Tapper, also known as Root Beer Tapper, is a 1983 arcade game developed by Marvin Glass and Associates and released by Bally Midway.[1][2] Tapper puts the player in the shoes of a bartender who must serve eager, thirsty patrons before their patience expires[3] while collecting empty mugs and tips.

Originally sponsored by Anheuser-Busch, the arcade version features a Budweiser motif.

The controls consist of a four-position joystick and a tap handle. The game screen features four bars, each with a keg at one end and a door at the other. Customers enter through the doors and slowly advance toward the kegs, demanding service. The player controls a bartender who must pour drinks and slide them down the bar for the customers to catch. Pushing the joystick up or down instantly moves the bartender to the keg at the next bar in the chosen direction, with the top and bottom of the screen wrapping around to one another, while pushing left or right causes him to run along the bar where he is stationed. When the tap handle is pulled down, the bartender instantly moves to the keg (if he is not already standing there) and fills a mug; releasing it causes him to slide the mug along the bar.

Customers slide back toward the doors upon catching a full mug, and disappear through the doors if they are close enough. If not, they stop after a certain distance, consume the drink, and resume their advance while sliding the empty mug back toward the keg. Customers occasionally leave tips on the bar, which the player can pick up for bonus points. Collecting a tip causes a group of female dancers to appear for a few seconds, distracting a portion of the customers so that they will stop advancing. However, distracted customers cannot catch drinks, and any customers who are either drinking or being pushed back at the start of the dancers’ show will never be distracted.

One life is lost whenever any of the following occurs:

  • The player fails to catch an empty mug before it falls off the keg end of a bar and breaks
  • A full mug slides to the door end of a bar, falls off, and breaks without being caught
  • Any customer reaches the keg end of a bar, whereupon they grab the bartender and slide him out the door

Each screen is completed when the bar is completely emptied of customers. The bartender then pours/consumes a drink of his own with humorous results involving the empty mug, such as getting it stuck on his head or stubbing his toe when he tries to kick it. As the game progresses, the customers appear more frequently, move faster along the bar, and are pushed back shorter distances when they catch their drinks. In addition, the maximum number of customers per bar gradually increases until every bar can have up to four customers at a time.



Dimensions: 27″w x 32″d x 71″h


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