While most people I know love the taste of beer, I prefer the kind made from sassafras root. It’s a taste not many people I know enjoy and here in England, you’d be hard pressed to find it in many supermarkets. So when I discovered there was an arcade game dedicated to the tree bark beverage, I was stunned and had to find out more.
The game is called Tapper (or Root Beer Tapper) and you play a bartender with the sole purpose of serving root beer to your thirsty customers whilst collecting their empty glasses and keeping them happy before they get tired of waiting. Adding to the challenge, you also have four bars to look after and as the game progresses, more customers appear gasping for a cool drink of root beer or Budweiser depending on what version you play. Throw in some aliens, dancing girls, cheerleaders and a devilish villain shaking up beer cans and you have yourself a frantic but amusing experience.
The crazed nature of Tapper made it very addictive as documented by C64 magazine Compute!’s Gazette who described it as “not only fun to play, but also immensely challenging, graphically entertaining, and full of action”. Tapper’s success allowed for ports to a number of consoles including the Atari 2600, C64 and even on Xbox Live Arcade for a brief time, not to mention a cameo appearance on Disney film Wreck-It Ralph. If you’re lucky enough to find an original Tapper arcade, get yourself some quarters/20/50 pence pieces and get serving. But if you’re like me and would prefer to pour drinks to aliens and sports fans on your computer, the game has been emulated and features as part of Internet Archive’s Arcade collection.
You can play the game here.