Tap Tap Revenge: Nine Inch Nails

A review of NIN's first iPhone application

By Lt. Randazzo for The NIN Hotline on November 11, 2008

Tap Tap Revenge Nine Inch Nails

Announced at the end of September via nin.com and tapulous.com, Tap Tap Revenge: NIN Edition was officially released for the iPhone and iPod Touch at the end of October. Priced at .99 and based on the original Tap Tap Revenge, TTR: NIN applies the same strategy: tap the line at the bottom of the screen along the column that a sphere is getting ready to cross. There are three columns total so there’s plenty of range for your thumbs. Doing so with the following spheres will string together a streak of multipliers that will raise your score. Also, arrows will sometimes appear in the columns; they require your phone to be rocked in the direction that they are pointing, so a left arrow means rock it left, right means rock it right, and up & down means rock it back and forth.

Tap Tap Revenge Nine Inch Nails Tap Tap Revenge Nine Inch Nails

So, now that I’ve explained the rules of practically every rhythm-rocking game out there, let’s talk about the gameplay. Simply put, it’s very fun, though there a few bugs here and there. After stringing together 50 or more hits, a graphic flashes onto the screen that says “Revenge.” Rock the iPhone or iPod Touch back and forth and you’ll establish an 8x multiplier. Continue to string together your hits and rocks and you’ll have an insanely awesome score. Miss, and you’ll have to start your multiplier all over again. The screen is very responsive and offers no problem with registering hits. However, the scrolling of the spheres can sometimes lag, thus causing enough confusion that you’ll accidentally tap twice or miss a sphere that was caught in the lag. Also, the arrow-rocking doesn’t always register, though there is an option to turn the arrows off and make it a tapping affair. I did experience some crashing during one of the songs, though it was quickly remedied by a force-restart of my iPhone. Sure, these are problems and they can annoy rather quickly, but they’re problems that can easily be fixed with a software update.

Tap Tap Revenge Nine Inch Nails

The game starts off on Easy with the full tracklist of songs. After mastering five songs, the game automatically unlocks Medium. Again, after mastering more of the songs, the game unlocks Hard and then, eventually, Extreme. Whereas Easy, Medium & Hard feature the entire tracklist, Extreme only contains five songs. As with any good game, there is a leaderboard for each song on each difficulty so the competition always stays fresh, especially if you recognize some of the users who are ranked.

As far as the tracklist is concerned, it’s a good mix of songs from both Ghosts I-IV and The Slip, all of them hand-picked by Trent Reznor. The tracklist is -

Tap Tap Revenge Nine Inch Nails

The visuals for the game are outstanding and really capture the look and feel of Nine Inch Nails, though, that is kind of a given considering the close involvement of Rob Sheridan and Trent in the development of the game. The menu screens feature artwork from Ghosts I-IV and the song level screens feature The Slip. However, the menu designs are pure Tap Tap, so it’s a pleasant marriage of the two styles.

So, to wrap things up, if you’re a fan of NIN and you have an iPhone/iPod Touch, get the game. It’s worth the .99, especially when you consider that you’ll be playing the game for hours and hours. Sure, there are some bugs, but they eventually work themselves out and shouldn’t detract from the overall experience.

View the NIN Hotline article index