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Burger-Building Arcade Classic Rebooted

By • Apr 25th, 2011 • Category: Burger Blog

Everything old is new again as an arcade classic from the ’80s is finally capitalizing on the real world’s recent burger renaissance. BurgerTime is back, baby.

Back when playing video games required a stack of quarters and took place in the neon-strobe cacophony of that teenage nirvana known as The Arcade, a dude named Peter Pepper was one of the baddest mofos out there. Controlling the chef hero of BurgerTime, it was your job to climb ladders and navigate a maze, with various burger ingredients strewn throughout. Walking over a bun, a cheese slice, a lettuce leaf, or a beef patty would dislodge the ingredient and send it falling. Get all the burgers fully built and safely stacked at the bottom of the screen, and you’d move to the next level. Running around in the maze and wreaking havoc were your enemies: Mr. Hot Dog, Mr. Egg, and Mr Pickle. You’d combat these foodie foes by temporarily stunning them with a quick sprinkle from the salt shaker, or by timing your ingredient drops to either flatten the bad guys or send them sailing away atop a falling ingredient. Bonus points were tallied by collecting items like ice cream cones, French fries, and coffee cups that would appear within the maze.

It may sound silly to modern gamers, but back in the day, there was always a line to play BurgerTime, with a clever mix of elements lifted from games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Dig Dug. Originally called Hamburger in its native Japan, the renamed game made its US debut in November 1982. It’s lived on since then in the various formats of the day: Atari 2600, Colecovision, Nintendo Game Boy, etc. Even our own online Patty Panic is generally considered to be an official sequel of the original game. All that was then, this is now:

The high-tech replay comes from video game company MonkeyPaw Games. BurgerTime HD will be available to Wii, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3 gamers as a digital download this summer. The new playing environment is a unique cylindrical maze rendered in eye-popping 3D, with four-player-online and splitscreen local multiplayer options available.

We reviewed the way retro gaming has been presented in recent years… Some games have been graphically retouched and look impressive. But a true classic deserves a complete reinvention in order to rekindle the magic that made it special. It’s been 29 years since the original debut and now BurgerTime is back and much better than ever,” according to the company. New adds to the BurgerTime recipe are 40 levels, four bosses… and The King.

Yes, die-hard gamers will be able to play BurgerTime HD as The King from BK’s creepy ad campaign thanks to an elaborate DLC (downloadable content) package earned by making special BK purchases. The tie-in will reportedly include several mini-games, a one-handed-controller edition (so gamers can chow on their real Whoppers while they create virtual ones on-screen), even a King mask with built-in sensors that detect the wearer’s facial expressions and integrate them into gameplay. “All of us knew from the beginning that having The Burger King involved with BurgerTime HD was an obvious choice. We just didn’t know how fantastic the final product would become because of it,” said Monkey Paw president John Greiner. “It takes a big personality to craft an enormous burger, and The King is the best. Even Peter Pepper would agree that sharing space with him is a huge plus for gamers and burger-lovers everywhere.

Want details on BurgerTimeHD or to watch the preview trailer? Check out the official website.

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