Arcades are a dying breed, but for those that spent more than a few quarters and more than a few hours of their youth to master the classics, it’s comforting to know that bars across the country are still doing their best to keep a handful of the machines alive.
That said, there’s still some signs of life in the arcade industry, as Owen Tingle and Adam Carroll of Durham, North Carolina-based marketing agency McKinney have shown with their latest project, which adds beer to the classic arcade formula to create the Beercade, an arcade machine that dispenses beer to the winner.
According to Tingle, “I grew up playing video games, and I remember stacking quarters at the old arcades waiting in line to show off my virtual fighting skills. And I think it’s a nostalgic experience a lot of people identify with. I’ve also grown to appreciate the craft and skill it takes to make good-tasting beer. So to combine these two passions into a unique experience other people can enjoy was just awesome.”
The game is called “The Last Barfighter”, and it plays like an old Street Fighter game, but with newer graphics and updated moves like fire throwing, unicorn horn impaling, and butt slaps. It’s winner take all, and in this case, the winner gets a fresh beer poured out of the place where the coin slots would normally go.
Since they’re based out of the North Carolina area, they contacted Big Boss Brewing out of Raleigh, North Carolina to see if they’d be interested in putting the arcade cabinet to good use. Of course the answer was yes, so now each of the characters in The Last Barfighter is named after one of Big Boss Brewing’s five year-round brews: Hell’s Belle, Bad Penny, Angry Angel, Blanco Diablo, and High Roller.
For now the plan is feature The Last Barfighter at local events, but given the reception is has received so far, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them offer the idea to other breweries that want to bring some of that classic arcade action into their own taprooms and tasting events.