BURGERTIME PARTY! Review: A Great Take On An Arcade Classic!

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How crazy is it that it has been 37 years since the original arcade release of BurgerTime?! Today, XSEED has released BurgerTime Party! for the Nintendo Switch and brings back its arcade style fun for the modern age. I love seeing the return of decades-old arcade franchises on modern systems; something about their pick up and play gameplay really speaks to me! While BurgerTime Party! is not dramatically different from what we have seen from the franchise in the past, it is a wonderful homage that brings a lot of fun to the Nintendo Switch.

Story

Peter Pepper’s Burgers is the best place to eat with an awesome menu and cool atmosphere. Peter is constantly thinking of new items he can add to the menu to keep the customers happy. Not every ingredient can make the cut and the ones that have hit the trash can decide it is time to take revenge. Now the showdown between Peter and the discarded Food Foes has begun!

Gameplay

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For anyone who has played a BurgerTime game, BurgerTime Party! will be very familiar. Your goal is to avoid Food Foes while constructing burgers or hot dogs. Each ingredient is stacked above themselves in the level and it is up to you to knock each one down until the food is fully assembled. To knock ingredients down a level you will need to walk across them fully. As ingredients fall, they will knock any additional ingredients they hit down a level as well. Falling ingredients can also crush Food Foes, making it an effective way to help clear your path to reach other ingredients. You are also given three pepper shakers to stun any Food Foes that might get in your way. A press of any face button on your controller will throw out the stunning cloud, allowing you to get by safely.

Once all food items in a level are assembled, you are scored and given a rating from 1-3 stars. While beating any given level will result in a minimum of 1 star, getting all 3 can be a huge challenge and a goal you will spend a lot of time trying to achieve with BurgerTime Party! Scoring is based on a few things, including assembling food and defeating Food Foes. You can gain additional score by knocking down ingredients while a Food Foe is standing on it. Dropping ingredients this way also makes them fall further depending on the number of enemies standing on it, so try to get as many as you can to go for a ride! This is when your pepper shaker really comes in handy! Thankfully ranking doesn’t take lives lost into account, because I was super sloppy in some strategies and died a few times.

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I enjoy the levels in this game quite a bit! Each maze is set up to have an optimal path to victory and figuring it out has been a ton of fun for me. I haven’t played BurgerTime since the NES port of the original arcade game but I found myself right at home in navigating each maze. The games tutorial mode does a great job of introducing players to the basics of gameplay and gradually introduces new elements you will find in levels. The additions of breaking floors and ladders make some levels really interesting. Other hazards you can encounter include iced floors, or even grill floors that are ready to cook you and any foes who may be standing on them when the flames erupt. A new enemy was also introduced with Mr. Donut who will charge across the screen to get you if you are on the same level as them. He is a fast little bugger and caught me off guard a number of times!

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There are a variety of game modes available in BurgerTime Party! including a solo mode (which includes 20 tutorial levels and 30 normal levels), a co-op multiplayer mode (can support up to 4 players!), and a vs multiplayer mode (2 players can play as chefs and 2 players as Food Foes). The last mode is a challenge mode that takes further inspiration from the arcade original, with limited pepper shakers that don’t recharge over time, instead requiring you to get pickups in the level to recharge them. Finishing a level also won’t reset pepper shakers or lives, making you really think about the situations you are putting yourself in.

Multiplayer modes can be pretty fun and chaotic, so if you have a good group of people to play with, BurgerTime Party! is a great addition to any game night. My kids had a blast playing as the Food Foes and chasing me around as I tried to complete burgers. They didn’t really seem to grasp the concept of completing the food though, so they didn't get to really enjoy playing as a chef.

Graphics

BurgerTime Party! features a very stylized 2D art style reminiscent of old cartoons. Animations are very smooth and look great in motion. Levels also look good, and backgrounds change time of day on a replay, making a level you already played seem different than before because of it.

Replayability

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With the vast number of modes and levels available, there are a ton of things to do in BurgerTime Party! Even after you complete all the stars in the solo, challenge and co-op modes, the vs mode is ready to provide hours of entertainment. There is also an assortment of trophies to earn!

What It Could Have Done Better

My only real area of frustration in BurgerTime Party! came from the way stunning enemies worked. If an enemy is currently stunned, using another pepper shaker would not result in re-stunning them. This made me mess up a number of high-scoring opportunities and cost me some 3-star ratings as a result. This isn’t a problem with the game, just something to learn as you progress, but I still thought I would bring it up for those of you out there who might find it annoying like I did.

Verdict

Overall I think BurgerTime Party! is a fantastic interpretation of an old arcade classic! There is a ton of content and fun multiplayer modes combined with great art. If you are a fan of arcade style games or just looking for your next puzzle style adventure, BurgerTime Party! is calling for your time and attention. At a price of $29.99, the argument becomes that much more compelling. Check it out today!

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