It brings me great joy to say that I’m too young to remember the original BurgerTime.
I’m in my 30s, and in an age where the Xbox 360 is considered “retro”, it’s rare I get to say I’m too old for anything videogame-related these days. But there are exceptions. And BurgerTime, released in arcades in 1982, some six years before I was even born, is one of them.
Developed by Data East, Burger Time had you making your way through a Donkey Kong-style grid of ladders and platforms. But rather than avoiding tossed barrels on an effort to save the princess from a misunderstood gorilla, Burger Time was all about making burgers. Walking over parts of giant burgers would make them fall to the platform below, eventually falling to the bottom level where a completed burger would sit. The goal was to make all the burgers while avoiding the enemies who wandered around the level.
There have been numerous spin-offs and copycat games in the last 37 years since BurgerTime‘s release, but let’s skip over all of those to the latest release: BurgerTime Party, which has just landed on Nintendo Switch.
In terms of its core single player gameplay, BurgerTime Party is the same game folks were playing in an arcade way back in 1982. The goal is the same: walk over burger buns, patties and lettuce leaves in order to make them fall down to construct a complete burger. Along the way there are mischievous pickles, eggs and ketchup bottles (or are they sausages? I’m not sure) wanting to get in your way and ruin your burger-making fun.
It’s still a game about chasing a high score, just like its arcade-based parent. You can chain combos by sending numerous burger parts plummeting together: drop one item onto another, and it will send the one below falling, too. Manage to cascade several pieces of burger in one go, and that score will build up. It means there’s plenty of replayability: simply finishing the level by constructing all the burgers is enough to move onto the next, but you’ll really have to put some strategy into it if you want to rank high.
BurgerTime Party isn’t just about single player, though: there’s also a couple of multiplayer modes you can enjoy. There’s a battle mode, where players can go head to head, chef versus enemy. The main campaign levels can also be played in co-op mode, with up to four players tackling the challenge together.. Whether it’s more fun than single player remains to be seen though: as the old adage goes, too many chefs spoil the
broth burger, and it soon gets chaotic with too many players wandering around the level.
Most people who’d be interested in playing BurgerTime Party probably won’t remember the original – its cute, cartoon graphics are going to appeal to kids who won’t have any idea this is a remake of a game old enough to be their parent. Still, it’s a fun little game, and it’s always interesting to see life breathed back into a classic franchise.