Review by Jeff Cooper



Graphics: 9

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8.5

Tapper Alien BarMy understanding is that the Awesome One (I hope you appreciate sarcasim, Joe) has also reviewed this title.  I have purposely avoided that review not because it sucks (it's probably pretty good) but to insure that readers get two independent opinions.

It's tough to spend much space reviewing CV Tapper, partly because it's a simple game that everyone knows how to play.  In a sense, Tapper is like a horizontal Space Invaders: you have to whip from the top to the bottom of the screen to stop the oncoming guzzlers and their empty glasses, which move from the right hand side of the screen to the left (well, at least in the early screens).  Push the fire button to fill the beer, release it to serve, thus slowing the patrons' progress toward you.  That's about it, though there are a few additional touches that I imagine Joe has touched upon.

Within the last few weeks, I had the good fortune of playing arcade Budweiser Tapper at a Daytona Beach beachfront arcade.  There are only a few better ways of spending a half hour.  The arcade version has a bar-style brass rail upon which to rest your foot as you play, a beer-style tap to pull in order to fill the mugs, and a special holder for your beer (32 oz for about $2.50 at this particular arcade). 

The ColecoVision version of Tapper lacks some of the flourishes of its arcade father.  Because Coleco was a "family values" sort of company (which is why they also made a game about nuclear armageddon, War Games), they turned Budweiser Tapper into "Root Beer" Tapper.  They left out some of the hilarious intermission antics of the bartender and, of course, all of the cool elements of the arcade cabinet are missing from the gaming experience.  

Root Beer?Having said all this, the CV version nevertheless easily captures the essence of the arcade game.  Control is excellent and the graphics and music are top notch.  Tapper is a game that is great to play in half hour spurts. It's too repititious to play much more than that.  This really isn't a criticism; Tapper is an arcade style game, and you aren't supposed to play for hours and hours like some sort of RPG.  This game, like Ladybug, Pepper II, Carnival, and Antarctic Adventure, captures the essense of the Colecovision: it's cartoony, it's whimsical, it's musical (though they should have a different tune for each bar), it's simple plain fun--and yet it's challenging.  I do have a minor criticism: CV Tapper is a little too easy at skill levels one and two, perhaps too difficult at three and four.   But this is a petty complaint.  If you accept it as the simple fun game it's supposed to be, there are few better titles among all the classic carts.  Tapper is one of about a dozen "must haves" for the ColecoVision.  I've never met a classic gamer who doesn't like this game.



Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:33 PM