BurgerTime (NES)

Game Review

BurgerTime Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Burger building bonanza

When the coin-op release of BurgerTime hit arcades in 1982, it was praised for its quirky theme and wildly unique gameplay design. Given the game's popularity at the time, it garnered a port on just about every home game system and personal computer of the period. The NES release came a bit later, but it was a fairly accurate interpretation of the arcade original and featured solid visuals and responsive play controls. But does this rather dated arcade port still hold up and is it a game you're going to want to add to your Wii Virtual Console library?

BurgerTime is a simple game that tasks you with building hamburgers by walking across different sections of the burger and dropping them down to the platform below. Of course, it's not quite as straightforward as that - you're also going to have to duck and dodge a host of hostile meats and condiments constantly chasing after you. The ultimate goal is simply to get all of the sections of the hamburgers on top of each other at the bottom of the screen, squashing any enemies you can catch underneath the falling sections as you go. It's this careful blend of building hamburgers and trying to squash multiple enemies that leads to higher scores for those who put in the time to understand the mechanics of the game.

To aid you in your navigation of the levels is your secret weapon, the pepper shaker. You're given a limited number of pepper shakes with which to temporarily stun the enemies that are coming your way. This can be quite important in later levels when the enemies are plentiful, not to mention fast-moving.

Since the controls stick mostly to the basics - walk, climb, and pepper attack - there's not a lot of room for error, so the play controls stick very closely to the arcade original. You'll find yourself getting stuck in-between platforms occasionally due to the ladder locations, but this is a common problem with the original and one that you'll just have to overcome with time and practice. Overall this port does a solid job of bringing the arcade experience to the home console and doesn't deviate much from what the original offered up.

While not quite as visually flashy as the arcade version, BurgerTime on the NES does an effective job of recreating the levels of the game - much better than many of the earlier console and personal computer releases, in fact. The levels themselves remain basic, but at least the NES provides you the ability to actually recognize the various hamburger sections and condiments - something not so prevalent on earlier ports of the game.

Anyone who's played BurgerTime will instantly recognize the tunes. While not quite perfectly carried over from the arcade release, they're still more than ample to bring back the nostalgic feeling long time fans will remember. Sound effects are fairly standard and, much like the musical score, adhere pretty closely to the arcade counterpart - something purists will surely appreciate.


Burgertime is still every bit as fun as it was three decades ago and proves that a great gameplay design can hold up no matter how old it is. It's obviously not going to appeal to just anyone, but players that are old enough to remember the original will likely find a smile on their face as they relive one of the true classics of the arcade glory years. Sure, the game is a bit lacking in the depth department, but games in the early 80's were more about quality than quantity. Who knows, maybe even modern gamers will come to appreciate the simple yet wildly addictive playing style of this hamburger-building classic.

From the web

Game Trailer

Subscribe to Nintendo Life on YouTube

User Comments (16)



StarBoy91 said:

BurgerTime is a great classic, I agree, and I find it amazing that the original arcade version has been around for three decades now!



SirQuincealot said:

is this what burger boss from Bob's Burgers is based on?

also this going to get a 3ds release, i would consider getting it than



idork99 said:

Once upon a time when I was a young lad in 1985, there was a new arcade by my house and this was one of two of the original game cabinets that they opened up with. This, and Yie Ar Kung-Fu, were the first games ever introduced to me! So, it should come as no surprise that Burger Time holds a special place in my nostalgic video game memory. Good times with Burger Time



Kyloctopus said:

Quite an underated arcade classic. I got this for Game Boy VC. And I will defenately concider buying this.



Yanchamaru said:

The arcade version of BurgerTime is included on the Data East Arcade Classics for the Wii. Unfortunately, the price of that collection has skyrocketed this year.



gojiguy said:

I have Data East Arcade Classics for Wii and it has the original arcade version on it, so... Not much point in getting the NES version outside of nostalgia, right?



Corbs said:

Yeah if you have the arcade release, you have the definitive version of the game.



Fredje said:

I loved the original game, I'll certainly download this when it gets an European release =)



RetrogamerFan said:

Would definitely d/l this if it comes over to Europe. Really enjoyed the GB update on the 3DS' VC.



That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

I can´t recommend this game, it´s just so frustrating. I can hardly finish the first level since the enemies are so hard to avoid. Also quite monotonous like many older arcadegames.

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...