Version tested: Retro
The grass is always greener on the other side, so they say. During the daily, predictable grind of employment, daydreams provide light relief to the monotony of life. Walking down the catwalk in Italy; singing on stage in a West End musical, or starring as Bond in the next blockbuster movie. Even serving cocktails in the new designer bar down the road can seem more alluring than your current career path. Tom Cruise certainly had a blast with it before all that dodgy Xenu business!
Tapper offered the opportunity to try before you buy (or, at least, try before you resign) the experience of a glittering career serving drinks to the public.
Complete with a lever resembling a genuine beer pump, Tapper made you feel like a real bartender -- an experience made all the more authentic by the appropriately styled arcade cabinet. Although the original Budweiser version had to be withdrawn and replaced with the more family friendly Root Beer model, there was no loss of appeal in the gameplay.
Speed is of the essence when serving beers to the ever-impatient punters of the saloon bar; complete with gun toting cowboys and alien rockers from outer space. Accuracy is even more important, as sending out too many glasses results in messy breakage and the lose of a life (arcade bartending is a brutal world). Empty glasses are sent back for collection, ready for the next top up. It's fast, furious and demanding, proving as compulsive as it used to be all those years ago.
After a while, levels become too fast and more of a test of reflexes than skill. By that point, though, Tapper's made happy alcoholics of us all -- and it's very hard to say no to one extra pint from the virtual pumps. Cheers!
9 / 10