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TagPro is a free-to-play online multiplayer capture the flag video game originally designed and programmed by Nick Riggs. The first version was released in February 2013, after Riggs began experimenting with software platform Node.js. The game is named after one of its three obtainable power-ups. It follows the basic rules of capture the flag, along with some modifications, including power-ups, spikes, and other map elements.
Players spawn in blue and red teams on opposite sides of a map. Each team consists of up to four players, for a maximum total of eight players per game. The player controls a ball using the WASD keys or the arrow keys. Players may obtain power-ups and interact with the various game elements, using them to their team's advantage or to hinder the opposing team. In the traditional game type, players must transport the enemy's flag from the enemy's spawn area to their own spawn area, avoiding enemy players and hazards. In the neutral flag main game type, there is a single, neutral flag that both teams attempt to bring to their respective-colored end zones, typically located on the other side of the map.
Other players can "pop" the flag carrier by coming in contact with his ball. Popping a flag carrier restores the flag to its original base, causes an invisible explosion at the location of the popped ball, and forces the popped ball to respawn. If both flag carriers touch each other, both players will pop and both flags will be reset. In the neutral flag game type, the flag carrier transfers the flag to the opponent that pops them. If the flag carrier is popped by an element, the flag is reset to its starting point, typically at the center of the map.
A team scores a point when it successfully returns the enemy's flag to the home location of the team's own flag. A team cannot score while their home flag is in enemy possession; the team must pop the enemy flag carrier before it can capture the enemy's flag. TagPro games last for up to 12 minutes, and end either when the 12 minutes have elapsed or when a team earns three points to win the game. If the game time elapses and neither team has earned three points, the team with the most captured flags wins. The players of both teams are awarded a loss if each team has captured the same number of flags when time runs out.
Games of TagPro take place in arenas called maps. A map is randomly chosen for each game from a selection that is changed approximately once a month.
Walls: These stationary blocks come in multiple shapes, and blocks all balls from going through. They bounce just a little bit, to make juking off of walls a possibility.
Speed pads (colloquially Boosts): Speed pads are stationary elements that increase a player's speed to three times their normal speed when the player's ball rolls over them. Yellow-colored speed pads can be used by either team, and red and blue-colored boosts can only be used by balls of the same color. Speed pads become inactive for ten seconds after use.
Spikes: Spikes are fixed, round elements. When a player touches a spike, the player immediately pops.
Team tiles: Team tiles grant additional acceleration and increase a player's maximum speed when on his respective team's color. Being on the other team's color has no effect on a player. The effects of the team tiles can stack with the grip power-up (see below) and any boosts. Team tiles have no effect on a player carrying the flag.
Gates: Gates selectively obstruct balls based on the color of the gate and the color of the ball. Red and blue gates allow players of the same color to pass through them. If a player touches a gate of the opposite color, they pop. The green gate pops players of both teams. The gray gate has no effect on either team, and acts as a regular tile. Each gate has a default color that it exists in at the beginning of each game. Gates can change color when activated by a switch, usually to the color of the player who steps on the switch. However, if one or more players from each team simultaneously activates a gate, the gate will revert to its original state.
Switches: Commonly called buttons, switches can be used to control the colors of a gate, as well as set off bombs. There is no limit to the number of switches that can be linked to a single gate or bomb, nor is there a limit to the number of gates and/or bombs a switch can activate.
Bombs: When a player touches a bomb, or a switch that is connected to a bomb (see above), the bomb detonates and pushes the player (and any other players caught in the blast radius) away from it with a high velocity, similar to a speed pad. They respawn 30 seconds after each use. A bomb's blast radius is not obstructed by walls.
Portals: A portal is an element that allows for instantaneous teleportation from one tile to another. They can be configured by the map author to operate in one or two directions. Map authors can also configure portals' respawn times ("cooldowns").
End Zones: In the neutral flag game mode, there are red and blue checkered tiles in each of the two bases, opposite of each team (blue end zones in red team's spawns, and vice versa). Players must take the flag to the end zone of their own color to score.
Mars ball: The Mars ball is a large ball that is not controlled by a user, but can be moved by in-game physics (bombs, switches, etc.) and by players pushing it. If a team manages to push the Mars Ball to the other team's flag, the team is awarded three points.
