App Reviewed on: iPhone SE
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If a clicker is bad, it can be right up there with some of the worst game experiences you’ve ever had. These games basically play themselves, so it shouldn’t be too hard to make one good, right? If you assume this is true (which you shouldn’t. I was being facetious) , the makers of Tap! Star Captain have clearly missed the mark. I can’t really think of a worse clicker I’ve ever played (not joking anymore. This game is bad).
In Tap! Captain Star, you are an intrepid space adventurer who is exploring the deep edges of space, which are apparently filled with all sorts of space creatures that you must kill. You start by simply tapping on the screen to kill these foes, but defeating these enemies grants you minerals, which you can use to spend on unlocking other team members, a space ship, or all sorts of other upgrades to make you stronger.
Some of these upgrades start letting your crew attack space creatures without even tapping the screen, which will continue to happen even when you close the app. This is all mostly familiar territory for anyone that's played a clicker before, which is mostly what Tap! Captain Star trades in. Of course, you can also elect to keep tapping the screen, which will help you earn currency (and unlocks) faster than you would if you just let the game idle.
Tapping the void
From a mechanical standpoint, Tap! Captain Star does everything you expect from a clicker. You can idle or actively play to earn currency and use it to unlock new team members or abilities. You also face increasingly difficult foes that make it harder for you to win fights. Your job is to find a way to efficiently spend your resources to maximize your ability to gain more resources.
This is completely fine for most clickers, but Tap! Captain Star is just a little too generic to make playing it feel memorable. Your space squad is just a set uninspired character designs, and your enemies are one of a handful of same-y looking octopi or crabs. There’s nothing special about this game’s design or aesthetic, which makes playing it feel pretty unremarkable.
I’m fine with a clicker being really mind-numbing and generic, but Tap! Captain Star crosses a line by being extremely rote AND completely chock full of ads and upsells at almost every turn. Want to earn your idle currency? Watch an ad to double it. Want to tap a bonus UFO in the background to see if it gives you more currency? It might reward you sometimes, but more often than not it offers an ad or a store item for you to buy with real money instead.
These kinds of ad pushes are super annoying and aggressive, but Tap! Captain Star doesn’t just stop there. In addition to using ads as a carrot for earning more rewards, ads will just pop up randomly while you’re going through menus. And these aren’t just little banner ads, mind you. Full screen video ads will start to play—seemingly at random—whenever you’re trying to do anything in Tap! Captain Star.
The bottom line
Tap! Captain Star is a foul combination. It’s equal parts mind-numbing clicker and super-aggressive ad machine. I can’t think of a single good reason for anyone to play it.