By Dan Zuccarelli . February 13, 2007 . 5:06pm
Back in the day, Root Beer Tapper was the game in the arcade you played while waiting for Gauntlet or Spy Hunter to open up. Simply because it was almost without fail left unattended and available, and looked strange enough to warrant $.25. Of course any kid from the 80′s that remembers Root Beer Tapper will probably tell you that’s all the game was worth. While it had a cool keg tap lever to fill the drinks the novelty wore off quick, since the gameplay was redundant.
On the XBLA version, we don’t even get the novelty. We get an roughly aged game that just cannot in any way compete with newer games or the classics of old. With no variety in gameplay, the game feels every bit of 23 years old.
The premise is simple, you sling root beers down the bar to patrons moving their way towards you. Grab the tips and the empty mugs as they slide them back to you. Rinse and repeat. As you move through the different bars the patrons move faster and faster towards the end of the bar, but that’s the only change you’re really going to encounter.
Playing the game single player is a quick affair, with a game really lasting you about 5-6 minutes. Remember it’s an arcade game through and through, and lived on you feeding it quarters. This version has online play (vs and co-op) though you really can’t tell any of the modes apart. You’re always playing on screen alone, and the only interaction you have with the other player is via the scoreboard. It really doesn’t make any sense, since I got no feeling of competition when playing others online. You still feel like it’s a single player game.
There are classic games out there that still hold up, Gauntlet and Ms. Pac-Man are two that come to mind on the XBLA service. Other games have just aged badly, and need to be put out to pasture. Root Beer Tapper is one of those games. Take a pass on this one.