The Game: As Chef Peter Pepper, you climb around a multi-level factory whose sole function is to make some really big burgers. We’re talking about some BIG burgers here. But your ingredients aren’t exactly cooperating with you. Mr. Hot Dog, Mr. Egg and Mr. Pickle are doing their best to keep you from making those big burgers, but you can turn the tables on them and put them in your edible creations! You have a limited supply of pepper which you can use to stun your tasty stalkers (and keep in mind, this was years before Mace). Or you can simply lead them across one of the yummy ingredients, and they’ll become part of the burger. (Which is a rather disturbing thought when it comes to to hot dogs and eggs in a hamburger.) Also, you can walk across a bun or a slab of meat on the level above them, and the falling ingredients will squash them on the way down. (Bally/Midway [under license from Data East], 1982)
Memories: BurgerTime was a cool twist on the climbing genre, but it had one main problem – oh, boy, was it ever slow! I t took forever to climb ladders, and on those later levels where there were huge, dangerous stretches of ladders, this slowed the game down to an annoyingly slow pace. Other than this, though, it was a nifty little game, and just playing it and writing about it has made me hungry for something from Burger King…
BurgerTime received a fairly faithful Atari 2600 adaptation from Mattel, including an innovation in games for that platform – a pause option! On Mattel’s own Intellivision, however, BurgerTime was elevated to a whole new level of importance, being the first major arcade game to debut on that system, and as such was advertised relentlessly. The game has also been ported to the NES, Nintendo Game Boy, and is featured on Arcade’s Greatest Hits: The Midway Collection 2 for the Sony Playstation; when the license to Midway for BurgerTime wasn’t renewed, however, dinner was over for this game on Midway’s retro compilations.