Welcome Time Wasters!
This week is going to be a little strange. First of all, I’m finally back to reviewing games on my PC, kind of. This week’s “game” is called Tap Heroes and it got its start on mobile devices.
You’ll notice that I put quotation marks around the word game. Well, that’s because Tap heroes falls into a genre that is really only a game in name. This is the “Idle” genre.
For those that don’t know, the Idle genre of games includes a bunch of experiences where players basically sit around and do nothing and the game plays itself. Let’s be honest here, people. That’s not a game. I think it would be better to look at this as a program that’s goal is to count to infinity. It’s a goal that it will never stop working at because it can never complete it. Yet the player is still given the option to upgrade the program. Maybe now it will count faster, or perhaps it will starting counting by 10, 100 or 1,000. It doesn’t matter, because it will still never reach its goal.
Fun Fact: As of writing this review, I have over 11 hours in Tap Heroes. Out of all this time, Only about 15 minutes of it has actually been to do anything interactive with it. It’s going to stay that way too because it’s getting uninstalled immediately. Also, the program continues to harvest gold and such even when it’s not running. Seriously, the program runs and progresses without the player even having it open. Doesn’t that just sound like loads of fun? (Sarcasm)
That may sound a bit like rough treatment for this program, but I think it’s fair. After all, who am I to determine what makes a game? I’m a freaking gamer. There are many genre’s of games that I don’t enjoy (simulation, sports and others). However, I would never go so far as to say they aren’t games.
So why exactly don’t I consider idle programs like Tap Heroes to be games. Well, that’s simple enough. A game typically requires players to use skill or stats to be completed. These idle programs only require time, and it’s not even active time from the player. Instead, the players just pop in every few hours, or even days, to upgrade the program so that it can gain money faster. Maybe they’ll even feel like helping the program reach it’s unobtainable goal by clicking to build numbers. Still, it ultimately doesn’t matter. There’s no true final goal and it requires none of the player’s skills or abilities to progress further.
Now, if these types of idle programs are something you enjoy (and dang do I feel sorry for you), then let me just tell you that Tap Heroes still isn’t a good option. First of all, I played the game on Steam. It costs $3. That’s right. $3 to sit around and do nothing. This program wants you to pay to do nothing! Next, there are already many other free idle programs that can be used instead. For example, there’s Clicker Heroes, AdVenture Capitalist, Tap Tap Infinity (Wait for it. This is where it gets good.) and freaking Tap Heroes. “But wait,” you say. Didn’t I just claim that Tap Heroes costs $3. True, I did, but that’s only on Steam. There’s a web browser version of the counting program that is completely free to use.
As far as the visuals go, I can’t deny that the puppet-looking setting is unique. I’ve never quite seen another program that has the guts to stand out like this. Especially since it’s only doing a mundane task like counting. So kudos on that. I guess.
Some of you longtime readers are probably searching your memory for another time I’ve used a program like this. Well, there’s one. It’s called Learn to Fly Idle. This genre of programs was still fairly new back when I reviewed it and I gave it a score. Even then it only came out with a 1.5 out of 5, and that was me being generous.
Tap Heroes won’t be getting a score. I’m a game reviewer. That means that I review games. To give this program a score would be admitting that it’s a game. I refuse to do that. Also, don’t expect to see any more reviews about these idle programs in the Time Waster. I’m not here to waste your time, so I’d rather just not talk about them at all.
(Note: Due to how our system here at GiN works, I can’t not have a score on this program. I’ll just fill it in with a 0 out of 5 as a placeholder. However, that doesn’t represent my actual views of the program, because they are much lower than that.)
It’s comedic in nature, but I think Dara Ó Briain’s skit on video games sums up what I love about this form of media/art the most, even if it’s just that element that frustrates him.