Video games and beer have been a time-honored combination ever since the first bar installed a Pong machine. We've seen both standard and racing-style arcade machines with kegs built right into them, but never one that actually rewards gaming skill with a tasty beverage. That's where the Beercade comes in. Developed for Big Boss Brewing, the Beercade machine is a fighting game that takes cups instead of quarters and dispenses free beer to the winning player.
The McKinney ad agency devised the Beercade as part of its "Ten Percent" program, which allows employees to use 10 percent of their time on innovative new methods of advertising with technology. The beer-dispensing arcade machine was built entirely in-house – from the Flash-based fighting game (The Last Barfighter) to the art on the cabinet – as a better way to grab people's attention than just using bartenders or beer spokespeople.
The Beercade works like any other arcade fighting game, except the standard coin slots have been replaced with a pair of spigots, drip trays, and motion sensors. Players set their cups down to start the game and then choose from five characters, each based on a signature brew: Hell’s Belle, Bad Penny, Angry Angel, Blanco Diablo and High Roller.
Each player fights with regular punches and kicks, along with some special moves, and the first person to win two matches gets a sample of beer automatically dispensed from their tap.
While it may sound like the perfect bar game, with a much better reward than a "You Win" screen, unfortunately neither McKinney nor Big Boss Brewing have revealed plans to make more than just the one Beercade machine. For now, Big Boss Brewing intends to take the Beercade along to charity and fund-raising events, and use it as a promotional tool.
Check out the video below to see The Last Barfighter in action.