Swag Tester: Win a Case of Mountain Dew Game Fuel
Welcome to the first installment of Swag Tester. Crispy Gamer recently came into a case of Mountain Dew "Game Fuel" -- let's just say it fell off a truck -- and we're giving it away to one of our readers. If you want a free case of Game Fuel, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org that answers the question, "What is your favorite in-game beverage?" Whether it's potion in Final Fantasy or "grape juice" in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, there is no wrong answer. We'll pick one reader at random to have the soda delivered to their door.
(By the way, we will only use your email address to notify the winner -- we won't give it away or spam you.)
But we'd never give away some swag without first ensuring your safety, dear readers. So when I spotted a few weird soda cans at the office that said "TEST PRODUCT ONLY -- NOT FOR RESALE," I started lobbying to sample one for myself. For your sake. (Don't worry, I didn't pilfer any from the giveaway case.)
Truth is, I love weird sodas. There's nothing better to accompany a long day of RPG grinding than a glass of Moxie on the rocks. When I lived in Japan, I used to down a strange royal jelly-flavored soda called "Fukigen" like it was going out of style. And indeed it was -- Asahi stopped making it after only a year or so.
Anne Mischler, the keeper of the Game Fuel cans, finally relented and let me try this new concoction, ominously labeled "CITRUS CHERRY #627." Everyone in the office gathered around for a pour, and the first thing we all noticed is that the color is disturbingly close to Crispy Gamer orange. Which is a nice color, to be sure, but it doesn't exactly scream, "Put me in your mouth for nutrition!"
A sampling of reactions from my colleagues:
"It smells like Red Bull!"
"No, it doesn't. You've obviously never had Red Bull."
"It tastes like that cough syrup I had when I was a kid. Triaminic."
"Oh, god, the sweetness."
"Where's the fizz? There's almost no mouth feel." [Note ostentatious use of beverage-industry lingo. Show-off.]
"It doesn't taste like cherry at all. Or Mountain Dew."
I ended up being the only person in the office who thought the soda was decent, which probably delights the Mountain Dew people since I'm the one who decided to write about it. But yeah, it's fine. It was like an orange hard candy made somewhat fizzy. I detected no cherry. Not my first choice, but better than the ungodly Diet Dr. Pepper swill that we always have in the office fridge.
And to answer the question on everyone's mind: No, it doesn't turn your pee that color.
Swag Tester Verdict: Safe for human consumption, technically.
Remember, to get a free case of the stuff and conduct your own experiments, remember to email email@example.com with the name of your favorite in-game beverage.
Addendum: I'm told that by going to the Game Fuel site from our link you get 25 entries ("tokens") in a contest for whatever they give away in soda contests these days. When I was a kid, it was boomboxes and Walkman cassette players, by gum, and presumably little has changed. There's also a special "pet" on the site, and while I don't play WoW, I'm going to guess that this is the greatest thing ever.