Review – BurgerTime Party!

When BurgerTime Party! was first announced at E3 2019, my WTMG colleagues reacted with a unanimous “what the heck is that thing?”. You see, BurgerTime is an old arcade game, so old that it was a killer app for the freaking Intellivision, a console released in 1982. I… actually had one of those at home, since my father was a sales rep for the system way before I was born. He was probably more excited for the release of a brand new version of BurgerTime for modern consoles than most younger gamers out there. I have no idea who this game is aimed at, but I won’t deny that it’s quite good. Not mindblowing or amazing in any way, but entertaining enough for a while, especially on couch co-op.


Accurate depiction of a McDonalds kitchen, including the killing produce.

Explaining how BurgerTime Party! works is basically identical to explaining how the original BurgerTime works. You control a little chef called Peter Pepper, and your objective is to prepare hamburgers by stepping on their ingredients in order for them to fall onto a platter. Whenever you walk on top of an ingredient, it falls to the floor below, so all you need to do is make sure that everything reaches the platter at the bottom of the screen, all while avoiding sentient food items that are trying to murder you. You can get rid of enemies by either briefly stunning them with a limited supply of pepper or managing to make a hamburger ingredient fall on top of them. It’s as simple as an arcade game from 1982 can be.

BurgerTime Party! retains the same core gameplay of the original game, with a few additions here and there. There is a campaign mode catered for solo play, which is ideal when taking the game on-the-go. It’s a very long streak of puzzles that start off extremely simply and get progressively harder, but never feel unfair. Another main addition is the Battle Burger mode in which, for the first time, players can take control of the game’s enemies, turning BurgerTime Party! into an asymmetrical multiplayer game of sorts.


I hope you’re not going to put those fries in my burger.

Of course, the main addition is the brand new visual identity. BurgerTime Party! is clearly inspired by Cuphead‘s Max Fleischer-ish art style, with every character featuring a crescent moon for a pupil and those very characteristic arm flailing animations. It’s easily the best feature in the game. The problem with it, however, is that BurgerTime Party! is a very repetitive game, visually-speaking. You’re constantly looking at the same assets, be it the backgrounds, platforms or enemies. The soundtrack doesn’t follow the same idea. Instead of a collection of 1930’s jazz tunes, all it features is a small collection of upbeat J-Pop-ish songs that don’t fit at all with the overall art style. It’s not exactly terrible as it is very energetic, but it does get tiresome before too long.

I got tired of BurgerTime Party!‘s single player content pretty quickly, but the game managed to win me over with its local multiplayer. As previously mentioned, when my old man saw that there was a new BurgerTime game out there, he got really excited. For the first time ever since I bought the freaking Switch, I actually played a game with him. He didn’t even need to check the controls or anything, it all came back to him like muscle memory (if you can play that game on the Intellivision’s controller, you can play it on any other system). That’s BurgerTime Party!‘s bread and butter: simple, casual, family-friendly local multiplayer.


Who puts salad on a hot dog?

BurgerTime Party! is an absolutely harmless arcade game that is best enjoyed in very short bursts whenever you’re not feeling like playing a much more complex game on your Switch. I’m not going to lie, I had more fun with it than expected, but that was due to the fact I’m one of the very few people in the world who grew up playing the original BurgerTime on an Intellivision while still not even being 30 years old. If you actually have nostalgia for this very specific Data East classic, go for it. If you like simple arcade games that are very enjoyable with friends, go for it. If not, I have no idea how to convince you to grab this game. Maybe on a sale?


Graphics: 7.5

I really enjoyed the animations and the art style, clearly inspired by Cuphead. Then again, there isn’t a lot of variety in the backgrounds, enemies or overall level design, making the game a visually repetitive experience after a while.

Gameplay: 6.5

A very simplistic control scheme: all you do is walk, climb ladders, and spray pepper onto sentient produce. Despite the simplicity, I feel like the controls could have been a bit more responsive. I also feel like they could have added support for the Switch’s d-pads.

Sound: 6.0

Regarding the soundtrack: it’s really happy, it’s really energetic, it’s really over-the-top, but at the same time, it’s really repetitive and gets annoying quickly.

Fun Factor: 7.0

It’s a simple and unimaginative arcade game that tries to recreate the same exact gameplay from its 36 year old predecessor. It’s fun (but repetitive) in short bursts and even more fun (and a bit less repetitive) when playing with a friend.

Final Verdict: 7.0

BurgerTime Party! is available now on Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of BurgerTime Party! was provided by the publisher.