Data East’s BurgerTime was one of my go-to arcade games as a kid and now is my Colecovision game of the week. I loved the concept of controlling chef Peter Pepper moving up and down, left and right across the stages, dropping ingredients (buns, lettuce, tomatoes, burgers, etc.) down from above by walking over them to make hamburgers. For some reason, food have come to life in the form of hot dogs, pickles and eggs and are pissed at the chef. My best interpretation of this phenomenon is that they don’t want to be eaten so they’ve somehow managed to use this fear of consumption to will themselves to come to life and chase after who they believe to be their tormenter, the chef. Thankfully, the wily chef has a few options up his chef’s apron sleeves to stop the pesky food from ending his career (and life). He can either drop ingredients on top of them by walking over them, luring the food enemies onto ingredients and then walking over it which cause them to fall, or throw pepper at them to temporarily stun them. You rack up the points for dropping ingredients while enemies are on top or underneath them but no points are given for using the pepper. All of these attacks only temporarily keep chef Pepper safe as all enemies will re-spawn as the tend to do in arcade games. There is a finite amount of pepper you have on hand so its wise to save it for when you’re cornered and really need it. Thankfully, you can earn more pepper by grabbing bonus food items such as coffee, French fries, and ice cream when they appear on screen. The stages get more difficult in how the ladders and ingredients are situated on the board as well as the food becoming more relentless in their attacks. BurgerTime is no slouch in the difficulty department but I generally did well in the arcades when I would play it. I found it better to head towards the top of the screen and lure as many food items onto the ingredients as I drop them in order to have the ingredients fall multiple levels based on how many enemies I killed. I have a harder time performing as well as I did in the arcades when playing on the Colecovision mostly due to the controller, which shouldn’t be surprising to anyone familiar with the actual Colecovision controller.
For the Colecovision, BurgerTime is about what you’d expect. It looks very close to arcade quality but there are some graphical bells and whistles missing. No worries though because I adore this game no matter which console I’m playing it on.
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