REVIEW – BurgerTime World Tour (XBLA)

Not Cooked All The Way

The burger-making sim is back but are the modern toppings enough to ask for seconds?

Do you remember the last level in the original Donkey Kong?  While being chased by enemies, Mario had to run over specific sections of a structure to cause the canopy, and the big ape, to fall.  BurgerTime is an entire game based around this one classic Donkey Kong stage; just replace the enemies with angry frankfurters and pissed off pickles.

Walking over man-sized hamburgers might have the health inspector raising the alarm but at the very least BurgerTime is a creative game despite borrowing its main gameplay elements from Donkey Kong and even the enemy chasing mechanic from Pac-Man.  Unlike the single pixelated screen of the original arcade classic, World Tour introduces new elements at an attempt to appeal to a wider and modern audience.

Besides being updated into polygons instead of pixels, the entire gameboard takes place on a rotating screen as if the player is walking on the edge of a large cylinder.  This 2.5D presentation really changes how the game is played and actually institutes a new set of problems.  Sure, this rotating environment makes each stage feel bigger than it actually is but it makes finding fixings difficult due to a lack of radar system.   The environments might be colorful but many elements from the background are difficult to distinguish from the foreground; enemies can seem like they are in the background and the constantly looping car at the bottom of the screen only confuses as it acts like it can harm the player.  By the end of the first world, the screen rotating element actually made me a bit nauseous and the purple haired chef himself is one creepy looking dude.  While I respect the new directions for the graphics and gameplay, it doesn’t all come together as well as it should.  Load times are also a numerous and long but the dying sound effect is a nice throw back to the old arcade days.

The original BurgerTime was a difficult game; it was an arcade game designed to steal your quarters.  This same philosophy extends to this sequel but instead of genuinely challenging the player, cheap deaths and wonky level design will only frustrate the player.  Enemies can shoot you off screen, they can camp an edge to make platforming tedious and inconsistent, spawn directly on you without warning or will jump into you as you try to jump over them.  It can also be difficult exiting and grabbing a ladder, also resulting in frustrating deaths.  As a whole, the entire aesthetic just feels cheap.

Besides the updated graphics, the chef now also has offensive weapons.  The spatula can take out enemies, the rocket can reach higher tiers quickly and pepper can temporarily stun enemies.  Even jumping is a big deal for this sequel as platforming is now a major part of the game.  These features, along with Leaderboards, are solid modern gaming additions.  Too bad it just doesn’t all come together as that picture perfect burger at your local restaurant.

New to World Tour is the addition of multiplayer mode. Unfortunately, I was unable to test out this feature.  Why?  Because I sat in a waiting room for any random player to join me but after 20 minutes of dead time I decided that the lack of players is not a good sign.

At the very least, World Tour and Monkey Paw deserve respect for putting a new spin on a classic game.  In an era of old games being upgraded with new visuals, it is refreshing to see sequels made for a more modern audience instead of wrapping up a classic game with 1080p support.  Unfortunately, the cheap and frustrating nature of the game holds this sequel back from keeping your belly full and suffices as an appetizer at best.


Not As Good As: Pac-Man Championship Edition DX

Also Try: Root Beer Tapper

Wait For It: Monkey Paw’s next releases

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