Being someone who writes about video games, I inevitably get into conversations with my fellow games writers about our favorite arcade games. When these conversations arise, I always list the arcade classic BurgerTime as one of my all time favorites. It’s a classic that I’ve played for the better part of 30 years. Now the classic burger-building adventure of Peter Pepper is back in a brand new take on the classic with BurgerTime Party for the Nintendo Switch, and everything that made the original so beloved returns, but now with some new toppings to make this the best burger ever.
BurgerTime Party takes the classic platform burger-building premise and adds new flare and concepts, which ups the fun factor. Burger chef Peter Pepper is still making massive burgers in uniquely designed kitchens, and is still being chased by jealous foods, like the hot dog, the pickle, the egg, and the donut. Armed with only a few shakes of pepper, which stuns the evil food items, Peter has to walk across the various components of a good burger — the patty, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and the bun crown — to make them fall onto a waiting plate at the bottom of each level. It’s simple in its design, and hearkens back to Pac-Man as an arcade classic.
The new version keeps the core game intact and adds new levels and four-person multiplayer, including a fun battle mode where one side plays as Peter and the other as the jealous food items. There are a staggering number of levels across BurgerTime Party in all game modes, and one or two modes even post your best scores online to compare with friends and strangers.
Surprisingly, the multiplayer modes might be the most fun we’ve had with this game. My wife and I played together for a few hours, calling out what we were doing, asking for help when we got downed by a food item (you get a few seconds to be revived before you lose the life), and we laughed and laughed as the levels got harder and harder. We both agreed that this is the perfect pick up and play game, as each level takes only a few minutes to clear, and going for higher scores brings us back for more.
The best part of BurgerTime Party is the art direction. After spending hundreds of hours of my life playing this with 8-bit characters on an arcade cabinet, seeing them now fully realized and animated is fun. And developer G-Mode has borrowed the early 20th century animation style — made popular again a few years ago with Cuphead — to really bring these characters to life. We’ve literally laughed out loud at the angry pickle slice crying because we cleared a level.
BurgerTime wasn’t the most complicated arcade game around when it debuted in the early 1980s, but it developed a loyal following due to its addictive gameplay and simple premise. BurgerTime Party recreates that in a fun and unique way and pays homage to the arcade classic while still making it feel new and modern. This game isn’t a reinvention of the wheel, but it sure makes the art of burger-making fun and exciting, and I don’t know about you, but that’s why I play video games; to have fun and to be excited, and BurgerTime Party offers both, now with cheese.
BurgerTime Party is available now on the Nintendo Switch, in both physical and digital versions. This review is based on a digital code provided by the publisher.