As implied by the title of this review, Tap Smiths’ gameplay loop is simple… But make no mistake – Tap Smiths is an excellent idle game with charming pixellated visuals and a surprisingly good sense of humour for a game of its genre.
I’ve always been fascinated by idle games. As a longtime gamer, it’s interesting to see the veneer of risk and reward stripped away from games to reveal just the raw math beneath. The numbers just keep going up, no matter what you do. Usually these games have a fun theme and satisfying audio/visual feedback for your accomplishments, (to make up for the fact that you are literally performing the same tasks over and over) and it is in this respect that Tap Smiths really delivers.
Tap Smiths starts you off in a rather spartan smithy with your sister. The two of you are informed that you’ve inherited it from your grandfather, and after a brief tutorial you’re immediately put to work! From there it’s a matter of furiously tapping on either side of the screen to smith everything you can each day spent in-game and selling it before the next. Apart from unlocking blueprints, which grant you the ability to craft new equipment via QTE-style arrow-tapping sequences, and new costumes/smithy upgrades, there is little more to the game’s mechanics.
The game’s charm is definitely the heart of its staying power; from the sparks that fly with each strike of the anvil to the huge roster of hilariously varied unlockable smiths, the game is dripping with style and appeal in a way that really sustains the addictive quality that all idle games rely on. It plays smoothly and without technical hiccups in my experience, and though it offers optional ads for in-game rewards through pop-ups at times, they’re not particularly intrusive and are in fact often pretty well worth it.
I’d say take a chance on this if you have any interest in idle games. It doesn’t feel like a free game or a diluted experience in any way. The game’s higher-end minerals and items may eventually all but require a cash investment but honestly, at the end of the day it’s an idle game – if you want to remain a free player you aren’t punished in any way for taking your time. It’s a solid and rewarding idle game no matter your level of time or money invested; highly recommended.