I missed out on the original arcade cabinet version of Root Beer Tapper. My first experience was via a retro-game collection on the Xbox, but I was hooked almost instantly, and I'm happy to report that Tapper World Tour plays just as well as an app as Root Beer Tapper did as a console game.
The concept is simple enough: Tap the screen to serve beers to rows of thirsty customers on multiple bar tops as they slowly make their way toward the end of the bar. If they hit the end of the bar, you lose a life.
As dry as that might sound, it's a lot of fun, thanks, in part, to the rabid thirst of these customers. Imagine four rows of three customers each, but before you can even finish getting one round of drinks out, two of the customers have thrown back their empty glasses. Now you have to run back to catch their glasses while still finding some time to throw drinks down to the customers at the other bars, or you're going to lose.
In early levels, that sort of scenario is easy to avoid because the customers drink quickly and move slowly. Clearing the first few levels is only an introduction to the game's mechanics, however, and later levels become a catastrophe of counting how many drinks you need to serve, running to other bars, doing the same, and then trying to manage the chaos in front of you. It's one of the best gameplay experiences I've ever had, easily.
Tapper World Tour presents this gameplay with graphics that have been nicely updated from the original, which is a nice respite for those of us sick of ugly 8-bit ports of arcade classics. The addition of specialty drinks you can call on to help clear the bar of customers helps to add an additional gameplay wrinkle to well-worn proceedings.
If there's any bit of frustration with Tapper World Tour, it's that the "endless" mode that the game offers isn't exactly customizable. If you want to play a game close to the arcade classic, and jump right into the endless scenario, you'll be bored to tears. It's essentially like playing level 1 forever.
Instead, players have to unlock the more-challenging levels in the story-driven World Tour first, and then try them out in endless mode, where patience, sanity and fingers will be tested until all three finally crack.
Essentially, Tapper World Tour has written the book on how to successfully modernize a classic game. If you want a fun challenge that you can play in your spare time, this is the game.