Burger Time was always a favorite of mine from the glory days of the 80s arcade games. I'm not sure why, because platformers were never my genre of choice. (Heck, I even had a portable LCD Burger Time game I remember playing all the time on the school bus!) But then again, there wasn't any jumping around in it. You simply ran around a bunch of levels running across burger ingredients to make them fall one piece at a time until you'd completed the sandwich. All the while peppering the renegade foodstuffs that were trying to keep you from completing your goal. There was just something silly and fun about the concept that appealed to me, I guess.
Now, MonkeyPaw Games has released Burger Time: World Tour onto the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 via Xbox LIVE Arcade and the PlayStation Network. So how does this updating compare? Is it still fun?
Right from the start, the game gets the basic feel of Burger Time down. You run around the platforms, climbing up and down ladders, and running across the burger ingredients. So far, so good. And some of the additions are good. You can now jump over enemies, but not the pickles, because they can jump, too. There are also additional power-ups, like a rocket pack that can shoot you to the upper levels much faster, and a spatula you can use to dispose of the enemy eggs, pickles and hot dogs that chase after you relentlessly.
But they have also made the stages round, so basically they wrap around a central cylinder, and you can only see portions of it at a time. This leads to a lot of accidental running into walls where you suddenly realize you need to backtrack in order to get around to where you need to go. But for me, the worst addition was turning Burger Time into a proper platformer, with platforms that move, disintegrate and flip. For those of you who are adept at jumping around in platformers, this won't be a problem. But for me, I very quickly got frustrated dying over and over again. There are checkpoints in some levels, so you don't always have to start over at the beginning, but not enough for my tastes!
There are four worlds to explore, with plenty of levels in each one and a boss at the end. And each one has a par time to try and beat, so you can go back and try to do better once you have a sense of the level's layout. Also, if you screw up and die too many times, the game will offer you Easy mode, but while it's nice to have the extra peppers and lives, your score won't be saved, which kind of negates the point of it. Xbox 360 players can also opt to use their Xbox Avatar in the game instead of main character Peter Pepper. There's also multiplayer, but local uses split screen which makes the rounded levels even harder to navigate successfully and multiplayer is just difficult because there's nobody playing it.
So while I appreciate the updating of one of my favorite classic arcade games, I honestly have to admit that I didn't enjoy it as much. All of the additional platforming and gameplay elements only served to complicate things and ruin the fun for me. Of course, as I've said, I'm rather awful at platformers, so once I started to see more and more elements of that genre appear, my enjoyment level dipped lower and lower. So if you're a platform junkie, you will probably appreciate the challenge of Burger Time: World Tour. Other people, like me, might just have an aneurism when they die for the 5,000th time...
A review copy of Burger Time: World Tour was provided by MonkeyPaw Games for the purpose of this review. The first world was played through, but that's as far as my limited platforming skills could take me, sorry!