developer/publisher: Data East
platform: Game Boy
The Game Boy, released in 1989, was host to an interesting trend that adhered to the following formula: take an iconic score-attack arcade game from the early 1980s and flesh it out into more of a levels-based game with a beginning and an end. Examples include Game Boy Donkey Kong (Nintendo), Q*bert for Game Boy (Jaleco), and the Game Boy release of Dig Dug (specifically, the “New Dig Dug” mode). Data East decided to add BurgerTime to this list in 1991, nine long years after the release of the arcade original.
If you like the original arcade game or any of its high-quality ports (NES, ColecoVision, Intellivision, etc.) there’s no reason why you shouldn’t like BurgerTime Deluxe. The basic gameplay, look, sound and feel are really all intact from the original. There are certainly some differences but none that betray the integrity of the original. Each level now has several doors, through which the bad guys enter the playing field. For those unfamiliar with the concept, you play as a chef named Peter Pepper, whose job is to use gravity to assemble a bunch of gigantic burgers while avoiding some murderous foodstuffs.
As in the original, Peter has a limited amount of pepper that he can use to stun his enemies. There are also other power-ups, like a chocolate bar that grants temporary invincibility. The enemies are largely the same but for a few additions, including a gigantic donut that comes in useful for smashing many enemies at once. One notable new aspect is the horrific appearance of DEAD ENDS. Yes, there are now walkways that come to an end – hope you have some pepper or you’re screwed.
The game is divided into six worlds, each containing four levels. You have three lives to beat a world. If you run out of lives you continue on the world you died on, rather than going all the way back to the beginning of the game. As the game progresses, the layouts become more and more devious. In my playthrough, beating the sixth world required many attempts and in the end involved a fair amount of planning.
If you’re a fan of BurgerTime you should definitely check this out, as it’s the only great sequel available on either home console or handheld.