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BurgerTime

The BurgerTime arcade cover is different, but since this is an NES review, I decided to go with that version of the box art.

BurgerTime is a game that was released by Data East as an arcade game in 1982. Sequels have been made to the game, and it has been ported repeatedly, to consoles like the Atari 7800, Atari 2600, and the NES. The game follows the adventures of Peter Pepper, a burger maker who is trying to make enormous burgers by walking across the components and aligning all four for the order in the proper layers, while at the same time evading Hot Dogs, Eggs, and Pickles who are walking around and trying to stop him from completing the order. These opponents he can stop by hitting them with his limited supply of pepper from his pockets, but the rest of the time he has to either run away or squish them with burger parts.

I made a point of finding this on nintendo8.com because BurgerTime was one of the somewhat few arcade games my dad would always play in the arcades, and I wanted to relive the experience in a new generation to see what the hype was about and whether it was justified. It was.

In fact, this may be very exciting for young kids nowadays, because with the advent of titanic corporations like McDonald's, Wendy's, and yes, Burger King targeting them, they might find themselves dreaming about making giant burgers while dodging enemies in an action-packed fight to the finish! Now how fulfilling would it be to play this game with that ambition in mind?

Anyway, it's not just the setting that makes this game enjoyable; it's both the gameplay, and the way the story fits into it so ludicrously well. I was always frustrated at how little pepper you had per life, because this game has one-hit kills going against you and it's like Pac-Man in a Donkey Kong format, so enemies are chasing you all over the place. However, I realized that that's what's great about this game: you have to be resourceful, tactical, and clever in order to succeed. Now that's some real training for a job that doesn't exist!

Some people out there (the younger crowd, really...) think that because a game is old, or not in style anymore, that it's not worth playing; but this game is a really worthwhile gaming experience because it's far from being a pushover. In fact, it is really very hard, because this time around, it is superior in difficulty to Pac-Man in the way that the stages change as opposed to solely the skill of the enemy AI, meaning that you not only have to have the skillful maneuvering prowess that is a basic element to the game, but you have to adapt to less friendly conditions throughout, so it has potential for endless fun.

BurgerTime is just a great game. It has a funny setting, a whimsical style of gameplay, and a level of challenge and uniqueness that sets it apart from all other arcade titles. I'm not exactly aware of all the places where you can buy this game, but you can play free at vNES emulator sites like nintendo8, so if you decide you're interested, it gets a 100% recommendation from me!

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