APP OF THE DAY: Tapper World Tour HD review (iPad)

When we decided to find an app to celebrate St Patrick's Day, we stroked our chins and wondered exactly what the celebrated event means to people. Some visit church to honour the patron saint of Ireland, who died on this day in 493 (or 460, depending on who you choose to believe). Some use it to celebrate Irish culture. And some just dress in ginger wigs, big green hats and drink as many pints of Guinness as they can.

It is for them that we've chosen today's App of the day.

It could've been something blatantly obvious, such as the Oirish edition of Angry Birds Seasons, or one of the many other games that hope to cash in on the festivities by slapping a shamrock on the loading screen and adapting the soundtrack to sound a bit like Riverdance, but this, somehow, seems more fitting...

Tapper World Tour HD

Format
iPad (also available on iPhone)
Price
£1.19 (launch promotion)
Where
iTunes

Tapper is a game that has probably, in one form or another, appeared on every home computer, console and gaming device over the years. Originally an arcade machine, back in 1983, it is simple at its core, but fiendish difficult as it progresses.

The premise is basically thus; serve thirsty patrons in a bar their frothy drinks before they get irate. That's it. There are three or more bars, each with its own pump, and you have to flit from one to another.

However, although it starts slowly, with few customers, it soon gets complicated. Not only does the amount and speed of eager punters amplify, they can also start throwing empties back down the bar for you to collect - miss too many of them, or a drinker decides to leave, and you lose lives. Too many and it's game over.

The new iOS version adds extra spins on the original theme too. Firstly, the structure of the entire app is different. Originally, the game was one type of bar, merely progressing through levels of difficulty. Now though, there's a story mode that has you visit different bars in different locations around the world. Plus, each level offers bonuses and a star reward system for the amount of points you accrue, like with Angry Birds.

Also, there are upgrades that will be awarded as you travel through the scenes. One gives you a "play" button which you can occasionally hit to start a show at the back of the bar, halting customers in their tracks as they watch. Incidentally, the shows themselves have been created by master animator Don Bluth (he of Dragon's Lair and The Jungle Book fame).

Mini games have also been added, such as a traditional cup and ball style sideshow, featuring shells and a pearl. And you can even choose between two characters to take control of, the original barman or his foxy daughter.

But, perhaps, the biggest change in the game for its iPad refresh is in the control system. While you can opt to have an onscreen directional control pad, the best method of play is to merely "tap" where you want to go, and "tap" to serve beer. It makes the game so much easier to get into, and let's you concentrate on the action, rather than the mode of input. It's almost as if the original developer foresaw this when it created "Tapper" back in the 80s.

Tapper World Tour HD is currently available on the App Store for £1.19 (and an iPhone/iPod touch version is 59p). But that's only a special introductory price for its launch, so hurry. Tap it up as soon as you can.

Groan.

Played Tapper World Tour HD yet? Let us know what you think in the comments below...



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