Tapper World Tour ($0.99) is a blueprint on how bring classic arcade games up-to-date for iOS. Not only have the graphics been beautifully redrawn by a team assembled by legendary cartoonist Don Bluth (Dragon’s Lair) to appear incredibly detailed on the iPhone 4’s Retina Display, Tapper’s gameplay too has been updated to be more challenging in later rounds and less repititous thanks to new powerups and a story mode that takes you on a tour of bars around the world. If you were a fan of the classic Tapper and are looking for a brain-hurting challenge, Tapper World Tour is an excellent modern revision, as well as my current addiction.
For its core gameplay, Tapper World Tour closely follows in the path of the original: you play a bartender who must keep customers happy by sliding drinks to them down a bar as they walk in. You must serve them before they reach the end of the bar. Fail to do so and you lose a “life,” of which you have three before it’s game over. You also can lose a life by sliding too many drinks down the bar, causing a glass to break against the wall, or by allowing an empty glass from a customer to fall off the end of the bar after it’s been slid back toward you.
The game also throws in the occasional minigames, which are variations of a shell game where you follow the hidden ball as its shuffled under various objects.
The graphics of Tapper World Tour have been updated to look beautiful on the iPhone 4’s Retina Display. They have a Sunday comics style, except your Sunday Comics never looked this good. In a strange way, Tapper is probably the best game I’ve seen yet that shows the detail possible with the Retina Display. For example, the lines for the character’s facial features are extremely thin yet sharp. There’s a sense that I need a magnifying glass to reveal the true detail of the scene. Pretty neat.
If you like time management games, you’re going to love Tapper: World Tour. It starts off rather easy so you can learn the gameplay, then suddenly throws a wrench into the gameplay when customers start requesting multiple drinks. You’ll soon be flipping back and forth between drinks, struggling to keep up with the onslaught of thirsty customers. Difficult but perfect for time-management veterans. And the game switches things up by taking you to different locations around the world via a story mode, which keeps the game feeling fresh.
In story mode, the game takes the same structure as the popular game Sally’s Spa where you travel from continent to continent (Mexico, United States, Europe, etc), working in various establishments. You’ll serve all types of people (and nonhumans) along the way, as well as experience new kinds of entertainment and drinks. Tapper is a rich, detailed game. There is an arcade-style endless play mode where you keep going to you die.
The game gives you extra tools and special powers to help you keep customers happy and for those moments when things get a little too out of control. You can run down the bar to proactively snatch up empty glasses (and tips). To buy some time, you can activate the bar’s local entertainment to distract customers for a brief period. You are also occasionally given a special tonic that, when activated, will satisfy customers no matter their drink preference. And a special “bar clearing” power will instantly serve all the customers in the bar and save your butt.
Tapper World Tour ($0.99) is a beautifully updated version of the arcade classic, and it features rich, detailed, and challenging gameplay. The game has never looked better thanks to incredibly detailed graphics and the iPhone’s Retina Display. I think half my joy of playing the game is looking at the colorful and detailed world. The gameplay is likewise well-thought out and will challenge even veterans of time-management games. If you’re a fan of the genre.Tapper World Tour is one of the best for the iPhone and highly recommended. 9.0 out of 10.