A few years ago, a report that street vendors in China were adding cardboard to their pork buns surfaced in the media. It received some attention in the United States, partly because it fed into the preconceived notion of subpar goods from China (alongside other reports about tainted dog food and baby formula). Well, that report ultimately turned out to be false, but subsequent reports that some iPhone game companies have been adding filler to their arcade remakes have sadly proven true.
BurgerTime is the latest Namco remake to get the spit-shine treatment on the iPhone, but this one turns out to be a bit more spit than shine. Once again, you play as Peter Pepper the burger chef, but in this version Peter is tall and lankly instead of stout. He’s also been given a graphical facelift, along with his nightmarish enemies: walking, angry eggs, hot dogs, pickles, and carrots.
As you pepper-spray your foes, you’ll have to step on oversized burger ingredients to make complete meals, squashing the bad guys that happen get caught underneath. With dozens of levels, this concept very quickly begins to tire, and almost no improvements have been made to keep things interesting. Heat lamps and falling icicles are meant to add variety, but essentially you’ll be doing the exact same maneuvers throughout the entire game. Many of the stage layouts are repeated, too.
Controlling Peter is unnecessarily awkward. Instead of a fixed D-Pad, the controls appear wherever you lay down your finger, and disappear about a second after you lift your finger off. Because of this, certain tricks (like waiting for enemies to approach you before you drop a burger ingredient with them on top of it) are thwarted by the inconsistent controls. The game doesn’t contain any option to permanently set the D-pad, either, which is a strange oversight.
The game’s new story is also pretty much a waste, featuring a Waluigi-type rival restaurateur who makes threatening phone calls and burns down Peter’s uncle’s burger stand. In the end, the townspeople rise up to drive him out, perhaps because they’re so impressed by your burger-stomping skills. It doesn’t have to make sense’” the original game didn’t’” but Burger Time Deluxe also doesn’t add anything new for players besides a slight nostalgia for the original arcade game. You could stand to skip this burger.