Can you strip a game of its storyline, boil it down to the core mechanic and make it still playable? Turns out, you can.
I downloaded Tap Titans on Sunday just before getting on a budget flight (read: no inflight entertainment) because it was listed on the App Store’s front page. After idly poking around for a bit, I was surprised to find how little skill it required.
About two hours later, I was even more surprised to find I was still prodding at the screen, frantically figuring out which of my fighters to level up.
See, the game takes a regular tap-fighter and removes the need to tap with any skill. There’s no timing or anything to react to; rapidly drumming on the screen with several fingers is probably the best tactic you can employ. As you tap, you earn points and that’s used to level your fighter up, as well as a growing cabal of other teammates you’ll recruit along the stages.
Let me repeat that: there is no skill required. There is some strategy required in figuring out which fighters to level up and how to spend your points, but after a short while it’ll become obvious that you should always invest in the most advanced fighter you can afford in order to push your earning rate.
There’s an additional mechanic called ‘prestige’, but it’s really just levelling up on a macro scale. After you’ve reached level 600, you get to activate prestige and that resets your game to zero, but you’ve got a bunch of powerups for your next run. You get to prestige over and over again and get more and more powerful—which basically echoes what you’re doing throughout the game across the levels. See, it’s just more of the same, but admittedly it is crazy fun to blaze through early levels with your new super strength.
I’ve seen it described as an RPG and that’s a real stretch, frankly. There is no storyline, and the bosses keep repeating. But you won’t notice. You’ll just be obsessively watching your earnings and waiting for heroes to qualify for the next level.
Because your fighters will ‘fight’ while you’re gone, continuing to rack up earnings for you, it makes sense to pour your investments into them and not your own individual fighter. It’s kind of a great advertisement for banking: you could grind away at your job and work your fingers to the bone, but the guy who started out early with a large investment portfolio is going to overtake you anyway.