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One of my favorite aspects of the Donkey Kong Country series had to be the barrel blasting puzzles. There was something so simple about the concept -- just pressing a button in time with rotating and swaying barrels -- that really resonated with me. It was intense, and fairly clever, as there were a host of secrets to be found if you took leaps (blasts?) of faith and ventured into unknown and unseen territory. When I heard there was a mobile game based entirely around this concept, I had to jump on it. Thankfully, Tap & Blast [$0.99] manages to recapture the thrill of blasting all over again.

Instead of just throwing you into the action, Blast has a cute little mascot and miniature story to go along with it, which adds to the game's charm. By way of a tiny imp named Red, you'll light up the sky and drop fireworks in celebration, while grabbing chili peppers to further the festivities. But not everyone is sufficiently cheery, as spirits loom about the stages content on putting the kibosh on the event.

Tap 1

Given the great presentation, naturally, one of the best parts of Blast is the art style. It's a unique blend of monochrome shapes and colors, with a great combination of pastels and bright, vibrant neon objects. Red looks like a bona fide mascot, and it almost looks good enough to air as a Saturday morning cartoon.

As you can imagine, Tap & Blast is really easy to pick up (at first) due to its one button control style. All you have to do is tap the screen while you're in a barrel, and Red will blast out of it into the next one. The controls work perfectly even on a smaller screen, and if you want to change up where the prompts lie for special abilities you can do so from the game's main menu. It's simple enough at first glance, but then you start running into barrels that move from side to side, and things get a little trickier. From there, you'll need to blast at certain intervals to avoid flying off the screen and ending the run.

Slowly but steadily, Blast starts to introduce newer concepts that will throw you for a loop. One barrel forces you to slide your fingers on the screen to guide it, giving you a full directional control of where you go. This opens up opportunities to find secret areas and hidden barrels, as well as alternate routes to the goal (which is a bullseye, capable of dishing out multiple tiers of bonus points).

Then you mix in concepts like walls that change your direction mid-flight, as well as hazards like spikes, and you'll basically start paying attention to every single blast, methodically. Spirits will also roam about, effectively serving as enemies, which you'll also have to avoid while worrying about hazards and moving barrels. It gets pretty hectic, but that's all part of the fun.

Part of the aforementioned secret areas will host gold chilis, which serve to unlock more levels (of which there are 60), and aid progression. To unlock new worlds you'll have to earn more "chili points," which can be earned through normal gameplay or purchased by way of IAP. The IAP is pretty fair considering that most of it consists of costumes, and level packs run $1.99 each (which more updates and Game Center support on the way) There are a few areas however that feel sluggishly slow in terms of progression, and you'll have to go back and "grind out" some stages to move on.

Tap 2

While it probably won't blow you away, Tap & Blast is a great free game that will easily last you an afternoon. It has a sense of style, great controls, and a good amount of variety to keep you interested. My chief complaint is that it would have been a much better offering as a premium app rather than the heavy IAP scheme it employs now, but considering how fun the game is, it's worth wading through.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Delcast

    Yay! I know, I'm a regular Johnathan blow... Posting wherever my game is mentioned but this is big! Thanks for the review!.

    We will very much consider your input, we are observing the possibilities for the world purchase prizes already. ( we were a bit scared of releasing premium because we had a pretty bad experience before. And we just want to get the word out about Raptus)

    Anyhow! back to programming.

  • koryc

    Great game,really enjoying it

  • koryc

    Looking forward to ur future games and forthcoming updates,this game will stay on my ipad for a long time

    • Delcast

      Aww now you just want to make me cry *-* !

  • rich_952000

    Yep, you all did a great job with this game..it's FREE people, give it a try.

    • Delcast

      Cheers man, my dev pardner is pretty happy too :D
      Now if the stars align and apple can deliver the Update today or tomorrow!

      • ZarieoZ

        I never download free games in the upcoming tonight TA article, in fact I mostly hate downloading freemium games. But I really liked it in TA plays (which I also rarely watch, but I don't miss a single review), also reminded me of land a panda, which I adore.

        Suffice to say you broke my rule that I've been following for nearly 2 years. I don't regret it, it's a great game :-) I'm really happy I downloaded it.

