ZX Spectrum Games

ZX Spectrum Games

24 Jun 2009

ZX Spectrum Game - Tapper - ZX Spectrum

ZX Spectrum Games Tapper

ZX Spectrum Tapper
Tapper (or Root Beer Tapper as it was also known) was a good arcade conversion of the famous Bally Midway arcade game. It was released by US Gold for the ZX Spectrum in June of 1985 and was yet another good game from the people that had brought us Beach Head and Raid Over Moscow.

Like many computer games in the mid-eighties, this one was a very simple idea and focused on fast and furious action to hold your attention. The simplicity of the game made it an ideal title to convert to the ZX Spectrum.

As you may have guessed from the title, in this classic game you had been put you in charge of a bar (different bars as you advanced through the game) with the sole task of serving the thirsty punters as quickly as possible and collecting the glasses - surely an easy task for any wannabe barmen or barmaids. Not quite.

You had to serve the customers in a 'western style' by pouring the drink, slinging it down the bar to them and catching any empty glasses they slung back at you. No time for fancy dan cocktail moves a la Tom Cruise and Brian Brown in these bars.

Each bar (screen) you worked in had four taps at the opposite end of four serving bars for you to cover. The customers would walk in through the door at the opposite end of the bar (opposite to the end where the tap was located) and move towards our trusty barman. You had to pour and sling a drink to them before they reached your end of the bar, otherwise you would be ejected from the place by being slung along the bar and out the door yourself!

Some of the customers would fling the empty glass back along the bar to you - which you had to catch to prevent it from dropping to the floor and breaking. If you slung too many drinks down the bar (say four drinks but only three customers) then the last drink would be ignored and would fly off at the door end and smash. Any glass breakages would cost you a life - so tidy serving and prompt catching was the way to keep everything ticking along nicely.

If you managed to serve all of the customers then you would take part in a bonus round. In the bonus round it consisted of a spot the tumbler puzzle where 'The Soda Bandit' stood behind seven cans of drink lined up on the bar and shook six of them before jumbling all of them up. You had to pick the unshaken can to get the bonus reward.

During the levels there were other bonuses to collect such as tips left by satisfied customers. Picking up the tips would make a duo of dancing girls appear on stage to entertain you and the drinkers for a short while. Unfortunately this entertainment could make the customers miss their drinks and let them sail off the bar, thus losing you a life. Pah!

Your game character could move up and down the bars and also along the length of the bars to collect empties more quickly. As the levels progressed the amount of customers and speed of the game really hotted up. Keeping pace with everything was no easy feat.

On Relase:
Tapper had been a pretty succesful arcade game, and the ZX Spectrum conversion was awaited with mild excitement. When it arrived gamers loved the fast paced action and touches of humour within the game. The different levels (some bars were in space and had you serving aliens) added variety to the game and it had that 'one more go' factor as you wanted to reach further levels and beat your high score. Crash magazine awared it the legendary Crash Smash status and Tapper went on to be a big summer seller. The only complaint by gamers was the lack of finesse on the graphics, which probably should have had more detail and better animation. At £7.95 it was priced just about right.

The test of time:
Tapper was (and is even more so) a very simple arcade game. But here in the land of Spectrum Games we reckon that the fast and furious gameplay still has that fun element. As you work your way through the levels the speed of the game really increases, and you have to move like lightning to keep everyone served and catch those empty glasses. Still fun, still playable, this simple arcade game is worth a go.

Get yourself some rootbeer and a child glass and give it a go. Sling those drinks dudes.

We recommend getting hold of the real hardware but if not then download a ZX Spectrum emulator and download Tapper for the ZX Spectrum. Alternatively you could try and play it online.

GENRE: Arcade game
RELEASE DATE: June of 1985
RELEASED BY: US Gold
DEVELOPER(S): Ocean Software (plus David Anderson and Ian Morrison)
PRICE: £7.95 - UK

Resident bar-fly Mart keeps plenty of customers happy in this nice conversion of a classic arcade game:

Classic Games and Arcade Games

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