Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap. Tapping games. There are a lot out there thanks to their simplicity to use on tablets and smartphones. They span all sorts of play styles, too. I’ve been playing two very different versions of tapping games: Gold Medal Marathon and Dungeon x Balls. Let’s tap right to it.
Gold Medal Marathon
Since it is an Olympic year, let's start with the simplest version of a tapping game. In Gold Medal Marathon, you tap a gold medal. That's basically it. As you tap the medal, you receive medals. When you have gathered enough medals, you can purchase items to improve your medal tapping amounts. These include buying athletes, coaches, and training facilities. These will either automatically tap the medal for you or multiply the number of medals you get back.
Gold Medal Marathon reminds me a lot of Cookie Clicker only portable. You tap on the item and manage how best to improve the output of tapping results. The cute little athletes you purchase move across the screen performing in their events; javelin and discus throwers throw their javelins and discs, runner’s run, etc. When you improve the facilities the background building grows a little bit each time.
Much like Cookie Clicker, there is going to be a limited audience for this type of game. Just tapping a medal is not something you play for long periods of time. Gold Medal Marathon is really best for very small amounts of time since it will eat your battery if you try to play it for too long. That said, the developers have informed me that a recent update helps it use less battery power.
Gold Medal Marathon is a simple, free, and fun little resource management tap game, but for a very niche audience. I give it a 4 out of 5.
Dungeon x Balls
Now let's tap with a little style. Dungeon x Balls is a pinball and puzzle solving game. You, the player, are helping three magical sisters rebuild their house after a "small" accident. Each sister has a specific power. Grin has plant-based powers, Ice has ice powers -- naturally -- and Ruby's powers are fire based.
The way Dungeon x Balls is played is you tap on the screen and a ball representing one of the sisters shoots out from the top of the screen. Your main goal it to hit monsters on the screen with the balls. When you do, they take damage and eventually are defeated. There are walls, furniture, and traps in the way. Walls are solid and you just bounce off them. Furniture can be destroyed with enough hits. Traps can be avoided or dealt with by using the right sister’s power. For example, to deal with fire traps you can use ice to freeze them. As you defeat monsters and complete levels, you earn gold to rebuild and improve the home; which in turn improves the sisterss stats.
The pinball style is very reminiscent of pachinko. Balls drop from the top every time the player taps the screen. Once on the screen, players can tap the balls themselves to manipulate their trajectory. Some monsters and goal stars are down corridors. In this fashion, players will have to plan out their shots a bit to get them to bounce in the right direction. While you have unlimited balls to use you only have a certain amount of health points. Traps and the monster attacks cause damage, draining you of health.
Something additionally unique about Dungeon x Balls is that you unlock manga comics that help tell the story as you play. The translation is rough, the brightness slider is blocking the lower right corner, the top has been clipped and the page turning slider is touchy, but the story is there.
There was a shopping bug, but that was fixed in a recent update.
Dungeon x Balls is a fun pinball game. While it is available for smartphones, I suggest playing it on a tablet. The visuals and the manga comic look and read better on it. I give Dungeon x Balls a 4.5 out of 5.