BurgerTime was a much-loved platformer from the 1980’s that came up with a unique concept of building burgers whilst avoiding enemies. This burger-stacking system helped differentiate it from other 2D platformers of the day but now, 37 years since the original arcade release, have these burgers gone stale?
BurgerTime Party brings the series kicking and screaming into the 21st Century with a major focus on co-op and competitive play. Sadly, the burgers don’t feature the same updates we’ve learnt to expect from a gourmet kitchen such as bacon, pulled pork, avocado and basically any other food stuff you can stuff between a burger bun, but the traditional burger of patty, lettuce and tomato still has its’ appeal.
What is included though is a lot of BurgerTime, albeit on the repetitive side. There are four main modes to choose from, and despite the focus on co-op play, the majority are still suitable for a table for one.
BurgerTime Party has had a marked visual improvement since the ‘80s also. The game looks crisp and clear and has a real cartoon feel to it. Enemies have a slight Cuphead look to them; big eyes on traditionally inanimate objects that look slightly more sinister than they need to. Not nightmare-inducing, but certainly a don’t-want-to-bump-into-them-in-a-dark-alley appearance about them.
BurgerTime primarily consists of the player controlling a chef with the unfortunate name of Peter Pepper, through a series of levels, building burgers. Peter must traverse the levels that are mazes of platforms and ladders to then walk over the ingredients – that’s right, he builds the giant burgers with his feet! – in order for them to drop down and stack on top of each other at the bottom of the level.
Peter isn’t alone in these levels, there are a variety of enemies running around at the same time. Despite Peter busy making burgers, the enemies are also food based – Mr. Hot Dog, Mr. Pickle, Mr. Egg and Mr. Donut. Each have their own movement personalities and whilst Peter has a pepper spray he can use to temporarily halt the enemies, he will spend a lot more time running away from them or dropping burger ingredients on them.
Solo Burger is purely for single-players and it is here that you will need to start before unlocking the other modes. It has 20 levels that introduce the game and the mechanics you will need to master. After these, the levels in this mode are slightly-more puzzle focussed as you need to think about your optimal path to get the biggest score. These however, are seen are more of an introduction to the main mode.
That mode is named Main Burger and caters for up to 4-players cooperatively. Gameplay is very much the same as Solo Burger, but the levels are larger to accommodate more players, and more enemies. They can still be completed by the solo player, but the most enjoyment – and highest scores – will come from co-op play.
For these two modes, each level has you awarded a three-star rating system after completion of a level. A minimum of one-star is needed to progress to the next level but 99% of the time that comes from just assembling the burgers. They also come in blocks of five where you need to earn a star in each map before being able to move onto the next block.
One mode exclusively for multiplayer is Battle Burger. Two teams line-up, one made of chefs and the other team of Mr. Hot Dog and crew in a battle against each other and the clock. The chefs must assemble the burgers, and their opposition must stop them. Things can get quite frantic in this mode and is the most unique variant out of all those on offer.
Finally, there is Challenge Burger, again a co-operative mode for upto 4 players but these are split into difficulty. This also has a classic mode that updates the levels from older BurgerTime games. It features rolling levels as you get as far as you can on three lives and are then awarded a final overall score afterwards that goes onto an online leaderboard.
To keep track of your progress there is also a trophy cabinet where you can unlock various trophies for such objectives as total number of burgers stacked of total number of enemies stunned.
All-in-all, there is a lot of BurgerTime here, but there isn’t much variation. Gameplay is almost identical between modes regardless of the number of players, and it overstays its welcome long before you have finished every mode. The new visual style though is great and even the backdrops of each level featuring a night scene are impressive. But because of that repetition, the price point of £17.99 on the Nintendo eShop is slightly too high to fully recommend the game, without a hefty discount.
Release date: October 2019
Formats: Nintendo Switch (Review)
Massive thanks to: Marvelous Europe