T.A.P. Basic Beginners Guide

This is a very basic guide to the game, the few things I have picked up in a few hours of play that I think a new player might like to know. As I learn more I may return and flesh it out.

 

Welcome to T.A.P.

Hello, and welcome to the game. I am not the creator, in fact to be honest I gave it a negative review, but I am considering changing that, as I dig a little deep.

First off, what this game is not.

It is not a Tower Defense game. It is labeled as one in the store, but it isn’t one.

It is not a strategy game. It is almost totally tactical.

It is not a flight simulator, you do not really fly in this game. I will explain later.

Anyway, onward.

Starters

To begin with, you have a small base, and a small ship. Each mission will be on a small island. Tab will bring up the map showing you the enemy bases. Your goal is to destroy them, but there is no rush. I will explain later…

The base.

This is where you will be between missions. Sadly you cannot really explore it, though your view circle around it and as you build various factories they do appear on the map.

Your ship

Again, as stated earlier, you do not really fly, what your ship is, is a hovercraft, with limited lift capability.

You have unlimited ability to move around the island a short distance above the surface.

You have a limited amount of energy for lift, which is mostly used for attacking the enemy bases.

The amount of energy is shown in the upper left of the screen, and is denoted by a lighting bolt.

When this energy runs out, it slowly regenerates.

As you seldom need, or even want to lift except during combat, this is fine.

Your ship starts without any weapons at the start of each level, but you have scrap metal that you can use, after you start the mission, to build your weapons.

At the start of the game you get three hard points to build weapons on. One is forward shooting, the other two are on the wings and are self aiming. You gain more hard points as the game progresses.

You need to build each weapon (gun, missile, etc.) before you can build the next tier of weapon. You can build up to about the fifth tier.

It is important to note that weapons are not added tot he ship at the base, but after the mission has started. At any point during the mission, if you can afford it, you can upgrade.

As such, I recommend that you spend the first part of the mission scouring the island for scrap metal, to build up your potency.

NOTE: You can find scrap under water. It isn’t often enough to make it worth regularly scouring the seas, but you should keep your eye open when near it for shadows.

NOTE: Turning off your engine (cap lock key) increases your magnetic range for collecting scrap.

NOTE: Enemy bases may have wires. These increase the size of your weapons magazines. They do not carry over between missions, so use them as you get them.

NOTE: You also get special weapons/abilities that you fire with the number keys.

Weapons

There are several types of weapons you can buy for your ships. They fall into several categories, have five tiers, and can individually be upgraded.

(1) Fire Turrets – basically guns

(2) Missile Turrets

(3) Laser Turrets. Do not damage shields but are very powerful

(4) Electro turrets. These ignore armor. So far they all only attack land units.

WARNING: Weapons have categories as to what they can attack, universal, land or air. Be sure you know what your upgrade can attack!

In addition to the weapons you purchase, there are weapons and abilities you gain thru the upgrades.

Those received so far, with their hot key:

(1) Sumo gun. A heavy forward firing shot gun. Very hard to aim. Destroys your forward momentum, often knocks me backwards.

(2) Repairs. This is not a passive ability, you must find a safe space, turn off your engine (cap lock key) and press it.

(3) Rocket Rain. Fires a homing missile at every enemy structure in range.

(F) Sunbeam. A laser fired from a satellite. Takes four seconds to aim. This is a very powerful weapon and can be fire from out of the range of the enemy base. One well aimed shot destroyed seven of the nine targets in that base.

NOTE: Sunbeam costs you experience points.

NOTE: Apparently you can hold the number key down to see what the weapon will hit. Releasing it will fire the weapon.

The area of play

The game is played on a small desert island. It might take you five minutes to fly from one end to the other.

Tab will pop up a large map that shows the shape of the map, your location (a green arrow which also shows your orientation) and the enemy bases.

More importantly, the island has metal scattered about the island. Your ship has a magnetic ability to draw these in, and add them to your stock pile.

NOTE: Turning off your engine greatly increases the range of your batteries. I have found that flying around and turning the engine off at random gathers me at least a little scrap more often than not.

NOTE: Later in the game you earn a metal detector. This puts yellow dots on the large map (tab key) that showed scrap. Keep an eye out for it, the voice telling me about it didn’t mention it until I had had it three levels.

Each one seems to have scrap metal, iron and occasionally other resources.

The speed with which you complete the mission can add to your bonus iron, but so far it is never as good as scouring the island for these materials, the effort put in to this limited only by your patience.

NOTE: In later levels you earn a metal detector which shows all scrap on the map as yellow dots.

I am uncertain, but I suspect the metal re-populated over time. If so, it is pretty slowly.

The enemy bases and goals

You will need to destroy a few enemy bases to complete your mission. The game has hinted at additional tasks, but none have, as yet, shown up.

The enemy bases vary in size.

The basic base is called a Bastion, and it has has nine buildings in it. The four corners are shooting towers of some sort. These get tougher as the game progresses.

You need to destroy all nine to complete the destruction of that bastion.

Bastions are all small squares, raised off the ground a little bit. This is why lift is useful when fighting them.

