Way back in 1982, BurgerTime became a big hit with arcade gamers thanks to its intense gameplay and water tight mechanics. Playing like a cross between Pac-Man and the original Donkey Kong, BurgerTime saw you take the control of a portly chef as you attempted to assemble a burger separated by numerous platforms, all the while being chased down by a rather angry and somewhat deadly selection of hotdogs, pickles and eggs. Fast forward to the modern day and Monkeypaw Games have updated this arcade classic with some glossy HD visuals and a handful of tweaks to bring the core concept in line with more modern tastes.
Whether this upgrade or ‘re-imagining’ is successful will depend largely on how much time you spent with the original, but based on its own merits, BurgerTime: World Tour is an enjoyable, if somewhat limited platformer. Based on the same premise of building a selection of burgers by traversing stairs, avoiding enemies and stomping ingredients into place, the modern day World Tour edition expands upon the original 2D, single screen release by increasing the size of each stage, improving the visuals, allowing for basic combat and (purists cover your eyes)…..jumping.
Yes, despite the core concept remaining largely untouched, this is a more forgiving and user-friendly take on the somewhat difficult arcade original. While the only way to escape the angry eggs and hate-filled hotdogs of the original was to outsmart them via tactical ladder use, here you can attack your enemies head on thanks to the ability to jump and even attack via World Tour’s selection of pepper shakers and deadly spatula based attacks. While offering a somewhat unique twist to the core gameplay, the ability to attack enemies steals the game of the kind of intensity and panic based gameplay that the original was famous for and certainly contributes to a package that, while enjoyable for a short period of time, lacks long term appeal thanks largely to its inharmonious combination of old and new.
There is little doubt that if Monkeypaw games had been brave and stuck more rigidly to the core concept, we could have had a glossy, score/time chaser on our hands here but as it stands, World Tour feels to muddy to be considered a true leaderboard classic and is still a bit too basic to be a genuinely entertaining platformer. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an enjoyable game when played in small doses but it’s unlikely to have you coming back time and time again to best your previous times. By going expansive with the level design and adding weapons and powerups, World Tour has stolen the concept of its original purity and subsequently removed any long term appeal the game might have had.
If you can accept BurgerTime: World Tour for what it is though, it still shares enough of the original’s DNA to provide at least a few hours of entertainment. There are only a few worlds available but they are varied and certainly aren’t too shabby in the looks department. I fear the art design will prove a rather marmite affair but it’s nothing less than adequate and is certainly home to a handful of visual flourishes. The enemy design is a similar story. What is here looks decent and serves the game well, but a lack of variation means that you will have seen most of what the game has to offer in a relatively short period of time.
So, with only limited replayability thanks to the muddied mechanics and only a couple of hours worth of single player content, it’s down to the multiplayer aspect of the package to provide a bit of much needed longevity. In fairness, if you can get the players around, BurgerTime: World Tour is actually a lot of fun when played with a group of friends. With up to four players on screen at once, it does get a tad hectic at times, but it’s here that the new mechanics feel like a more natural fit. With the ability to use weapons on other players and an inevitable mad scramble for power-ups, World Tour really comes into its own when played with three other players. Finding players online is a bit tricky at the moment, but if you can get a few folk around for some local play, World Tour offers up an enjoyable, and often, hugely competitive, slice of multiplayer action. It’s a shame that, like the rest of the package, there isn’t a great deal of content, but the levels and options available make it a viable evening’s entertainment and does just about enough to justify the 800MS Point asking price.
BurgerTime: World Tour is a bit of a strange one. When played with friends, the larger levels and new mechanics make perfect sense, but when played solo, those same additions seem to rob the game of its charm and old school sensibilities. The fact is, whether played alone or with friends, BurgetTime: World Tour is a game that is likely to provide only fleeting entertainment. It’s good while it lasts, but like so much fast food, will leave you feeling sick if you have too much.
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