Bally Midway’s classic title, once known as [Root Beer] Tapper, has had many incarnations since its arcade debut in 1983. It was a console and home computer staple right through the 90’s and as recently as 2007, it became available on Xbox Live.
But, in all its previous incarnations it has never looked as good, or played so well. This game, unlike many iOS retro remakes like Pac Man and Tetris, is improved, not impeded, by the touchscreen. Tapper was just meant to be, well, tapped.
Gone are the low-res graphics of this childhood favorite – this is not your father’s Tapper. In the place of pixellated retrofication is a sleek, cleverly animated treat for the eyes. Check out the original trailer, especially because taking action screenshots is next to impossible without growing an extra appendage:
Like all Tapper games players assume the role of Sam the bartender (or his daughter Nikki) whose job is to serve drinks to thirsty customers before they run out patience and the player out of lives.
As the difficulty increases, so do the tasks. Sam must serve the right drinks to the right customers, collect empty glasses before they fall, and collect tips whenever possible.
Tapper World Tour HD is packed with features and options. Gamers can play “story mode” where they move through cities and continents, improving skills, earning power-ups and upgrades as they progress on the journey. Each new city hosts a cleverly themed bar that pokes a little good-natured fun at its location.
Scores get posted to Game Center leaderboards and there are a bunch of fun mini-games to unlock as well as trophies and achievements to collect. And, with 100 levels this game has replay value to spare.
The gameplay is fluid. The game is touch-sensitive enough to make getting combos easy, but even after several updates could use a bit of tweaking for the advanced levels when it’s tapping madness.
When I first reviewed the game when it was brand new there were some crashing issues and gameplay bugs, but since I replay this game often, I can report that a series of small updates has addressed all the big issues. And, Warner is listening to user concerns and has added a lot of content – they say 40% more – for free. The current version is 1.6 and it gets better all the time.
This is the rare crossover from a retro cabinet game to iPad which gets all the important things right while adapting seamlessly to the new technology. Tapper World Tour HD is pure tap-gaming goodness. It’s a great arcade game to add to any gamer’s collection.