By Marisa Alexander / December 4th, 2019
|Developer||G-Mode, Data East|
|Release Date||October 8th, 2019|
|Genre||Arcade, Party, Puzzle|
|Age Rating||E for Everyone|
What is the most dangerous thing about food? Food poisoning? Allergies? In BurgerTime Party!, the most dangerous thing is when food itself come alive and attacks resident chef Peter Pepper. In over a hundred levels, the player must drop ingredients off from platforms while being chased by very angry hot dogs, pickles, eggs, and donuts. Can Peter Pepper fulfill his orders, or will he too be sent to the trash bin?
For its gameplay, the controls are very basic, with movement being regulated to just left, right, up, and down. Your character only has one move available and that is to spray pepper in order to stun enemies. You have three charges, which recharge in solo and main burger modes but you must collect a power-up in order to refill in challenge burger mode. Speaking of power-ups, sometimes while playing a power-up will appear within the stage. These can range from invincibility, making enemies move slower, or even spewing out fire to roast enemies to oblivion. In solo burger mode however, the only power-up that props up is the refill for your pepper.
In order to spice up the game’s difficulty, BurgerTime Party! features an array of obstacle types. There are ice floors, conveyor belts, chutes, and more. The enemies also have differing AI. Mr. Hot Dog for instance takes a direct path towards the player. Mr. Pickle however takes a more roundabout path. Perhaps the most annoying enemy to deal with is Mr. Donut, who begins charging at the player once in line of sight. Due to this behavior, Mr. Donut can make going for higher scores rather challenging.
With all that said, completing levels themselves are not all that challenging. What makes up the bulk of the game’s challenge is trying to achieve a gold star rating. There are many a time that there is a large disparity from a bronze star to even a silver star, with bronze effectively being the baseline of just completing the level. In order to rack up more points, you must deliberately cause enemies to drop with the ingredients themselves. This is bolstered when a chain of food items drops from platforms. In comparison, simply dropping and defeating enemies lends far less points.
As far as modes go, there is solo burger mode made for one player coupled with a tutorial, offering more puzzle-like stages. Truth be told, I never got the vibe of there being puzzles but I suppose that the main puzzle is trying to achieve a gold star rather than just completing the level. There is a main burger mode, which can be done in co-op, that features larger stages compared to solo burger mode. There is battle burger mode, where players can play either as the chefs or food and compete against each other. Then there is challenge burger mode, a line of stages where you rack up as many points as possible to climb up the online leaderboard.
As a whole, the game is fine. There isn’t really any stand-out issue that warrants a rather sour experience. At the same time, there is also not a whole lot of room for the game to shine. The game’s presentation, drawn in the same vein of rubber-hose, has only okay animation with decent sound effects and music to back it up. The only oddity I can possibly think of is that movement is relegated to only the Switch’s left stick, rather than the D-pad. As such, moving off and on ladders can be slightly awkward.
In the end, BurgerTime Party! can be a fun experience, but doesn’t have a long lasting appeal. I only spent 3 to 4 hours playing. But thanks to it being on the Switch, the game does have the virtue of being a decent portable experience where you play five stages and then can be on your way. Unfortunately, I can’t give an opinion on the multi-player aspect, having played only single-player. Priced at $19.99, you will get your money’s worth just by content alone, especially if you’re a fan of more arcade-like games. If you are more uncertain, I reckon waiting for a price drop before taking a bite.
Review Copy provided by the publisher
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