A tap-worthy first game
Tap Champs is the first game by solo-developer Matador Game. First games are always a bit daunting and can be tricky to do correctly. But with stylish and colorful graphics, intense gameplay and new updates on the horizon, Matador has a solid start in the games industry.
Additionally, Matador Game has given Tap Champs the best possible price tag. It’s free to download and play on Android or iOS. And with a roster of 20 playable characters embarking on 220 missions, that’s a good deal.
Simple and addictive
The gameplay is simple. Players begin by choosing the size of battle they wish to fight, either 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2 or 3 vs 3. They then choose the heroes that will fight in the battle and it begins. Each hero’s turn, players choose the abilities they wish to activate and increase them as the battle progresses.
Combat is accomplished through a unique tapping mechanic. Once the player chooses an attack and a target, there is a brief charging period. The player is given a window of a few seconds to tap the screen as fast as possible to charge their attack. The more taps they can fit in, the more damage they’ll do. The most I’ve ever gotten is about 70 taps. Not too shabby!
Defeating enemies earns experience points that will level up characters which in turn activates the character’s various enchantments.
Enchantments are essentially buffs like increased damage, health, defense and that sort of thing. But by giving players the option to change these at will, it allows much more flexibility in play style. If one method doesn’t seem to be working, a character’s enchants can be changed to shore up any weaknesses that are losing battles.
Players begin with two Champs. As mentioned, there is a full roster of 20 Champs to choose from. As the two initial heroes complete missions and earn crystals, the crystals can be spent in the barracks to recruit new heroes and unlock new enchants.
Like so many free games, players also have access to gold. Gold can be earned by watching ads or it can be purchased with real-world money.
In game video of Gluttony’s 3rd attack. He does an underhand swipe clawing through the entire body of his enemies dealing over 70 damage! #indiedev #indiegame #indiegamedev #gamedev #indiewatch pic.twitter.com/eR7lND2MeT
— Matador Game (@_matadorgame) June 12, 2018
The graphics and interface of Tap Champs are pretty clean and polished-looking. I didn’t detect any bugs or glitches (which is a feat in itself for a first-time dev) and the animations look fine.
I particularly liked the speed-tapping battle mechanic. The frantic moments of seeing how many taps I can get in really reminded me of childhood games like Crossfire or Hungry, Hungry Hippos. I felt encouraged to really try different methods of tapping. The best I could come up with was a sort of three-finger drumroll on the screen, though the double-thumb method came in a close second. It would be interesting to see what creative methods other players can figure out!
Tap Champs is not without flaws, of course. But most of its problems are fixable, and may already be getting addressed by Matador Game.
One thing I found particularly odd was the lack of a title splash screen. While it doesn’t affect gameplay at all, it’s a bit disorienting to boot up a game and skip straight ahead to a menu with no mention of the game’s title or any logo. Seems like an easy way to make the game feel more unique.
Sounds and feedback during gameplay are fine. The soundtrack is dramatic and the sound effects in battle are fitting as well. But there is a lack of feedback when navigating menus that had me confused for a bit. When choosing menu options and activating abilities, there’s no sound effect or haptic feedback to let me know I’ve successfully tapped it. For a little while, I was utterly confused as to why my screen wasn’t working. Eventually, I realized that it was working, and there actually is a click of confirmation, but it’s difficult to hear. So turn it up!
Finally, the addition of some new stages would be nice. There’s a large variety of opponents, but it seems there’s only one background. Some different environments would do a lot to improve the aesthetics of Tap Champs.
In game video of Kalung’s 1st attack. He lunges forward with both blades coming down on the target dealing 55+ damage.#indiedev #indiegame #indiegamedev #gamedev #indiewatch pic.twitter.com/UWY9869Qtp
— Matador Game (@_matadorgame) June 11, 2018
Check it out!
Overall, Tap Champs is a fine first game. Matador has done everything to include a full roster of unique champs with a variety of abilities, animations and enchants and more content for the game is being created right now. And it’s free! So why not pick it up and see how fast you can tap!