E3 2019 Hands-On – BurgerTime Party!
BurgerTime Party! is the revival of an arcade game I didn’t even know existed, mainly because it came out in arcades before I was even born. BurgerTime first hit arcades in 1982, giving video game enthusiasts the chance to play an action/puzzle burger making game. Since I wasn’t around at the time, I’m not sure how the initial reception was, but based on the trailer comments there seems to be an audience of people with nostalgia for the title. Well, I got my hands on BurgerTime Party! while at E3 and got to experience the IP for the first time.
The concept of BurgerTime Party! is pretty simple: you play as a chef, Peter Pepper, who need to create food. The stages are set up in a 2-D format with multiple platforms where various food ingredients are laying. You need to simply walk across them to knock them down to the next platform and then eventually to the very bottom being the bun to complete the food item. You’ll need to watch out for Food Foe’s who will try and stop you, which is an interesting concept considering your enemies are usually condiments or other food items. Are they trying to stop you because you’re using their family as food? I can’t tell. Joking aside, while the concept is simple, it’s the smaller intricacies and the increased puzzle difficulties that keep things interesting.
In order to properly complete a food item you need to knock the items down in order: bottom bun, burger patty, cheese, lettuce, pickle, and then top bun. All the ingredients are already aligned together, but you can chain them to fall on top of each other and knock themselves all the way down while you escape and move to the next row. Causing these long cascades of items can also trap your enemies, stunning them and moving them down to the bottom. Each level increases the amount of items and toppings, as well as Food Foe’s. You can take on Food Foe’s as I just explained or you also have a limited use pepper shaker to temporarily stun them.
Depending on the mode you play there are also additional powers you can pick up to help you or your enemy out besides your pepper shakers. There is also jalapeno breath, chicken nuggets to toss, boxing gloves, and other power ups that increase run speed or refill your pepper shaker. The remake also contains new enemies like Mr. Donut and features over 100 levels.
That is essentially the gist of the game, but luckily with this remake there is plenty of extra content. Also, with the ease of co-op on the Nintendo Switch, it makes playing with a friend simple. This is where I think BurgerTime Party! will be at its best, having a friend to play co-op or VS. Either that or it will be a good nostalgia blast for yourself or perhaps a relative who has played it back in ’82.
I can see the appeal of the game back in the 80’s and in arcade, but personally it lost its allure within the demo time I got to play. I did play with someone else, and while it was fun with a bit of competition and learning the game, it quickly got stale. There were modes I didn’t get to play and I also was only able to play some of the easier levels in the campaign. Perhaps with four players and some harder puzzles it would hold my interest longer. But if you were a big fan of the game back in the 80’s arcades or you know a relative who was, it definitely will hit the nostalgia feels.