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Tap Skaters review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Forever Entertainment
Developer: Forever Entertainment/Digital Melody
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: No
ESRB: E

Is it kosher to complain about a $5 game being too expensive? I’ve long been bothered by the way that freemium and 99 cent mobile games have skewed perspectives on fair pricing, so I don’t want to contribute to that. And yet, the more I play Tap Skaters, the more I can’t help but feel that it’s a little overpriced.

Like, it’s currently free on the App store. Notwithstanding the Switch version of the game doesn’t indulge in as many opportunities to gouge you at every opportunity, even then it’s only $3 to remove ads and give you unlimited continues — which, near as I can tell, is what you get on the Switch.

And we’re not talking about a game that’s substantially improved with physical controls. As the title implies, Tap Skaters is built around tapping the screen. You control a skater who’s continuously rolling downhill, and you have to tap the screen to have him move down a level. You can also tap a button, but it’s not like there’s a big difference between tapping the screen or tapping a button.

This is the case even though Tap Skaters does require some level of precision. Complicating matters is that most levels have obstacles of some sort, and that hitting them is instant death. Further, the levels here don’t have checkpoints, so you have to achieve your objectives — grab X coins, win a race, etc. — in one shot, or else it’s back to the beginning.

As you can imagine, it makes for a frustrating experience, not least because it’s kind of hard to make snap judgments on one level to avoid obstacles, while at the same time looking ahead a few levels to consider obstacle placement down there, too. When you get it right, it’s pretty rewarding, since it feels like you’ve accomplished something, but “a sense of accomplishment when you beat a level” should be the bare minimum feeling a game aspires to inspiring, not an accomplishment in and of itself.

Plus,of course, Tap Skaters never feels like much more than a mobile game that you’re paying a premium to play on the Switch. To be sure, there’s nothing inherently wrong with mobile games — and there’s not even anything wrong with mobile games moving over to the Switch — but when they’re as basic as this, it makes it hard to see why you should bother, when it’s just as easy to play the original at a fraction of the price.

Forever Entertainment provided us with a Tap Skaters Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: C+