Here’s a surprisingly fun iOS game from the folks at Chinese game development studio Coconut Island. It’s called One Tap Hero. I think many of us, myself included, when we look at China-made games, there’s an instinct to figure out which western game it has copied from. In this case, I don’t find any obvious answer, but I’m finding elements of Angry Birds, Scribblenauts, Super Mario all rolled up into a fun little package.
But as the title suggests, the most interesting feature of this game is the simplified controls. Your hero is indeed manipulated with just one tap, which could be anywhere on your screen. I always thought that perhaps a virtualized d-pad and on-screen buttons would be a good way to proceed in mobile gaming, but I keep finding this to not be the case – most recently fumbling with the controls for EA’s Madden 12 for iPad. The folks from Coconut Island tell me:
So with this control design we could not only win back the hardcore gamers who hate using d-pad on iPhone to play platformer but also attract the casual players who don’t like to play platformers because of its complicated control.
And the folks at Coconut Island have made sure you can do a lot with a single tap. Your hero is constantly in a state of motion, and invariably is turned back from the boundaries of the playing area by bouncy green arrows . But with a single tap you make him jump (high or low depending on how long you hold your tap), or you can make him climb a ladder. The playing field also contains objects like springs, portals, and levers which you can use to move your hero.
The object of the game is to collect three stars and rescue your girl, who – as I understand, from the intro cartoon – has been kidnapped by a witch and turned into a bear. If you finish a round by collecting three stars, then she magically transforms back into a girl. In the same way that you want to finish a round with three stars in Angry Birds, the same concept applies in One Tap Hero.
And similar to Super Mario, there are coins that you can collect along the way too. You can use these to purchase items in the game for your hero, the first one being a fig leaf to conceal his nakedness. You can also purchase items in the game using real money as well.
Overall, I’m really enjoying this game so far. And while there are certainly many elements borrowed from other iconic games, I think One Tap Hero has built upon these in a way that works, incorporating an original one-tap game control that works very well on mobile.
If you’re looking for a new title to play on your iPad, you can pick it up over on the app store for 99 cents. You can get a preview of the gameplay in the trailer below.
Pictures the way shelled turtles bounce back and forth infinitely between two pipes. It’s a little like that, but a bit slower. ↩