Tapper was one of those old arcade games that took a simple idea and turned it in to an addictive little game. Unfortunately, it didn’t really hold my attention for all that long, probably because the simple task of serving and collecting drinks was a bit too repetitive.
Tapper World Tour takes advantage of the same great ideas while adding to the formula to create something worth coming back to. The game still retains the simple ‘serve drinks, collect empty cups’ idea but expands on this in some inventive ways.
The first thing you’ll notice, though, is the visuals. Tapper has had a grand make-over, the game itself now looks great on iPhone and even better on an iPad. Colourful graphics highlight the varied characters and great little touches in the background scenery. The animated sections in-between these levels are all hand drawn by the famous cartoon artist Don Bluth and their quality really shows.
Sam, the barman from the original game, is now joined by his daughter, Nikki. Choosing one of the two the idea is to cater for customers arriving through the door by serving them drinks. Allow them to get too near the end and they will disappear, losing you a life in the process. After a few levels getting used to this, the game then adds empty cups to collect. As they slide along the bar, it’s your job to pick them up before they smash on the floor.
Happy customers will sometimes leave a tip, another item that needs to be collected, wasting precious moments from serving other customers. It’s this juggling and time management format that worked so well in the original and works even better here, with a touch control system that seems to be a perfect fit for the game, as if it was designed for touch-based gestures from the start.
Special mention should be given to the iPad version. This game works far better on iPad, with more space to tap and while the iPhone version has a few issues with fingers being in the way of the action at times, the iPad allows you to plan ahead a lot better without missing a glass flying back towards you. If you have an iPad then it really is worth paying the little extra to get that version.
Then the game throws another complication in to the mix. Customers will ask for certain drinks, and you’ll need to press the icon to swap to the right drink for the customer. With 4 customers in a line on each of the 3 or 4 rows, you’ll be hard pressed to cater for everyone as the queues get longer and the action gets faster.
Luckily, the game also gives you a few bonus items to cope with the manic action. When the Action sign lights up you can quickly press it and a show will begin. This makes all the current customers turn to watch the show instead of making their way to the end of the bar, allowing you a bit of extra time to cater to them. Another icon gives you a drink that guarantees a tip, giving you an extra bonus at the end of the level.
As you progress through the stages you can pick up bonus achievements, such as running faster along the bar to pick up empty drinks and tips. These are much needed enhancements for the latter stages when things get really hectic. An endless mode adds a new challenge to try and keep going as long as you can.
Small mini-games between stages act as a bonus for extra lives and points. While it’s nice to have some variety, they’re all a bit too simplistic and pretty much all the same.
Tapper World Tour takes the winning formula of the arcade game, adds a few new twists and wraps it in a bunch of great visuals. Despite it still have a fairly repetitive nature, there is enough variety in the game to keep you coming back for more.
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 9
- Gameplay: 8
- Longevity: 8
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