The Game: As a trundling chef, you’re simply trying to make four nicely-stacked burgers, but there’s one little obstacle – the ingredients are coming to life and stalking you! If the walking pickles, eggs, and hot dogs catch up with you, they’ll make a meal of your chef. You have a limited number of pepper shakers you can use to repel your enemies (talk about pepper spray!), but the only way to do away with them permanently is to squash them by dropping a layer of your burger-under-construction on top of them. (Mattel [under license from Data East], 1982)
Memories: Burgertime was one of Mattel’s biggest arcade game licensing coups, and the arcade game is usually fondly remembered. The best feature of the Intellivision edition of Burgertime may, in fact, be its calliope-like music – after a few minutes, it grates on the nerves, but it’s a very close match to the arcade game. The graphics are a bit blocky, but the game is still recognizable as Burgertime.
Burgertime got an unexpected boost from a massive advertising campaign – a surprisingly massive one for a single game, in fact. Mattel had originally allocated the money and bought the TV ad time and the print ad space to advertise its upcoming Aquarius computer. But once Mattel executives got a closer look at the Aquarius – a machine they had already bought and paid for from a company in the far east – and realized that it was dead on arrival, they hedged their bets on burgers instead. You can see a prime cut of that advertising campaign by clicking the button above.