At first glance, Tappingo looks like a Picross clone – both games have a chunky, blocky aesthetic and are based around solving a puzzle to make a picture. But Tappingo takes a different path to that goal from Picross.
This puzzler from Goodbye Galaxy Games requires the player to swipe blocks in a direction in order to create a line. Blocks will slide until hitting something, so blocks are numbered – telling you how many spaces a line from it should extend. This all forms the blueprint and materials to give you a general idea on what to create. The first level gives a tutorial to Tappingo‘s mechanics, and after that you are able to solve the other 103 puzzles in any order.
The graphical style owes a lot to Picross 3D, right down to solved puzzles spinning around to show off the finished picture. Some of the puzzles also are homage to Nintendo consoles such as the Game Boy and the Nintendo 64, which is a nice touch. The interface itself is simple and maybe a little plain, but easy to use and the display on the bottom screen has some good options such as pausing the game to take a breather.
While the music is catchy it tends to loop very quickly which balances a fine line between memorable and irritating. Also, there are no sound effects – for example when you get a line wrong – which could have been a useful feature, especially in the later levels.
After completing the puzzles there seems to be little reason to replay them other than trying to get a faster time. Suggestions could be a star system (Similar to Angry Birds or Candy Crush Saga) in which to get 3 stars you would have to complete a puzzle within certain goal times.
Tying puzzle availability to clearing stages under par times (as with Mighty Switch Force) is also an option. What’s more, it would have been great if they added an online leaderboard to try and compete with others globally.
Despite Tappingo’s faults, this indie game shows how much work can be done by a small team.
Tappingo is a decent puzzler for fans of Picross and Sudoku and has over 100 puzzles of varying difficulty and uses an interesting concept. However, it’s a rather bare-bones package and could have looked to rival puzzle games for quality-of-life suggestions.
- Good value at £2.49
- Simple and clear graphics and interface
- Has both D-Pad and Circle Pad functionality
- Lack of replay value
- Strange absence of sound effects
- No zoom or undo functions
Final Score: 7.5/10
You can follow Hugo Smits, Goodbye Galaxy Games’ programmer, on Twitter.