Tapper

From Academic Kids

Tapper
Missing image
TapperTitleScreen.png
Tapper title screen

Developer: Bally Midway
Publisher: Bally Midway
Game designer: Steve Meyer
Release date: 1983
Genre: Retro
Game modes: Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Cabinet: Standard and cocktail
Controls: Joystick; 1 button
Monitor
Orientation: Horizontal?
Type: Raster, standard resolution (Used: 512 x 480)

Tapper is a 1983 arcade game released by Bally Midway. The goal of the game is to serve beer and collect empty mugs and tips.

Contents

Overview

Tapper puts the player in the shoes of a bartender. The player must serve eager, thirsty patrons before their patience expires. Each level increases in difficulty and length.

Description

The Tapper game screen features four bars. Patrons arrive periodically at the end of the bar opposite the player and demand drinks. The player must draw and serve drinks to the patrons as they slowly advance towards the player. If any customers reach the player's end of the bar, they grab the player-as-bartender and toss him out the far end of the bar, costing the player a life.

Missing image
TapperGameplay.png
In Tapper, the player plays the part of a bartender serving drinks to eager customers. The Budweiser logo is clearly visible in the version pictured here.
The player serves customers by filling a mug at one of the four taps. Once the mug is full, the player releases the tap which automatically slides the mug towards the advancing customer. Customers catch mugs that are slid towards them, as long as they are not already drinking a beer, or otherwise distracted. If a mug is not caught by a customer, then it falls off of the bar on the other end, resulting in a loss of a life for the player. If a customer does catch the mug, though, then he or she is pushed back some amount toards the opposite end of the screen. The goal is to push the customer completely off the screen, but if they are not then they will stay and consume their drink in place. When a customer finishes his drink, he slides the empty mug back towards the player, after which the customer resumes his advance on the player. The player must collect the empty mugs before they reach the end of the bar and fall to the ground. A mug falling to the ground costs a life.

Periodically, customers will leave tips on the bar for the player. These tips are left at varying places, but usually near the opposite side of the bar. By collecting the tip, the player earns extra points and initiates "entertainment" for that level (dancing girls on the wild-west level, cheerleaders on the sports level, etc). While the entertainment is active, some fraction of the customers will be distracted and stop advancing towards the player, however they will also stop catching mugs.

In order to complete a level, the player must clear the entire bar of customers. Once this is done, the player is presented with a short vignette in which the bartender draws a drink for himself and after drinking it tosses the empty mug into the air with varying (usually humorous) results.

As the game progresses, the customers come faster and faster and demand more and more drinks, increasing the distance they progress towards the player end of the bar.

Every two levels, the player is presented with a "challenge" round. In this segue, the player is presented with a single bar that has several cans of either beer or root beer sitting on top of it. An unamed, masked villain shakes every can except one. Then, of their own accord, the cans shuffle their positions so as to confuse the player in regards to which can is the unshaken one. It is in essence a shell game where the player is rewarded with extra points for picking the right can.

There are four settings for the game, each setting lasting for two levels. The settings of the game are:

  1. A country-western bar with cowboys
  2. A sporting event with athletes
  3. A punk rock bar with rockers
  4. A space bar with aliens

After completing all the levels, the player starts at the first again, harder than the first time through.

Missing image
RootBeerTapperGameplay.png
Root Beer Tapper is almost identical to the Budweiser version, except the player is a soda jerk serving non-alcoholic root beer.

Many of the cabinets were designed to look like bars—with a brass rail and drink holders. The controller was designed to look like the tap handles on a real keg.

Versions

Several variants of the game were released, with similar gameplay but different graphics and music. The first was with Budweiser branding, followed in 1984 by Root Beer Tapper, which was developed because the original version was construed as advertising alcohol to minors (since many of the games appeared in video game arcades).

There are also some boards with Suntory branding, supposedly made by Sega, which they deny.

Legacy

The programming and art style are almost identical to a later game called Timber.

External link

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