Another week, another gaming classic hits the Xbox Live Arcade. Classic? Yeah, Tapper was definitely one of those when it hit the arcades back in 1984. Completely original, charming, and a typical example of a game that you could just pick up and play with no explanation, it still holds an indefinable addictive appeal even this far down the line.
Many of you will perhaps be more familiar with the game from the various ports (called, simply, Tapper - the Root Beer moniker was added in later arcade versions to remove the association with Budweiser) that appeared a year or so later, most notably on the C64, but also later on the Spectrum, Amstrad and several other 8-bit systems of the time. But as faithful as those ports were in terms of the simple slide-the-beer glass-down-the-bar gameplay, no home system at the time had the ability to match the pin-sharp "cartoon" (a favourite expression of the time) graphics that the arcade version boasted.
Set over four increasingly tough areas, the idea is mindlessly engaging in a whack-a-mole kind of sense. You're a moustachioed bartender, you have four bars to service and must quickly pour a drink to meet the needs of the thirsty customers emerging into the 'saloon'. At the end of each bar is a tap that enables you to instantaneously pour the drink and slide the glass towards the customer in one fluid motion, and keeping up with orders is a case of flicking between bars by moving up and down and 'firing' the drinks towards them.