Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Retro Game of the Day! Tapper

Yep, Tapper would be today's Retro Game of the Day, let's see what is in store then- this arcade released in 1983 - aha, the Golden Age, sob! - and ported to plenty of the usual non-Japanese systems of the day.

Yet another product of an era when experimentation of "what can a game be?" was quite wonderfully commonplace (well - to lots of successes as well as failures!), this game puts you in charge of running a one-man bar. The premise is simple and genius at the same time - stand in front of the keg and hit the action button to tap it, then release to serve it down the appropriate table (usually 4 rows I believe) to waiting, thirsty patrons. They will slowly advance on you, clamoring for service if you don't deliver (and kick your butt if you do't serve them by the time they reach you!)

Don't serve a drink to an empty table (it will fall and the glass will break) and if a patron downs his booze and returns his mug to you, you'd likewise better catch it. Bonus Point tips are left on the table-rows (you can run out to grab them or the returning mugs as well). That's pretty much all there is to this game. Fulfill a quota and the round clears, followed by a more intense one.

The game quickly becomes a contest of management, how well you can gauge how many clients must be served in how many rows, and whether they are sending empties back to you, and whether or not it's worth the risk to greedily try to pick up that tip! The game is immediately addicting and fascinating, and still quite a fun little diversion.

The title released at a time when Midway was starting to develop a little style of their own, the caricatures onscreen had a somewhat distinctive look that would show up again in later games like Arch-Rivals and Pigskin. At the time this was quite an advancement for the otherwise dramatically simplistic representations of.. well, EVERYTHING on video game screens of the day!

Tapper is a cool little game and it's still a lot of fun. I recommend the Colecovision port.

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