Let’s TAP: Bubble Voyager

Let’s TAP: Bubble Voyager

What we liked:

+ Survival style gameplay
+ Tap controls

What we didn't like:

- Firing weapon is touchy
- Screen dims in Tap Mode

DEVELOPER: iPrope   |   PUBLISHER: Sega   |   RELEASE: 10/02/2009

Prope’s Wii collection of games are in your iPhone! The Let’s Tap series, famed for its vibration-based controls, now have you putting your iPhone on a tissue box so you can tap-tap-tap away. Lacking a tissue box on your morning commute, you can select the Touch mode that allows tapping on the screen or the Free mode that lets you tap any part of the phone. Having tried out all three methods, I’ll save you some time: you will want to keep a tissue box handy. With the Let’s Tap series broken into five small games for the Apple devices, we will serve up our analyses here in bite-sized reviews for each.

Bubble Voyager offers up some survival style fun. Set over graph paper schematics and some sort of aquarium death trap, you guide the little voyager through hazardous obstacles, trying to best your high score. Tapping propels the Voyager upwards as he moves ceaselessly forward. Points are awarded for things like distance travelled, collecting stars and successfully landing to restore your energy. To achieve a perfect landing you have you control your descent by tapping gently. Successive perfect landings net you more and more points each time, in addition to refilling you energy meter – essentially your health. Run out of energy by traveling too far without refueling or from colliding with enemies and it’s game over. At the end of the game your high score can be featured in worldwide rankings, should you choose.

An even greater exercise in control than Tap Runner, the hardest part of Bubble Voyager is firing your torpedoes to clear obstacles. Because it requires a forceful tap you will often send the Voyager upward and into a spiky ball instead of firing. While the screen does go dim if using Tap mode, Bubble Voyager deftly handles another side-effect of the game. Simply, it’s hard to play for very long since the ideal setup has you craning your neck over a box. It’s pretty uncomfortable.

In Bubble Voyager, Yuji Naka simmers things down to their funnest principle. Simple, survival style fun Bubble Voyager is a pretty compelling offering, though still a bit of an expensive buy at $3.99. Global leader boards for this score-driven title increase its worth, but Tap Runner is a better playground for the vibration controls if that’s what piques your interest.

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