Clicker games like this are a bit of an enigma. Not the gameplay – no, the gameplay is just about the most straightforward thing ever: all you do is tap the screen with your fingers. Tap, tap, tap. Tap as fast as you can. Tap while you’re watching TV. Tap while you’re sitting on the train. Tap for hours on end.
In the case of Tap Tap Fish: AbyssRium, the more you tap, the more you earn Vitality points. The more Vitality points you get, the more fish, coral and rocks you can add to your virtual aquarium. That’s it.
There are rewards available for your constant tapping, of course. You can change the colour scheme of your tank and grow pretty underwater plants. You start out with the odd clownfish, but you can build up to all manner of tropical sea life from seahorses right through to turtles, dolphins and whales.
Still, the mystery remains as to why all this tapping has proved so satisfying and compelling that it has catapulted so many games of this ilk to success. In fact, the original tapping game Cookie Clickers, in which you literally just clicked on a picture of a cookie repeatedly, was created as a joke – a jibe at incredibly dull games. But everybody loved it – it was just so simple. Now there are games in which you tap to grow trees, tap to fight warriors, tap to make money and build businesses.
Tap Tap Fish: AbyssRium comes from a Korean indie developer and contains some nice touches. For example, there's a soothing soundtrack of piano chords accompanied by underwater sounds – the kind of thing you might expect to hear in a spa to help you relax during your hot stone massage. That's a good thing, because by the time you've done enough tapping to invite a blue whale into your fish tank, you might be needing that massage to treat your repetitive strain injury.