The second level is the outpost. It has seventeen targets in it. They are denoted on the map as two squares right next to each other.

The third enemy group to show up is confusing. It is called Melee, and I have no idea what this means. You need to get the number to go up though, the last round I was in had sixteen melle, and I completed zero, so I got no melee bonus.

The next goal is Energy wasted. Unlike the others, with start with the same number before and after a slash, this has a zero in front and a number after. Oddly enough, the goal is to waste at least that much energy.

The next goal is hunters. You need to seek out and destroy several hunters.
Each hunter gets their own row on the list of targets, and their hit points are next to their name. The first wave each had one hundred and twenty eight.

NOTE: I set one laser to shoot only air units, and it did fire at the hunters, which appear to be hover vehicles much like my ship.

They are pretty tough, and chase you around the map. You need you build your initial weapons quickly, as they home in you immediately.

If needed, you can tap off your engines hit heal, and tap them back on. Just be sure to let go of the accelerator (W) and re-hit it or you wont be moving.

The next target is Forts. The consist of three cells, or squares.

Game play

The nature of the game is basically building factories at your base, so you can build better weapons on your ship.

Each mission starts with a raw ship, with none of the weapons or improvements previously made.

In addition you need to buy each level of weapon (gun, missile, etc) before you can build the next.

Oddly enough, there seems to be no time requirement, and no advantage to finishing quickly.

As you will learn elsewhere in this guide, your ship can be upgraded on the fly, as such, there is no reason not to fly around picking up scrap and improving your ship before combat.

While it isn’t necessary, it is often a good thing to attack the enemy from the high ground. The best strategy at that point seems to be to circle around a few times. This reduces your chance of getting hit, while allowing your self-aiming guns to get in a few shots.

Keep an eye on the box in the middle left which shows the enemy bases and the number of targets that remain in each one, as it is not uncommon to finish a base off when not looking at it.

Resources

The main tactical resource is scrap metal. Scrap metal is used to build your weapons.

Your ship starts without any weapons at the start of each level, but you have scrap metal that you can use, after you start the mission, to build your weapons.

Iron is used to build and upgrade factories. Upgrading a factory increases the firepower of that factories product by 25%. It also increases the cost by 20%,

Aluminum is used to strengthen the factories. This also increases the range and accuracy of the tower. To date I do not understand the value of doing this.

Lead is used to strengthen a factory of the second tier.

Copper is for the third tier.

Nickle is for the fourth tier.

Gold is for the fifth tier.

NOTE: There is no way to see the ‘strengths’ of the towers.

Mission end

When your mission ends, you get a run down of how you did.

This includes reputation points.

You earn interest on unused iron.

NOTE: Weapons vanish, and are not refunded. You should sell your weapons before you end the mission.

In game achievements?

I am uncertain what to call this, but it is on the bottom of your screen when you are at the base, opens when you it the number 9, and shows a selection of icons reflecting things you can gain during play.

This menu is very confusing to me, as there are some I think I have, that are not lit up, but one is. You can click on them, but it does not seem like you can purchase them.

For now, I just want you to know it is there.

Sales

Some times there will be a sale on the product from a particular factory. The chance and value of these is based on your Reputation.

As you scroll over the various weapons that are available to you, the icon for the company that makes it will pop up.

Skills

As you play, you earn experience points. You can spend these on Skills

Opening the Skills window can be done by pressing three while in the base, or by clicking on the left most button at the bottom of the screen.

To purchase or upgrade any of the skills shown, you require sufficient experience points, should in the upper right corner of the screen (denoted by the star to the right of the number). Some upgrades also require a prerequisite of a particular factory in you base. If this is the case, it will tell you what you need if you click on it.

Sometimes a skill will have red on it. You can still buy these, so I do not know what this means.

There are a wide variety of options.
You can purchase specialty weapons, you can purchase upgrades to weapons, you can purchase ship improvements, they can allow you to search for rarer metals or improve your chance to find them, and more.

So far each can also be upgraded. I am as of yet uncertain what the cap is, if any.

I highly recommend you spend at least a few on the magnet, which increases the range at which your ship collects scrap and metals, from these, many other things blossom.

NOTE: There appears to be no way to reset or take back points spent on upgrades.

NOTE: At later levels foes can drop skill boxes. When you return to the base you can open these, and gain a bonus to a random skill.

Oddities

Odd glitches I have found

Some times the menus don’t open all the way up. This only happened once so far, but that time it was every menu.

One Bastion was in the ground, making it difficult to fight.

On two occasions I found gun towers that had become invulnerable, repeated full magazines fired into them from point blank range would not kill them.

The games voice over gives you information. It is often after the event it id discussing happens. Sometimes it doesn’t seem to happen at all, like the news of different tasks I could to complete.

Sometimes the variety of upgrades you can purchase goes down, for no recognizable reason.

If you learn to hit the trees just right, you can get shot up into the air.

I fired the sunbeam at an enemy outpost, and LOST experience points? This only happened the first time.

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Post Author: Robins Chew

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