After its original debut in the 1980s from Data East, who would have guessed that Peter Pepper would once again run some burgers to the ground? MonkeyPaw Games revives the legacy with BurgerTime: World Tour, feeding both the nostalgic and the curious with their 3D rendition of the game.
The moment the game loads, you're greeted with bright visuals and a catchy, remastered version of the original score. You can choose your difficulty between easy or normal, your avatar as either Pepper or your own personal Xbox avatar, and then you're sent off on a burger adventure.
The premise of the game is the same as its predecessor, having your avatar run around a multi-tiered level, stomping across giant hamburger fixin's to drop them all on top of each other to create one giant burger. Each level has a different amount of burgers you must build, and a "par" showing the time it should take you to complete the burgers in the level.
As you go you must avoid evil foodstuffs who're out to get in your way, either by blasting them with your pepper clouds, or using new abilities like jumping, spinning spatula attacks, and other power-ups. You can also conquer the food baddies by running over an ingredient and dropping it on top of them, though be warned that they do re-spawn after a few seconds. Should you run into an enemy, whether on a ladder or a platform, you will instantly die and have to start from a checkpoint. You only have a certain set amount of tries to beat each level, so if you use up your lives you'll have to start the level from the beginning.
There are four worlds, each themed as either New York, Mexico, Paris, or Tokyo, of which 12 levels encompass each one. Every level, including the very first, is both tricky and fun to explore. Some are more complicated than others, and there's usually a trick of some kind to learn along the way. At the end of each world you play a "boss battle level," where you still build burgers, but each burger you build is an attack on the boss.
Unfortunately, the onslaught of visuals, combined with the 3D, will sometimes leave you feeling confused as to what's going on and where you are. Levels are set up on platforms built in a circular way, so if you were to run left or right the level will rotate accordingly. As the levels become more difficult, keeping track of where you are gets all the more confusing. The game designers did include a burger "compass" which points toward the nearest burger, however, when you're navigating different tiers as you go you can still get lost, even with that help. You're also more likely to get hit by an enemy; numerous times I'd be running around, only to realize too-late that an enemy was ahead of me, or I'd hit a wall and would have no way to escape the baddies.
Single-player mode can be difficult because of this, but unfortunately, multi-player mode suffers all the more. As you play in split-screen mode, the graphics end up closer together and become even more cluttered. As you try to beat your friends at building the most burgers within the allocated time, you'll spend a good deal of time trying to figure out what's happening on-screen.
Multi-player is also available online, however, my code did not allow me to access online features so I was unable to try it out.
My nostalgia kicked in when I first started to play this game, but as it petered off my interest went a little as well. The levels are truly fun and puzzling at times, and the music very cheerful, but the confusion of too many visuals vying for attention takes away from the experience. Having the circular 3D world was a neat idea, but I feel it would have been just as effective if they had upgraded to 3D graphics on a side-scrolling adventure instead of having to run around the circumference of a cylinder. Even so, for the price you pay, it's still worth checking out. BurgerTime: World Tour is now available through DLC for the Xbox360, PS3, and the Wii.