Friday, June 20, 2014

Nerdicus NES Review #107 : BurgerTime

Title : BurgerTime

Publisher : Data East

Genre : Puzzle Arcade

Players : 1 Player

Release Date : 1987

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $4-$6

When this game first made it's appearance in arcades in 1982, it was an instant classic. Of course there were dozens of puzzle games out in Arcades, so it was hard for a new one to really make its presence felt surrounded by already major hits. But there was something about a quirky game about a chef trying to make hamburgers, all the while being chased by Hot Dogs and Fried Eggs that made it irresistible.

I must have owned this game for every retro system out back in the day. I know I had it for Atari, Commodore, Calecovision, and the NES. It was one of those puzzle games you just had to own. You played it once, and you're a BurgerTime-r for life.
Anyone hungry? Just looking at those burgers is making me crave beef....mmmm...shake shack...or in 'n' out....something! AGH! NEED A BURGER!!!

The real question is, how does an arcade classic hold up years down the line after a slew of ports. Does the addiction remain strong? Or is it faltering under the NES? Let's find out. Break out your chef's hat, and whip out the ketchup. It's time to make some burgers.

For those of you who haven't played BurgerTime......what the hell is your problem!? Get off your butt, and go play it! Seriously, it is a GOOD arcade game! You are missing out! Ahem - anyway, let me explain how the game is played. The goal is to build a number of hamburgers at the bottom of the screen using all the proper ingredients such as buns, lettuce, burger, and cheese. At least I think it's cheese. It looks like a big yellow block so I'm assuming its cheese lol.

Where's the damn tomato!?! And pickles!? Come on, they seriously need a BurgerTime EPIC edition where you have to throw on bacon, jalapenos, special sauce, onion rings, etc. on the burger too. A stack 20 platforms high. Damn, I'm sorry I should not be writing this review when I'm starving.

You walk across various platforms, going up and down ladders and knocking down the ingredients in the correct order so they make a burger. For a master chef, it should be a cinch, but you also have to deal with hot dogs, lima beans, and fried eggs trying to KILL YOU.

The real trick, is to drop the ingredients on top of the enemies in order to rack up points and avoid further confrontation. Succeed in completing your burgers, and you've completed the stage. As expected, the game progresses in difficulty rather quickly, and you'll find yourself struggling to make burgers. It's really a nerve wracking game for a simple puzzle arcade, but finding yourself trapped between a hot dog and a fried egg is downright frightening.

All is not lost however, and you are not alone. You have your trusty pepper shaker to assist you! Use your pepper to temporarily stun enemies which is critical when lining them up to rack up some burger points. Run around platforms - pepper enemies - drop ingredients. That's all there is to it.

Visually, the game leaves you a bit wanting, and it's up to you to us your imagination as to what the hell is really going on. They do look like burgers, hot dogs, and eggs....okay never mind those do NOT look like eggs. You know, perhaps if a bit more was done to this game, instead of a direct port, I would have liked it even more. But I won't take off too many points for that. I feel like this is just trying to appease the arcade purists.

Music however is as catchy as ever, and ripped straight from the BurgerTime arcade. Once you hear this song, it will be embedded in your brain. It's so damn memorable. Hell, even if you're eating a burger you'll have this song in your head. I dare you to go to a Wendy's, or Burger King, or whatever and just whistle that song while dressed as a chef.

There's no harm in saying that despite it's graphical mishaps, this remains to this day one of the best puzzle games of our generation. There is serious thanks that needs to be given to those who designed a game based off hamburgers. Take a break from your PS4 and Xbox One and go back in time with this classic. You won't be disappointed....unless you have an issue with hot dogs.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until next time. Keep on gaming!



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