Potato: Potatoes replace flags in a specialized game mode. In this game mode, carrying the potato for too long will cause it to explode, popping the player and resetting the potato. The explosion doesn't occur if the potato is captured, or the player holding it dies by other causes. The potato's explosion timer can be configured before the game.
Gravity Wells: Gravity Wells draw players toward them within a fixed radius. If a player touches a gravity well, the player pops.
TagPro has three main power-ups, all of which spawn 1 minute after the beginning of every match, then 1 minute after being picked up. The effects of power-ups last for 20 seconds, and although multiple power-ups can be used simultaneously, power-ups are not stackable (attaining 2 of the same type of power-up will not increase the duration to 40 seconds). The time a player spends dying and respawning counts towards the power-up's time limit.
Rolling bomb: When a player is equipped with this power-up and contacts an enemy, the enemy (and all other nearby players, friend or foe) are pushed away from the player, with no effect on the player. After a player with a rolling bomb is touched, the rolling bomb goes away, making it the only power-up in the game to be potentially one-use. Thus, the rolling bomb acts as a sort of second life for the player. If a player is carrying the enemy's flag, has rolling bomb, and is touched by an enemy player, the player will still hold the flag, and must be touched by an enemy player again to get popped. However, players can still die with a rolling bomb if they hit a spike or a gate.
Grip (colloquially Juke Juice): When a player equips the Grip power-up, it increases the maximum acceleration of his ball, which gives the player greater control over his movements as well as allowing the player to reach their maximum velocity faster.
TagPro: When a player has TagPro, they have the ability to pop any enemy player they collide with, regardless of whether or not the opponent is carrying the flag. Unlike the rolling bomb, however, if the player is holding a flag while they have TagPro, and are touched by an enemy player, they will pop (as will the enemy who touched them) and lose the flag.
Top speed: Top speed was a power-up that allows the player to have a higher maximum velocity once they reach that point. Because of the fact that a player had to accelerate first in order to reap the effects of this powerup, it was retired, as it was deemed to be too weak and the effects not noticeable (i.e. a weaker and earlier version of the Grip power-up).
Leveling up and flair
In TagPro, players' levels are expressed in degrees (°). Players begin the game at 0° and gain degrees by winning games. When a user reaches certain degrees or completes a miscellaneous achievement, they unlock a "flair". Their flair and degrees shows up next to their name while in-game. To earn a degree, a player must win a number of games equal to the number of the next degree they will earn.
During a game players can type messages to their team only or to both teams. Team messages are often used to discuss strategy or to alert teammates to the location of the other team's players. Many players also use VoIP applications such as Mumble to communicate verbally during organized games.
TagPro has an unorganized community of modders, that make all sorts of visual, auditory or mechanics changing additions to the game. These are mainly in the form of userscripts, but there are also a few browser extensions available. A list of most of them can be found on the official TagPro wiki on their reddit community.
TagPro has received positive reviews. Peter Cilento of The Richest gave a mostly positive review, as he listed ten "reasons you need to start playing TagPro", two of which were "You can play with friends or strangers" and "it's addicting". Max Mallory of Indie Game Insider said TagPro "Is an amazing game" and complimented the fact that "Your basic TagPro arsenal isn’t in-game weapons or player boosts, but your ability to predict the positions of your opponents." Tom Sykes of PC Gamer listed TagPro as one of the games in his "free webgame round-up". He wrote, "TagPro doesn't look like much, and it's a little too ad-heavy for my liking, but there's a tactical, seemingly well balanced online multiplayer game waiting for you behind all that."
- Cilento, Peter (May 11, 2014). "10 Reasons You Need To Start Playing TagPro". TheRichest. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- "How to Play TagPro in 60 Seconds". YouTube. Google. May 23, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
- Gomez, David (July 4, 2014). "Review: TagPro". The Metropolist. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- Marner, Aaron (February 19, 2014). "Tagpro: Capture the Flag on steroids". The WEB. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- Sykes, Tom (June 27, 2013). "The Free Webgame Round-Up". PC Gamer. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- Brye, Ethelyn (May 6, 2014). "Tagpro With Friends: Capture The Flag On Speed". CYANOSAUR. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- Freirich, August (June 25, 2014). "TagPro – Capture the Flag has never been so much fun". Gameverse. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- Mallory, Max (May 8, 2014). "Multiplayer Mixdown: What Indie Developers Can Learn from TagPro". Indie Game Insider. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- "modding - TagPro". reddit.com. Retrieved 2017-11-08.