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Touch Online

Touch Online is a rhythm based dancing game featuring J-POP, K-POP, and English music. Customize your avatar with an assortment of in-game earned costumes and dance solo or with friends in a lobby-based world.

Publisher: Perfect World
Playerbase: Medium
Type: Rhythm Game
Release Date: October 07, 2014
Pros: +Many costumes to customize your character. +Large song library. +Numerous difficulty levels.
Cons: -Poor translations. -Unoptimized client. -Semi-frequent game crashes.

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Overview

Touch Online Overview

Touch Online is a rhythm game where players precisely time key-strikes to sync up with the beat and earn points. Dance to a huge selection of tunes, featuring J-POP, K-POP, and English songs across a wide spectrum of difficulties. Play alone or join other players and compete for the highest score. Battle your way through various map stages, completing specific tasks like chaining combos or scoring a specified number of points, to unlock new stages and cosmetics. Conquer each difficulty level, honing your skills, before challenging yourself with the next rank. Climb the leaderboards by chaining rhythmic combos and leveling. Join a guild and play with friends, or find a significant other to marry in-game, reaping unique bonuses. Use the in-game currency to completely customize your avatar, with a wide selection of hairstyles, outfits, and other items to distinguish yourself on the dancefloor.    

Touch Online Key Features:

  • Large Song Selection - choose songs from various K-POP, J-POP, and English artists to dance to.
  • Multiple Difficulties - hone your skills by mastering each difficulty level.
  • Robust Social Tools - guilds, competitive PvP, and ranking systems promote players to dance together.
  • Avatar Customization - completely customize your appearance from the game’s shop, by earning currency to unlock new outfits and tools.
  • Various Leaderboards - show off your moves by climbing the leaderboards, either through high scores, your level, or your avatar's popularity. 

Touch Online Screenshots

Touch Online Featured Video

Full Review

Touch Online Review

By, Sean Sullivan

Rhythm games typically don’t satisfy my appetite, beyond 5Street’s ludicrous dead-fish animation. Not since Guitar Hero have I felt compelled to invest hours of my time honing my timing abilities to master a song. And that was mainly because I liked the music. But now, I’m playing Touch Online, a rhythm game with a soundtrack I would never add to my library. Yet, despite it’s numerous flaws I find it irresistible, and was constantly distracted by the beat while writing this review.

Controls

Owning the dance floors means dexterously using your arrow keys. As my avatar busted moves to songs outside my jurisdiction I pressed up, down, left, and right to rack up combos. With each movement prompt a disc shrinks around the button prompt. Pressing it as soon as the annular is aligned with the button rewards you with a “Perfect.” Strike too soon and you’ll be judged as “Cool,” or for nonrhythmic players a “Nice.” Each “Perfect” key sends just enough cortisol through the bloodstream to make it engaging. It’s surprisingly addicting, and my head started bobbing to the rhythm as my combo stacked up past 50 moves.

Starting off, the game was too easy. But my ability to feel the music soon fell apart like college Salsa lessons. As I progressed through the game’s difficulties I started stepping on my own toes, unable to keep up with the prompts. From 3 stars onwards it becomes chaotic for the musically challenged. But that made it much more fun. The chaos is what makes it interesting, and pulling off demanding move-sets is inherently rewarding.   

Aesthetics

As you dance the camera spins wildly, with cinematic gusto as your character pulls off moves that this writer will never be flexible enough to mimic. It can even be distracting if you’re too focused on some of the more alluring moves that the avatars make, while you ought to be concentrating on mashing buttons. Even when they're not dancing the characters are distracting. Every character model epitomizes kawaii, with bubbly faces and adorable emoticons. It’s a childish atmosphere that screams cute, and works for Touch Online’s gameplay.

  

Leveling

Successfully dancing like Patrick Swayze allots experience, but experience doesn’t dictate much beyond available rewards. At level 10 i was able to claim 2000 BRC, used as a currency in exchange for some shop items. But in general leveling is more of a show of commitment to the game than an indication of skill. There is a leaderboard for highest in-game level, and as of this writing the top 2 players are level 129—clearly committed to tearing up the dance floor.  

True progression comes in the form of stages within lobby areas. Starting off you’ll traverse through Neon City, dancing your way through the streets and completing challenges to progress. The first stage, Top Apartment Floor, asks you to reach a high score of 4000—an easy feat. But then you get to the game’s version of a boss battle at Neon Square. A 4 star fight that’s brutally fast-paced where my eyes and fingers struggled to keep up. It takes time to acclimate to the intense keystroke patterns at higher difficulties. But that quick skill curve makes it far more rewarding when you finally beat the mission. With each play session I felt like I was improving as I successfully strung more combos my previous attempt.      