        I'm still not far enough though, so my decision may be affected when the freemium aspect kick in (I hate freemium like the plague, if that makes sense :-/ ) as the reviewer I would've preferred it be a premium game. You still need to make many for your hard work though so you still have to set a pay wall, it's a dilemma O.o

      • Delcast

        I'm gonna let you in a little secret. I don't quite know why Chris mentioned that, because there is no real pay wall, and very little grinding required, only really for the last world of the game, and by then it is quite easy to get many points in later stages. I suppose he didn't actually go though all of the later worlds, because the amount of points granted grows a lot.

        When we released our first game, Draw: The showdown, years ago. We made it premium and although the game was VERY flawed, it also had some cool ideas. And it was completely ignored until we made it freemium.

        That was the main reason why we wanted to go with something very different this time: We decided we wanted people to pay only if they really wanted to support us, and not as a requirement to play the game as intended.

        The stages are designed in such a way that you need to get through them more than once to unlock the next ones, paying or not. And the paid unlockables simply accelerate some of the process. The same goes for the extra characters, they have slight differences in their scoring, but none of them has a very defined advantage in every level.

        Anyway, I'm very interested in what you might think of the game after you give it some time.

        Thanks for the support!

      • ZarieoZ

        Is that so ;-) I really didn't understand when 2 reviews talked about paying for levels when I was clearly able to unlock some with my Chilis
        I'm a perfectionist, I always end up playing levels in games several times (to discover everything) before I advance further ;-) & yeah the game is really generous with its Chilis. One level in a world got me enough to unlock the next world. Anyway, that's the reason I broke my rule in the first place, it didn't look like freemium, it's level based not an adventures game where enemies my become harder & I become underpowered.

        Even though I love free games & levels :D do you think that making IAP cosmetic will get you enough to cover your hard work? Don't want you to end up losing on than one too, cause it's a great game. I apply games to a lot of testing when I download them before I decide to keep them (for space) I think this is a keeper for me.

        Thanks for replying :-)

      • Delcast

        Hah thats a difficult question to answer.

        Oh well! So, I think we might have a bit too much faith in Hew-Manatee. But to be honest we were more afraid of it going completely ignored, than of it becoming a commercial hit.
        Even if it didn't do as hot maybe a spinoff would have enough recognition to warrant a premium model.

        However, we looked at other games, and we
        thought what path of exile was doing in the pc, was very interesting (which ONLY uses cosmetic purchases) and seems to be doing pretty good.

        And we also actually thought that people who were just playing it and liked it would simply go "hey! this is a great game! I'm gonna but a character!" truth is that around 0.05% of the people have. (We also hoped that would be the effect with the Legendary Crystal Chili of Stupendous Flavor but we know the pricing of that is WAYY OFF, so it's gonna get adjusted next update).

        Will it cover our hard work? I think its safe to say it won't. But we don't really depend on it, I wish gamedev was my only occupation (we have some very ambitious projects coming up), but I keep a steady programming part time job in far less interesting projects.

        I'm glad that you'll be keeping t & b, although the current version has a fair few bugs... so don't punch me when you find them D:
        But rest assure ,we will be releasing at least a few planned updates, and if it really picks up you can expect a lot more :D

        Cheers ;)

      • ZarieoZ

        Oh lol don't worry, nobody is getting punched :D

        As for freemium aspects, there are people who normally use freemium to advance, others who buy cosmetics, some who don't buy at all & some who buy extra levels & map/levels packs (me), so limiting freemium to cosmetics rule people like me out (who don't care about cosmetics).

        I'd say, a game like yours could be a 0.99$ Or 1.99$ game (but starts it's life with a launch sale cause you are afraid people might not pick it otherwise) then limit IAP to cosmetics. That way people got their money's worth with levels & you got something on return for your hard work.

        Anyway, it's not my business talking about this stuff, I really don't have much knowledge about the ecosystem, & I'm not even much of a spending-money App consumer. I just wanted to help. Glad to know your making it just for fun :-) and that you have a regular unhappy job to keep you happy ;-)

  • gamefreak23

    Gonna give this a try

    • Delcast

      :D trying is good!

Tap & Blast Reviewed by Chris Carter on . Rating: 4