European / 1st alternate North American arcade flyer
Apple II, Atari 2600, BBC Micro, ColecoVision, MS-DOS, Mattel Aquarius, MSX, NES, TI-99/4A
|Mode(s)||1-2 players alternating|
|Display||Raster, 19" monitor|
BurgerTime (バーガータイム Bāgātaimu) is a 1982 arcade game created by Data East initially for its DECO Cassette System. The player is chef Peter Pepper, who must walk over hamburger ingredients located across a maze of platforms while avoiding pursuing characters.
In the United States, Data East USA licensed BurgerTime for distribution by Bally Midway as a standard dedicated arcade game. Data East also released its own version of BurgerTime in the United States through its DECO Cassette System. The Data East and Midway versions are distinguished by the manufacturer's name on the title screen and by the marquee and cabinet artworks, as the game itself is identical.
The game's original Japanese title Hamburger (ハンバーガー) was changed outside of Japan to BurgerTime, reportedly to avoid potential trademark issues. In addition to all releases in the Western world, "BurgerTime" was also the name used on the Japanese ports and sequels.
The object of the game is to complete a number of hamburgers while avoiding enemy foods.
When the game's main protagonist, chef Peter Pepper, the player's character, walks the length of an ingredient (bun, meat patty, tomato, etc.), it falls one level and scores 50 points. If it lands atop another ingredient, the latter in turn falls one level. A burger is completed when all vertically aligned ingredients have been dropped out of the maze and onto a waiting plate. Once all burgers are completed, the game level is finished.
While making burgers, the player must avoid the antagonists, consisting of three types of enemies: Mr. Hot Dog, Mr. Pickle, and Mr. Egg. Enemies can be dodged, stunned, crushed with a falling ingredient, or dropped by luring them onto an ingredient and then causing it to fall. In this last case, the piece will fall two extra levels for every enemy caught on it. Enemies that have been crushed or dropped return to the maze after a few seconds. Dropped enemies award larger point values than crushed ones; therefore, to obtain a high score, the player must attract more than one enemy onto an ingredient just before dropping it.
Peter Pepper has pepper shots to shake on nearby enemies to stun and render them harmless for a few seconds. Extra shots are obtained by collecting bonus foods, such as coffee, an ice cream cone, or French fries, which appear in the center of the maze when a certain number of ingredients have dropped.
There are six screens of increasing difficulty, with more burgers and enemies, burgers that have more parts, and/or layouts that make it easier for Peter Pepper to be cornered and harder for him to reach the ingredients. Completing all six screens takes the player back to the first one; and repeats thereafter.
Peter Pepper is lost if he runs into or gets trapped by at least life enemy. A game ends if the last one is lost. Extended plays may vary from one machine to another, but do not award additional lives after 1,000,000 points.
Mattel Electronics obtained the rights to BurgerTime from Data East and released the Intellivision version in 1983. That year they also released versions for the Atari 2600, IBM PC, Apple II, and Aquarius. In 1984 Mattel produced the ColecoVision version, distributed by Coleco. Data East produced a version for the TI-99/4A in 1983, Famicom in 1985, MSX in 1986, and NES in 1987.
BurgerTime received a Certificate of Merit in the category of "1984 Videogame of the Year (Less than 16K ROM)" at the 5th annual Arkie Awards.:40 The Deseret News called BurgerTime "one of the real surprises of 1983 for the Intellivision", and gave the ColecoVision version three and one half stars.
An arcade spin-off, Peter Pepper's Ice Cream Factory (1984) and an arcade sequel, Super BurgerTime (スーパーバーガータイム) (1990), were not widely released. Super BurgerTime stars Peter Pepper Jr. and allows two players to play at once. It is fairly true to the original, but with many added features and greatly improved graphics.
A console-only sequel, Diner, was created after the 1984 purchase of Intellivision from Mattel by INTV Corp. It was programmed by Ray Kaestner, the programmer of the Intellivision version of BurgerTime. In Diner, Peter Pepper must kick balls of food so that they roll off platforms and down ramps to land on a large plate at the bottom of the screen, while avoiding or crushing enemy food items that are trying to stop him.
Namco released BurgerTime Delight for mobile devices in 2007. It includes "new graphics, characters and power-ups". There are six "arcade levels" and eight enhanced mode levels with perils of falling ice and rising fire from the grill. Besides the pepper of the classic game, there is now a salt shaker, that when collected stuns all enemies on the screen.
Clones for home systems include: Mr. Wimpy, Burger Chase, Burger Time (Interceptor Micros), BurgerSpace, Chip Factory, Burger Boy!, Basic Burger, Barmy Burgers, Burger Builder, and Lunchtime.
In popular culture
In 1984, Billy Mitchell achieved a record score of 7,881,050. It was beaten on September 5, 2005 by Bryan L. Wagner of Turbotville, Pennsylvania with a score of 8,601,300 and improved to exactly 9,000,000 on June 2, 2006. According to Twin Galaxies, he improved it further to 11,512,500 points on September 19, 2008 at the Challenge Arcade in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. The MAME world record was verified by Twin Galaxies on December 2, 2016 as 7,837,750 by Roger Edwin Blair III of Mountain City, Tennessee.
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