Tap Tap Revenge: Tour
While the likes of EA and Activision dithered over the future of their respective rhythm juggernauts, the tapping wares from the wizards at Tapulous flourished on the App Store. Music title Tap Tap Revenge was boasting more than a million players before the end of its first month on sale.
Adding a little more structure to the mix, Tap Tap Revenge Tour introduces the titular Tour mode which takes you on a whirlwind trip around the world as you progress from your status as opening act, to crowd-pleasing headliners.
You can only work your way through this full show mode once per day, but you're free to kick back and jam on any of the free songs that you've unlocked while you wait for your next attempt at the big-time.
Tapulous's notorious pattern-crafters are on their very best sadistic form in this game, and have conjured up some devilish tricks to catch you unawares. Even at their most infuriating they're always fair though, and they always flow naturally with the music. To say there's a challenge here for even the most gig-weary rhythm tapper is a gross understatement.
On Medium you can focus more closely on just carefully timing your comparatively simple finger-tapping, mixed up with finger-swipes that make a very satisfying swish noise. Hard mode ups the ante considerably, and features far more furious finger-work, as well as some cleverly off-putting warping of the rhythm lines. When it comes to the grime-tastic Skrillex on Extreme mode, you're on your own I'm afraid.
As well being a very satisfying rhythm game, it's not short on eye-candy either. Early on you'll battle through your novice days on stage in somewhat grimy venues, before you reach the zenith of your showmanship on the dazzling neon decks of the encore levels.
The game's free to download, so how does Tapulous make its money? To unlock even the free tracks you're going to need coins, although these can be earned through gameplay and we had no problem unlocking everything that comes with the download. Still if you want some more currency from the App Store, it's available if you need it. There are also premium tracks to be purchased, so if you want to get hold of the best music the game has to offer, you'll need to combine this in-game currency with some of your own real-world cash.
Musically there's something for everyone, whether that's the quieter tones of country, or the sort of full-on electronic anarchy you tend to crave on the way to work in the morning. As well as premium acts you'll have heard of, there's also a great selection of free tracks from up-and-coming artists. They're not bad either!
All things considered, Tap Tap Revenge Tour does a great job of living up to the legacy of one of the most popular music gaming series on the App Store. There's a huge amount of variety in the music selections, a pretty generous chunk of free tracks, and the Jam mode lets you carry on rocking even while you wait for the cooldown on your career.
What's Hot: Great selection of tracks with the free version, and the game has some devilish pattern designs.
What's Not: We'd really like a native iPad client, and there's just the occasional framerate hitch when the action's at its most intense.