The massively popular iPhone and Android games Piano Tiles (Don’t Tap The White Tile) and it’s equally popular sequel Piano Tiles 2 are the kinds of mobile games that elicit surprise and an almost childlike wonder when you first start playing. For a moment, Piano Tiles manages to pull off something special in making you feel as if you’re actually playing a well known classical piece when all you are doing is avoiding touching the white tiles.
Of course, it only seems that way because if you’re like me, the illusion of being able to play piano is just that. And if the illusion feels real, even for a tiny moment, then the game is a success.
Drawing from the Guitar Hero school of touching the correct shapes at the right time as they endlessly stream down a conveyor, Piano Tiles is fast and challenging and quite fun. As you tap out a stilted, quirky version of Ode to Joy or Pachelbel‘s Canon in the key of “I’m awful”, the results are amazing and amusing as you navigate your way through the song. The un-fun part of the game would be the ad placement and frequency although this can be avoided by using the usual method of buying the ad free version.
For the sake of brevity, we’re referring to both Don’t Tap The White Tile and Piano Tiles 2 simply as “Piano Tiles”, because the goal is effectively the same: stay on the black tiles, and try to get through a song in its entirety. Don’t Tap The White Tile has the cleaner interface with all the different modes of game play clearly laid out for you. Seen here on the right we have Classic, Arcade, Zen, Rush, Relay and Shuffle. I really like that about the layout.
Piano Tiles 2 however feels super cluttered. The gameplay is fine (seen on the left) but the home screens just have too much going on. Otherwise, same idea: stay on the black tiles (keys) and get through those songs. The main improvement to the game is probably the name since “Don’t Tap the White Tiles” is a bit of a mouthful, although it does explain the game, so it kind of kills two birds with one stone. That is if you really needed the game explained to you.
I did think of one downside to Piano Tiles and it’s that you can’t really play it in public since it requires sound. Well, let me rephrase that: you can play it in public all you want with the sound on. It’s just that, if you play it with sound on, in public, you suddenly become ‘that guy’ and you know which guy that is.
That said, I enjoyed this game alot. The guy on the bus sitting next to me…not so much.