Social

If you’re not one to dance solo in front of your mirror you can team up with other players or challenge them. As the game is lobby based it’s easy to join other player’s stages from the home screen. The person hosting the stage dictates the parameters of the dance, and whoever achieves the highest score wins. But I never felt like I was forced to hold my own in a competitive atmosphere. The players addicted to Touch Online prefer the benefits of community, with every player soaking up the music and doing their best to time the beats perfectly.   

And dancing together isn't the only social feature. You can join a guild, rack up points to rise the leaderboards, or even marry another player. I wasn’t interested in monogamy but I did join a married couple’s match and schooled the both of them. Dropping the mic I moved on to my next victims. But communicating with other players isn’t always so easy, as far as English speakers go. Touch Online has a large appeal in South America and Eastern Asia, and the majority of players I encountered were from one of the two regions. It makes sense as Touch Online is going to largely appeal to fans of J-Pop and K-Pop, a trend that never quite seized the West as much as it did the East and South.  

Bugs

Touch Online is not without its faults, mainly client-based issues. It has the silliest built-in resolutions, with options ranging between 960 x 540 to 1493 x 840. And that’s likely because Touch is designed for browsers and the external client can’t exceed the browsers limitations. It’s not a game-breaker but the internal choices are odd. And oddities don’t end with system configurations. Some of the English translations are hilariously bad with loading screen tips saying “With full personality the baby can get the hidden talent,” or  “Are you happy racing in the Christmas stage with the motorbike.” I have no idea what either of these suggestions mean, but they did pass the time as the game loaded.

In numerous instances launching the game would freeze at 49% and I was forced to restart the client. Or, once in the game the UI freaked out, with text overlapping and buttons refusing to work. Clicking off the game’s window would occasionally render the client useless, unable to function. And every time I launched Touch I was notified of a script error. But these occurrences were innocuous enough that they didn’t spoil gameplay. They're annoyances that need to be addressed to avoid frustrating players.

Cash Shop

The only way for 3claw to fund their game is through the huge assortment of adorable—and sexual—items in the cash shop. You start with experience time to test out outfits, but it only lasts for about an hour or so before you’re reverted to your default self. And that’s a smart strategy because some players will become accustomed to their dressed up identity and feel more inclined to spend money on the game’s cash currency, RC’s. By default, purchased items only last a short amount of time anyway, 7 days, and to unlock items permanently requires a far loftier investment.

There are also bonuses to accumulated currencies and experience for exchange with RC’s. But the game is far from pay-to-win. It’s more pay-to-stylize. You still have to time your button pressing to win a match, but if you want to do so with some flare you’ll have to fork over cash. Or, if you want to play as a loli character, with borderline morally offensive outfits, it’ll cost you. There are also 20 VIP membership levels, with a variety of exclusive rewards, such as portraiture chairs and other rare gifts. But again, it’s all for the purpose of being the coolest kid on the dancefloor.

Final Verdict - Good

Touch Online’s client is buggy—frequently crashing, the translations are ludicrous, and the UI clunky and at times convoluted. But the core gameplay is undeniably addicting. I haven’t felt this compelled to match beats to keystrokes since Guitar Hero. I would never listen to Touch Online’s soundtrack outside the game, but each perfectly timed beat had me bobbing my head along to the song. Any fan of rhythm games will find themselves enthralled by the simple, yet addicting, gameplay in Touch Online. And with this review completed I'm going to listen to Bubble Pop! and dance with my fingertips all night long. 

Screenshots

Touch Online Screenshots

Videos

Touch Online Videos

System Requirements

Touch Online Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Equivalent
Video Card: Any Graphics Card (Integrated works well too)
RAM: 512 MB
Hard Disk Space: 100 MB (Cache)

Touch Online is a browser based MMO and will run smoothly on practically any PC. The game was tested and works well on Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox and Chrome. Any modern web-browser should run the game smoothly.

Music

Touch Online Music

Coming Soon...

Additional Info

Touch Online Additional Information

Developer(s): 3Claws
Publisher(s): Perfect World

Engine: Unity 3D

Announcement Date: September 05, 2014

Open Beta: October 06, 2014
Release Date: October 06, 2014

Development History / Background:

Touch Online is developed by game development studio 3Claw and published by Perfect World Entertainment. Open Beta for the international edition of the game launched on October 06, 2014. Touch Online uses Unity 3D to run, making it playable on most computers and operating systems. 3Claws was founded in April, 2014 and is also known for designing the browser MMORPG Light of Darkness.