Tapsonic Bold, a rhythm game from the makers of DJMax Respect, is worth a look


It sports 82 tracks

We don’t have nearly enough prolific rhythm games out on the current market, but publisher Neowiz is trying to change that.

With releases like DJMax Respectand most recently, Tapsonic Bold (a PC port of the popular mobile series), the genre is getting a little more lively.

Tapsonic Bold, the keyboard-centric rhythm romp,is finally out of Early Access and live on Steam.

In true Neowiz fashion there’s no comprehensive tutorial (just a basic rundown with zero nuances on some of the more intricate concepts), so if you absolutely need that sort of thing (a reasonable request) you might want to back out. Oh, and there’s the fact that Tapsonic Boldis incredibly tough, even at the start with just four keys (it goes all the way up to six lines/letters: S, D, F | J, K, L).

The idea is that you’re playing notes as they come up in a line like a piano, much like the classic browser game Flash Flash Revolution (many I have a lot of memories with this one, like my entire network engineering class gathering around to watch me clear a particularly brutal song). Opening and closing lanes that add or subtract notes is the main gimmick and works very well at keeping you on your toes.

The concept is as simple as you can get as there aren’t a lot of tricks or extras. You pay $20, you get 82 songs (with paid DLC to come) and you control the game via your keyboard with the opportunity to bind the six keys you need. In-game options are scant, with a resolution/full-screen/v-sync toggle, volume control, calibration settings for specific monitors (but not an in-game calibration mode), and graphic/view toggles.This is a perfect example of the type of music you’re going to find in this mostly pop and electronica-tinted soundtrack.Tapsonic jumps around to myriad subgenres like dream, k-pop, and dubstep, but usually circles back to those two core sounds. M2U kills it, as usual.

My only real issue isn’t the music, but the UI itself and the lack of progression. So long as you’re going for solo and arcade mode you can change the difficulty setting of any song (there’s four: easy, normal, hard, and expert), but actual song options beyond that point are basic, with a few note style, key sounds, and backgrounds to choose from. It’s great to have the meat of the game unlocked from the start, but for as flashy and as sleek as DJMax Respectwas, Tapsonicdoesn’t feel quite on the same level.

Still, if you’re the type of old school rhythm player that’s willing to look past those blemishes and just focus on the music, you’ll be fine. I’m that type of person and had to squint to identify most of those issues, whereas they’ll probably be more glaringly obvious if you haven’t played a genre staple in ages.