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Mini-Review: Burger Time

Data East - 1982 - Arcade 


Burgertime is an arcade puzzle game where you help navigate Chef Peter Pepper though the dangerous world of the food service industry. You must pilot Peter through a maze of burger parts and ladders, the whole time being chases by anthropomorphic fast food. The game progresses by running over the individual burger patties, buns, and veggies and forcing them to drop to the floor below. Once you make all the individual parts into a completed burger, the game goes on to the next stage. Of course, to do so you must out maneuver and outrun the dreaded food beasts that are out to put Peter on workers comp once and for all.


The game play is rather simple and consists of running and climbing ladders while attempting to run over and drop the burger parts to the floor below. The whole time you are doing this, you will be chased by a group of diabolical foods: Mr. Hot Dog, Mr. Pickle, and Mr. Egg. If any of these enemies touch you, it’s instant death. You have three options when faced with them; you can run, you can use the attack button to fire a blast of pepper at them which temporarily stuns them, or you can attempt to drop a burger part while they are on top of it or while they are underneath it. This action will send them to the floor below with the food or land on them, killing them on impact. The pepper, while useful, is limited so it’s best to save it for dire encounters. You will most likely spend most of the time trying to run from the food beasts. The game is very difficult though, and the food will often take the best routes to close you off and attack you. Cheap deaths and sloppy controls also plague the game; it can often be very hard to climb the ladders and since that’s the central game mechanic it’s just a bit of a problem. 


Although the idea and game play are both fun and original, the often stiff controls and the high difficulty curve get frustrating fast and really take away from the experience. The game doesn’t really give you a chance to get accustomed to the controls before it sends enemies right at you, and the number of enemies it spawns can often be overwhelming, especially for first time players. If you like a fast paced, challenging puzzle games, then I suggest you give it a play, but be prepared for some fast food…….I apologize for that last pun.

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