Tap of War Tugs at My Competitive Heart Strings

Tap of War by Spokko is one of those ridiculously simple apps that no matter how pointless, endears those of us who pretend our iPhone is not a toy (but secretly are giddy about all the cool, fun stuff it does). For starters, Tap of War is free to download. Second, it elevates pointless, frantic tapping to a competitive level.

At first glance, Tap of War has a deceivingly simple appearance, looking as if it can’t possibly be any fun. You have a screen with a rope and two flags as well as two “tap” buttons. The lines at the top and bottom of the screen indicate your goal and as you tap your button, the rope and your corresponding color flag will move towards your goal line. If you get your flag across your line, you win. If your opponent gets their flag across their line, you lose. Simple? Yes. And oddly enough, really fun in a simple-minded spirit of competition sort of way.

With two modes of play — single player and versus mode — you can play Tap of War against a friend or the built-in finger opponent. So as not to imply any gender bias, we’ll call the opponent finger “it” rather than “he” or “she.” “It” starts out the first couple of rounds trying to lull you in to a false sense of security about how fast your finger really is. But “it” is a wicked little pointer and by the fifth level, I had finger cramps trying to keep up. I lost the sixth level and so proceeded to challenge my 9-year-old to a match to reclaim victory.

Tap of War keeps track of high scores, which also allows you to challenge your friends (or your favorite 9-year-old, depending on your level of dignity) to do better against the wicked “it” than you did. The developer suggests attaching wagers (“loser buys drinks”) to the tap and tug, which could be fun.

In fact, I think a quick match of Tap of War would be a perfectly acceptable and mature way to settle many matters such as who cleans up after the dog or drives to baseball and band practice next. After all, Apple says there’s an app for that — this must be what they meant.

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