Tapper was one of the best examples of the ingenuity that defined the early arcade games, when novel premises, fast action and a lot of imagination were needed to flesh out games running on primitive architecture.
As a natural for the multitouch controls of the iPhone and iPad - what's its name, after all - the frantic beer-slinging good time returns in Tapper: World Tour, a great reboot that's well worth the dollar it costs.
Arcade games were designed for short experiences - they wanted you to keep feeding in quarters. Tapper: World Tour is modestly adjusted to keep you involved longer. Unlike the original game, a glass crashing to the floor, an unserved patron, or a mug flung with no recipient would cost you a "life" and stop the action. Here, you just keep on chugging, though the lives are still ticked off for each mistake. Lose three and the game's over, try again.
Tips aren't randomized; they're now a power-up that gives an extra life and are left when you serve a special cocktail, which periodically becomes available in the upper right corner. Sideshows provide you with a break from the advancing hordes.
The "World Tour" aspect comes as your barkeep progresses through several different locations, both foreign and domestic, all in themed bars that are richly illustrated by Don Bluth, whom many gamers recognize as the illustrator behind Dragon's Lair and Space Ace. On my iPhone 4's retina display it's swell, and on an iPad, where it's $1.99, it must look even better. There's also an "Endless Shift" mode, which is a great time killer, serving beer to an endless stream of customers.
Otherwise, the game is still the same: Serve beer, plan ahead, catch mugs, cue the dancing girls, run like hell. The intermission mini-games are all here, too. You want a tip? Here's a tip: Pick up Tapper: World Tour.
Tapper: World Tour [iTunes]