Written by Maddie De Pree, Columnist
The past few weeks have been a bit rough, to say the least. Between a grad school rejection, senior year stress, and this interminable winter rain, I’ve been wearing thin. My anxiety has skyrocketed, my assignments are late, and graduation is approaching at warp speed. With all of these stressors, I’ve been desperate for a mental escape—something that both soothes and distracts, something that can carry me through to spring break as I slog through the next few weeks of my busy Furman life.
Enter Tap Tap Fish, a game that I played religiously while I was abroad during sophomore year and promptly forgot about upon arriving back in the States. For those of you who have blessedly never downloaded this app: it is entirely purposeless. You barely even have to look at the screen while you play it. The single objective of the game is to tap your phone’s screen to generate “vitality,” which you can then use to grow corals and create new fish. You can also change the color of the water and the reef to make your aquarium as visually appealing as possible. (Not that anyone asked, but after much tapping, I’ve managed to make my whole reef— and all of my fish—pink.)
Tap Tap Fish has been pretty well-received by critics of game design, mostly because the graphics are so pleasant to look at, but also because it is apparently helpful for people with anxiety. This is likely one of the reasons why I enjoy Tap Tap Fish so much— it requires absolutely no brain power at all, which means I can play when my mind is overloaded with senior-year- induced existential dread. Indeed, I find the repetitive tapping oddly soothing—and besides, as vices go, I can think of worse ones than a simulated aquarium (especially since the Tap Tap Fish Valentine’s Day event is still going on, which means users can create a bunch of pink aquatic life. Yeah, it’s adorable.)
Even if this app is, on paper, a useless time-suck, it’s been helping me reground myself and breathe. And hey—at the end of the day, that’s all any of us can do.