Games on your phone are great for when you have a bit of downtime like waiting for a bus or in an office. One popular type of mobile game is tap/idle games, where you simply need to tap your screen repeatedly to advance in the game. Tap/idle games started becoming popular with the game cookie clicker released in 2013 by French programmer Julien Thiennot, who is better known as “Orteil”. Cookie clicker is a web-based clicking game where you keep clicking to make more cookies, and can buy stuff that will click automatically while you sit and watch.
The problem with most tap/idle games is that they tend to get boring quickly. One can only spend so long tapping a screen before it gets mundane. Especially with idle games when the work is being done while you are away, not much interaction is needed by the person. It definitely helps the game progress if you are clicking or tapping, but tends to get boring.
There are a few things that tap/idle games have in common: video rewards, skills when levelling up, restart function, abilities, and premium currency.
The video rewards are simply watch an ad for in-game bonuses like extra gold, or extra damage per click. Most free games have ads anyways, unless you pay to have them removed. Watching ads for bonuses is a good way to progress through the game as the bonuses typically help you out quite a bit.
In each game there are things you can buy that will keep playing and collecting coins even while the game is closed. These can be upgraded and can purchase skills when they reach certain levels. Most of these usually have a setting or function where you can restart the entire game, but you gain a bonus to try and keep the player to continue playing the game even after they’ve beaten everything.
Abilities usually cause tons of damage or add various upgrades, they usually have a cool-down after used.
With games in general, but especially tap/idle games, there is a basic currency and a premium currency. Both types of currency can usually be purchased for money, but premium currency can also be earned during the game. Premium currency is used to upgrade stuff quickly or buy premium equipment.
The premise is you are a bunch of different zombies attacking buildings to take over the world. You control one zombie who attacks when you tap and can buy other zombies who attack automatically. The other zombies including the main tap one can all be levelled up and have their own bonuses when they reach a certain level, as with most tap/idle games. Every 20 difficulty levels there is a boss that gives you broken orbs when you beat them. Broken orbs can be turned into whole orbs if you restart the game.
This game can be played offline, but if you do, you loose access to the video bonuses. Overall I give this game a 1.5/5. It is engaging at the beginning but around difficulty 150, it takes an extremely long time to save up for the next creature or to buy upgrades for the creatures you already have.
The premise is crabs were attacked by various reptiles and tunnelled underground where they got crystal radiation armour and are back attacking the reptiles to take back their home. This game is different than most other tap/idle games because while you do have the Queen crabs who attack automatically even if you are away, you also have three different types of main crabs that appear when you tap. The main crabs each have their own damage and bonuses based on how you decide to evolve them. Most games, you only have one creature who attacks when you tap, here you have three separate crabs that attack with their own bonuses.
The Queen crabs can be levelled up and have their own bonuses when they reach a certain level. One can devote all the money to the Queen crabs and level them up since they keep attacking while you are away, but the three main crabs all have their bonuses as well that shouldn’t be ignored. This game can be played offline but you lose access to the video bonuses.
Overall I give this game 3.5/5. The three different main crabs, and the fact that you can evolve them, adds a unique twist to this game that other tap/idle games don’t have.
The premise here is you need to drill to the centre of the earth. You have ten spots to fill up with different people or equipment to help you dig further into the earth. Depending on where you place the people or equipment, you can get a combo bonus that will earn you more gold. The more you tap, the more you dig.
What’s different about this game compared to others is that the things you buy are not permanent. They dig for a certain period of time then go away, causing the player to keep checking in and changing the setup of the ten spots.
Similar to other games, you can upgrade the various people/equipment and buy their special skill when they reach certain levels. It can be played offline, but you loose access to the video bonuses.
Overall I give this a 2/5. While it is different than other tap/idle games, having to go and update the format every so often can get tedious.
The premise here is simply to defeat the dragon and save the princess. You attack the waves of enemies by bumping into them by tapping right or left. The dragon awakens when an enemy stands on the tower long enough. You play through different levels and ten waves of enemies each level with a boss at the end. You also have a fairy and a tower that shoots missiles at enemies that you can upgrade along with your hero. Each set of ten levels that you level up, you gain access to a new ability. Abilities drop from the sky during a level and can hold up to four of them at a time. The abilities can also be upgraded to do more damage.
Overall I give this a 4/5, it is a good game in its simplicity. You can play a level in a few minutes and don’t need to keep track of levelling up different characters all the time to unlock their skills.
Have any games you want reviewed or know of any other tap/idle games? Let me know in the comments below or tweet at me @Andrew_Dmyt.