Although retro game enthusiasts are familiar with Data East's 1982 classic BurgerTime, this super-fun sequel is still rather unknown.
Super Burger Time has you control Peter Pepper Jr. and it's your job to make burgers across a variety of stages within its campaign. You do so by stomping on ingredients that rest on platforms in order to make them fall which should be very familiar to those who played the original game. Once you build all the burgers in a stage, you move on to the next one. Controlling Peter Pepper Jr. is easy as all you do is run around, jump, and use your pepper shaker to stun enemies so you can boot them off the stage. Holding down and tapping the jump button allows him to stomp on ingredients which is a lot quicker than jumping on them. As you play, you'll come across plenty of different power-ups that let you fend off the food-based enemies such as a frying pan, spatula, and icing gun. The simple yet varied gameplay is even more fun with a friend because you can strategize together in order to trick enemies and make the delicious burgers faster.
Considering it released for arcades in 1990, Super Burger Time doesn't have amazing graphics or sound. However, everything is very colourful, cute, and upbeat. For starters, watching Peter Pepper Jr. excitedly run around is just adorable. The stages themselves take place in five themed environments and each one does a great job of mixing up the graphical style. There unfortunately isn't as much variety when it comes to audio, however, as one song plays throughout every stage. It's very catchy, though, and I definitely liked hearing it play again and again. Finally, the sound effects are handled well considering there's a constant commotion of things happening. I particularly enjoyed the odd vocal clips of people saying "Burger Time" in different voices. In short, it's fun stuff!
One thing that Super Burger Time does exceptionally well is offer a lot of variety. As I already mentioned, you can acquire a bunch of different power-ups that include an assortment of weapons and you can even collect shoes that help enhance aspects like stomping, jumping, and running. The enemy variety is superb with plenty of different food-based foes that have their own movement patterns, sizes, abilities, and tolerance levels for getting hit. Throughout the campaign, you'll also fight 5 distinct bosses including a beehive, crow, fish, balloon, and the goofy prince who acts as the final boss. It all comes together to make an impressively varied arcade game that may not be particularly lengthy with only 5 worlds yet it's ultimately memorable and full of delightful sights and sounds.
Although Super Burger Time is highly enjoyable with two players, playing it solo is a lot less so. Enemies tend to gang up on you so if you're not actively trying to outsmart them at every step then it can get exceptionally frustrating without a second player to take some of the heat off. Another somewhat disappointing aspect is that once you're done the 5 areas and beat the game, there really isn't any incentive to keep playing. As a result, it's the sort of game that you'd pick up and finish from time to time because you likely won't spend a few days in a row trying to master it. Finally, the onscreen action tends to become extremely chaotic and can be hard to follow which will probably cause many needless game overs. This is especially true in the later stages where hordes of enemies consistently generate and new hazards such as hammers, lighters, and vultures start appearing just to make things even more confusing.
As a big fan of BurgerTime, I'm happy that I finally had the chance to play Super Burger Time as it's an incredibly underrated arcade sequel. So, if you can't get enough burgers in your retro gaming diet then you'll definitely want to dine here.
- + Silly arcade fun that's even more enjoyable with 2 simultaneous players
- + Catchy music and cute graphics
- + Loads of variety in a lot of aspects
- - Playing solo can be frustrating and it's simply not as fun as co-op play
- - Fairly short and lacks replay value
- - Action can get too chaotic