Those of us that remember the days of seedy arcades and early game systems like Intellivision, Atari, even up to the more recent NES, we will always recall BurgerTime as being an addictive platforming game with murderous foods and a looping background track that drove us absolutely batty while subconsciously humming it. Although I never really understood just what Peter Pepper was doing walking across buns, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese while eggs and pickles chased after him, it was a challenging game without anything to make the gameplay overly complicated. It was you, killer food, and ladders to reach your goal. It was simple, effective, and enjoyable.
There have been updated versions of BurgerTime in the past, such as Super BurgerTime, but in recent years it has become a trend to remake old games like Galaga and Pac-Man, giving them a major overhaul to fit in with today’s modern games. While it can benefit some games, some games it just makes me yearn for the way things used to be. BurgerTime: World Tour from developer Monkeypaw Games is unfortunately one of those games. That’s not to say the new imagining of the game isn’t fun. It is, but there’s new additions to the game that make it less about you knocking down burgers and avoiding the killer food, as it is you making burgers and trying to avoid having the actual stage kill you.
Back then it was you against food with nothing but pepper to save you from an intense encounter. Now there are spikes that shoot out of walls, barrels that come rolling down to crush you, and even boss battles- which to be honest are pretty crafty when it comes down to it. Each chapter takes place in one of four different cities (New York, Mexico, Paris, and Tokyo) and then there are ten levels contained in each that bring new enemies to the game as it progresses, such as sausages dressed like mimes in Paris and hot peppers that explode in Mexico. Each and every level has appealing visuals, although sometimes things can get a little too distracting, such as screen shaking and sometimes not being able to see what is below you, turning a jump to a lower platform into a leap of faith.
To fight the maniacal food, Peter (or your XBL avatar that you can also use as the playable character) starts with a pack of pepper in his pocket, and can pick up other items while traversing- and even jumping around- the rotating cylindrical levels. Spatulas allow him to knock down multiple enemies at once, while Hot Sauce basically nukes everything on the board. Rockets are needed for some levels to reach higher ground and drinks give you an almost uncontrollable boost of speed. BurgerTime: World Tour is a 2D platformer within the trappings of a 3D world, and each level contains a dizzying amount of moving platforms, breakable walkways, and other traps to make your life miserable or in multiplayer, the other player’s life miserable. And that’s where the real fun comes in.
When you are done with the numerous single player levels, there is also a multiplayer component that comes through as the saving grace of the game. Featuring both local and online multiplayer, the local however being split screen and not all that easy to navigate while playing due to the distance the camera pulls back to. For some real fun, take the burger building online and you and up to three other people can battle against each other to see who can build the most burgers in a set amount of time. While you are knocking down food items, you can also set up your foes to take falls and there’s nothing much more satisfying in this game than crushing an opponent with a slab of tomato.
BurgerTime: World Tour is a fun game at times, but at other times it can also be incredibly frustrating. Even on the easiest setting, there are times that the game just feels too overly complex for what it is. Climbing ladders and throwing pepper in the face of eggs. That’s BurgerTime and for what it’s worth, it is all still there, it’s just that there’s a ton more of unneeded filler tossed in for no real reason. Thankfully the multiplayer is there to keep the game from becoming a memory in a matter of days. BurgerTime: World Tour has its moments and in small doses is an enjoyable experience. It’s just not the same BurgerTime that we old folks remember.
Title: BurgerTime: World Tour
Developer: MonkeyPaw Games
Release Date: November 2nd 2011
Platform Reviewed: XBLA
Game provided by publisher for review