When it comes to mobile games, nothing keeps me hooked more than tapping games, this new generation of mobile games which requires you to simply tap on the screen to achieve a certain goal, whether it’s to mine bitcoin, dig deeper underground, or in Tap Quest: Gate Keeper’s case, destroy enemies.
Most of these games take on a fairly simplistic pixel aesthetic and are simple games which require little to no real concentration, yet for some bizarre reason I find them oddly compelling and I just want to play them over and over and over until I get sore wrist and fingers. It’s a curse. Help me.
So, Tap Quest: Gate Keeper is a brand new tapping game which offers a little more of a challenge than simple tap to mine games. You’re required to protect a small platform in front of a tower from oncoming enemies from the left and right of the play area. As soon as they enter this platform they begin to conjure the dragon, and when they do, game over. So it’s up to you to tap either left or right in order to send your little adventurer swinging into the horde of enemies, taking them out one by one and pushing them away from the platform.
Progression is simple, wipe out all of the enemies, move onto the next stage, there’s ten stages in each level which get harder as you progress until the tenth level where you’re faced with a boss character.
As you mash the screen to kill the various creatures you’re presented with you earn coins, these coins can then be used to purchase upgrades for your characters, the chance to unlock and upgrade a fairy who helps take down the odd enemy, as well as unlock and upgrade the tower’s own defences.
You can also use coins to purchase chests which come with pieces of armour and weaponry to make your little hero stronger, and finally coins can also be used to upgrade your hero’s special abilities which are activated during play.
As I mentioned previously, Tap Quest: Gate Keeper takes on a retro-style pixel design which actually suits the game quite well, it gives it an old-school NES feel and really helps with the designs of the various creatures and monsters found in the game. It’s nothing overly special, but it does add to the overall enjoyability of the game.
Oddly impressive is the game’s sound design, the developers haven’t opted for an overly 8-bit soundtrack to accompany the game, though there is some chiptune in there, there’s also a number of other more musical tracks which work really well. Also, each level has its own soundtrack which perfectly suits the theme of the level. For example, the Ancient Forest level has a fairly angelic and light song over the top, but the Lava Ground has a more darker upbeat heroic electro feel to it.
Now, as the game is free-to-play there are some monetisation aspects about it, which you’d expect. These come in the form of Gems, which can be used to purchase special accessories, and unlock premium chests. There’s also the use of lives, which give you a limited amount of tries before asking you to wait for them to regenerate. Nothing overly unique here either, but there’s enough of an allowance that lets you play for a good while before giving you the boot.
In fact, I’ve managed to play the game and close the game out of choice before actually hitting the allotted 10 lives, which is pretty good for a free-to-play game.
Now, in total there are only 9 levels before you’ve essentially completed the game, but the game’s difficulty curve is so high you’ll likely be playing for some time before you get that far, even when you do there’s added replayability in the form of collectable relics which reply on you repeating older levels in order to find crates with the relics inside.
Overall, Tap Quest: Gate Keeper is fantastically addictive with the right amount of challenge. The visuals and sound suit the game perfectly, and the lenient in-app purchases make playing the game without actually spending a penny, pretty fantastic too.
As someone who loves the simplistic yet addictive nature of these games, I’d recommend Tap Quest: Gate Keeper to anyone. It does however get slightly frustrating when one of the little buggers sneak past you and manage to conjure the dragon..
You can download Tap Quest: Gate Keeper from the App Store. I’m also being told an Android version is in the works.