has come a long way from its initial release in 1982 as an arcade game. At first glance, it seems like an appealing addition to the catalog of iPhone games. It’s simple enough to the point of being catchy, which makes it perfect for gaming on the go.
Upon further inspection, however, the controls really drag this game through the mud. I haven’t played the original arcade game, but I imagine a joystick would be much more appropriate for a game of this nature.
In BurgerTime Deluxe
for the iPhone, you play the old character of Chef Peter Pepper as he outruns his enemies: the hotdog, pickle, egg, onion, carrot…you name it and it’s probably an enemy on one of the 60 levels in the storyline. While you outrun the ingredient fiends, you’ll have to build hamburgers of various kinds (including cheeseburgers and the like) by running over and collapsing each piece of the burger that is spread out on the level.
As you climb the ladders provided to reach the pieces, you will encounter certain obstacles as well as bonus items. Dodge the slippery butter, clouds (or smog?), lights, etc. There are various bonus items as well, but the most helpful is the pepper – found in the original game – used to stun your enemies for a short period of time. In their vulnerable state you can easily run over a tomato or slice of bread or whatever is most convenient to have it fall and kill your opponent, gathering many more points for that high score.
Playing the game reminded me distinctly of half Pac Man – in the sense that you are collecting items and avoiding enemies – and half Orisinal
games due to its simplicity and casual gameplay style as well as the general 2D playfield.
Even with all the variables in the game that work to maintain the interest of a gamer, the controls were just plain terrible. Your main control is of Peter Pepper using a virtual D-Pad that you can position on the screen wherever you desire. That might sound appealing, but don’t be fooled. The constant disappearance of the D-Pad given just a moment of hesitation from your playing finger will prove to be a major inconvenience after the first 15 times in the first 15 seconds of playing. Trust me – very much not
appealing. The actual movement of your character using the D-Pad can be described as nothing but slippery. You’ll eventually find yourself doubting your sanity: “Well, maybe I DID press the left arrow even though I’m pretty sure the enemy to my left discouraged me from doing so…” The problem of response of the controls will make you want to throw your iPhone against a wall (if you get into it as much as I do), and no one wants their pricey mobile in pieces.
Another major issue was the gameplay features or, rather, lack thereof. You have Story Mode, and…you can look at your high scores, and…um… yeah. Many a gamer has complained that the exclusion of an arcade mode was just downright improper for a game like BurgerTime
The game is not all bad; it is, after all, a classic and gets a bit more leeway for gamers given its reputation. The sound effects and music were enjoyable as they were fitting to the game and storyline. The visuals are obviously much more detailed than the 1982 classic, so it was kind of prettier to look at. The enemies are very animated and will respond in particular ways to particular situations. Their behaviors also indicate a hierarchy of low to high-level enemies, and thus the game at least isn’t a redundant mess – just a control mess. I suppose if you have to play BurgerTime
for yourself due to some reasons of loyalty then have at it. For all else: save your monies for another game.
Read on for more details of the game as well as tips from Namco.