Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Video game of the week: Burgertime for Intellivision

BurgertimeBeans, eggs and pickles, oh my! Beans, eggs and pickles, oh my! It’s a mantra out of a nightmare, a nightmare in which you are trying to build the perfect hamburger but are being thwarted by evil beans, eggs and pickles who have only one goal of their existence, to exterminate you. Your main weapon? A pepper shaker.

Sounds like something out of a crazy kids’ book, right? It’s not. It’s the plot for a 1982 Data East arcade video game known as BurgerTime.

And BurgerTime was quite popular in the arcades at the time, and it was a load of fun. You play a little chef known as Peter Pepper who climbs up and down ladders and across various levels to create giant burgers by walking across the burgers’ ingredients. Once you walk across an ingredient (the buns and lettuce and burgers, etc.), the ingredients fall below you, stacking up until you’ve got a complete burger. Most levels you have to create four burgers. Along the way, it’s the enemy beans and eggs and pickles who attempt to stop you by catching you and causing you to lose a character. You can fight back by tossing pepper on your foes, by walking across a burger ingredient and having it fall on your foes, or by walking across a burger ingredient while your falls are right behind you, because then they’ll fall as the ingredients fall.

Make sense?

It was awesome.

But while the arcade version of this game was a hit, it also made it’s way onto many home video game systems of the time. The Intellivision port was always my favorite.

The graphics weren’t as solid as those on the original arcade game, but they are still pretty strong. After all, the Intellivision was known for good graphics, especially early on when it was competition for the Atari 2600.

Besides decent graphics, what really drew me into the game was the strength of gameplay. I bet I logged in hundreds upon hundreds of hours thumbing away on my Intellivision II while running from eggs and beans.

Burgertime was a hit game for the Intellivision, and deservedly so. Good colors, strong graphics and fantastic playability combined to make up one of the best home versions of an arcade game.
Outside of the Intellivision, Burgertime was so popular it spawned tons and tons of sequel games, though none of them ever did as well as the original. There was Super BurgerTime and Peter Peppers Ice Cream Factory for the arcades. Then Namco came out with the 2007 mobile game BurgerTime Delight. Even the Game Boy Color had a game called BurgerTime in Bedrock.

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