red is simple enough. A single tap on the barrel he's currently in will see him catapulted to the next one, providing there's one there for him to land in. The challenge really arrives when these barrels begin to spin, rotate, and move at regular intervals. Once this happens, one will have to ensure that the barrel is facing in the right direction in order to land successfully whilst avoiding any obstacles - like split-rotating walls - that may be in the way.
Players will also encounter other forces that will aim to bring an early end to the party. One of those being the sad spirits, that - just like their name suggests - aren't too fond of joining-in on the celebrations and will do everything to try to put a stop to Red's fun-loving trip through the night sky.
I was impressed with the overall art style of Tap & Blast, even from the game's main menu and the overall design and function of the diagonal carousel housing its over 60 levels. Fusing a range of role playing elements with the need to solve puzzle aspects, and throwing in some platformer traits for good measure, Tap & Blast's unique approach to cartoon-style visuals was apparent from the outset. The in-app purchases are pretty reasonable, too. New characters to help players keep the night going are $0.99 each, while purchasing new worlds to play in will run $1.99 each. Buying more chillies to advance will cost players between $0.99 and $19.99.
I will say that the controls may need some work, especially on iPad mini. While the control methods for tapping and firing Red to new locations worked as intended, the use of the provided control points (located in the bottom right) were really sketchy at best, with the right-most control appearing to be slightly off-screen. The good news for those potentially looking to give it a whirl is updates are coming. The game's description highlights that Game Center support and UI fixes are on the way, with more characters and levels also expected. I think once those are in place the game will play better, especially in regards to the controls.
Tap & Blast will probably satisfy those looking for a fast-paced adventure with some devilish antics thrown in, and could really become an App Store classic with just a few tweaks to its control system. I would like to see more of an initial introduction, though.