|Platform(s)||Arcade, Apple II, Aquarius, Atari 2600, BBC Micro, Coleco Adam, ColecoVision, IBM PC, Intellivision, MSX, NES, TI-99/4A|
|Mode(s)||1-2 players alternating turns|
|Arcade system||DECO Cassette System|
BurgerTime,[a] originally released as Hamburger[b] in Japan, is a 1982 arcade video game developed by Data East, initially for its DECO Cassette System. The player is chef Peter Pepper, who must walk over hamburger ingredients in a maze of platforms and ladders while avoiding anthromorphic hot dogs, fried eggs, and pickles which are in pursuit.
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 changed outside of Japan to BurgerTime, reportedly to avoid potential trademark issues. In addition to all releases in the Western world, BurgerTime also became the title used for the Japanese ports and sequels.
The first home port of BurgerTime was released for the Intellivision console in 1983, followed by versions for other systems. There have been multiple sequels for both the arcade and home.
The object of the game is to build a number of hamburgers while avoiding enemy foods. The player controls the protagonist, chef Peter Pepper, with a four-position joystick and a "pepper" button.
Each level is a maze of platforms and ladders in which giant burger ingredients (bun, meat patty, tomato, lettuce) are arranged. When Peter walks the full length of an ingredient, it falls to the level below, knocking down any ingredient that happens to be there. A burger is completed when all of its vertically aligned ingredients have been dropped out of the maze and onto a waiting plate. The player must complete all burgers to finish the board.
Three types of enemy food items wander the maze: Mr. Hot Dog, Mr. Pickle, and Mr. Egg. The player can score extra points by either crushing them under a falling ingredient or dropping an ingredient while they are on it. In the latter case, the ingredient falls two extra levels for every enemy caught on it. Crushed or dropped enemies return to the maze after a short time.
At the start of the game, the player is given a limited number of pepper shots to use against enemies. Pressing the button causes Peter to shake a cloud of pepper in the direction he is facing; any enemy touching the cloud is briefly stunned, and Peter can safely move through them. Ice cream, coffee, and French fries appear on occasion, awarding bonus points and one extra pepper shot when collected.
There are six boards of increasing difficulty, with more burgers/ingredients, more enemies, and/or layouts that make it easier for Peter to become cornered. After the player completes the sixth board, the cycle repeats. One life is lost whenever Peter touches a non-stunned enemy, and the game ends once all lives are lost.
The development of BurgerTime was led by Akio Nakamura, who had previously worked on other Data East arcade games such as Lock 'n' Chase and Super Cobra. Nakamura came up with the idea for BurgerTime while eating a hamburger and thinking about the process of making it.
The game was created using Data East's own hardware, the DECO Cassette System, which allowed for multiple games to be stored on a single cassette and played on the same arcade cabinet. BurgerTime was one of the first games released for this system.
The game's graphics were designed by Toshio Kai, who drew inspiration from Japanese cartoon characters such as Astro Boy and Doraemon. The characters in BurgerTime, such as the chef Peter Pepper and the food items he must assemble, were designed to be cute and appealing to both children and adults.
The game's music and sound effects were composed by Yoko Osaka, who had previously worked on the sound design for other Data East games. The music features upbeat, catchy melodies that match the fast-paced gameplay.
BurgerTime was a commercial success, becoming one of the most popular arcade games of the early 1980s. It was ported to many home gaming systems, including the Atari 2600, NES, and Intellivision, and spawned several sequels and spin-offs over the years.
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, Apple II, Aquarius, and, as a self-booting disk, the IBM PC. A version from Data East for the TI-99/4A was published in 1984. A ColecoVision port was published by Coleco in May 1984. Ports were released for the Famicom in 1985, MSX in 1986, and Nintendo Entertainment System in February 1987.
In Japan, Game Machine listed Hamburger as the 11th highest-grossing arcade video game of 1982. Game Machine later listed Hamburger on their June 15, 1983 issue as being the twenty-third most-successful table arcade unit of the month.
Following its North American debut at the Amusement & Music Operators Association (AMOA) show in November 1982, it was reviewed by Video Games magazine, which listed it as the show's fourth best game, while saying it was the "stupidest, silliest game ever, and that's why you couldn't get people off the Burger Time games with a crowbar!" The review praised the "music, challenging mazes, and comical" characters.
Computer and Video Games gave it a positive review, comparing the level structure to Donkey Kong (1981), stating that BurgerTime has "a charm all its own" and praising the controls. The Deseret News called BurgerTime "one of the real surprises of 1983 for the Intellivision" and gave the ColecoVision version three-and-a-half stars out of four. Computer Games magazine gave the ColecoVision and Coleco Adam versions a positive review, stating that "the terrific flavor" of the arcade game remains but "the playfield has been greatly reduced".
|1984||Peter Pepper's Ice Cream Factory|
|2000||The Flintstones: BurgerTime in Bedrock|
|2009||BurgerTime Deluxe (iOS)|
|2011||BurgerTime World Tour|
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 a different style of 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.
BurgerTime Deluxe was released for the Game Boy in 1991 featuring similar gameplay to the original arcade game. BurgerTime Deluxe was re-released for the Nintendo Switch through the Nintendo Switch Online Game Boy service.
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.
A 3D update, BurgerTime World Tour, was released in 2011 for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, and in 2012 for WiiWare. It was delisted from Xbox Live Arcade in April 2014. G-Mode and XSEED Games released a re-imagining of the game on October 8, 2019, titled BurgerTime Party! for the Nintendo Switch, with new modes and redesigns.
The arcade version of BurgerTime has been included in various collections, including Arcade's Greatest Hits: Midway Collection 2 for the PlayStation and Data East Arcade Classics for the Wii. In late 2019/early 2020, it was released with fellow Data East titles Karate Champ, Caveman Ninja and Bad Dudes in an arcade cabinet for home use by manufacturer Arcade1Up. Although the cabinet comes with four games in one, its artwork features only the graphics of Burgertime.
The NES and FDS versions were available on the Wii Virtual Console. Its Game Boy counterpart BurgerTime Deluxe was released for the 3DS Virtual Console in 2011. The NES version is also included in the 2017 compilation Data East All-Star Collection for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
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. A modern open source variant exists called BurgerSpace.
In popular culture
- Peter Pepper appeared in the movies Wreck-It Ralph and Pixels.
- A BurgerTime parody called "Burgerboss" appears in an episode of Bob's Burgers with the same name.
- The game is parodied as a restaurant in Machinima.com's Sonic for Hire.
On September 5, 2005, Bryan L. Wagner of Turbotville, Pennsylvania achieved a record 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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