BurgerTime Party!
Nintendo Switch

Developed By : G-Mode
Published By : XSEED Games
Category : Puzzle, Multiplayer, Party
Release Date : Oct 08, 2019

Way back, the NES brought us some amazing and instant classic games to our living rooms. Some were games that were made just for us to play at home, while others had been either ported into or from arcade cabinets. In my opinion, it’s these games that were the highlight, especially nowadays, since they can be picked up on the cheap instead of dumping countless quarters down the drain. BurgerTime Party! on the Nintendo Switch is the newest iteration in one of these arcade-brought-home franchises, and it looks to keep the food fun very much alive still.

As a game that’s intended to be played level-by-level, or in a party system, there’s not much of a premise. You play as Peter Pepper running his burger and hot dog joint. Each level there are tons of food items scattered around and you need to compile them into their finished products. You’ll meet resistance in the form of Food Foe’s who’s only goal is to stop you from what you’re doing.

Every level will have at least one food item that needs to be made, either a burger or a hot dog. Most levels will have more than one though, as well as a maze of floors and ladders. The food items are placed on the floors, and you’ll need to drop them down a level by walking over top of them. As they drop, if they hit another item below it this will start a chain of food dropping, and you’ll need to repeat this process until all items end up stacked properly on the plates that are at the bottom area of the each level.

The Food Foe’s are almost always going to be a threat, except for in the very first few levels where you’re just learning the concepts of the game. These include a sausage, egg, pickle, and a donut. All of them are looking to hunt you down, and the difference between them is in their approach. For example, Mr. Sausage will take as direct of a route as possible towards you, making him easy to loop around and avoid. While at the same time, Mr. Pickle climbs around erratically making him hard to predict and increasing the chance that he just might get you in a corner.

Fear not though! Peter is armed with a pepper grinder that can shoot a cloud of pepper into their faces, stunning them for a short time. This is a move that has more than one benefit. The main one is obviously the opportunity to get around your enemy without taking damage. You’re on a 2D plane so “around” really means “through” and touching these guys means losing a life. So stunning them is the only way to avoid this. But, the other benefit is that if you stun them while they stand on a food item, you can increase the weight of it and cause it to drop down multiple floors instead of just one. This is also a combo that’s possible if you can catch a Food Foe underneath you as complete walking over a piece of your burger or dog.

Progress in the game is made by the stars you earn on each level. You can earn up to three, and each has a point threshhold that must be met, and this can be tracked by the meter on the right side of the screen. You’ll earn points as you drop your burgers or stun your enemies, but it’s combining these things together that chains combos together and earns you the real points. On the menu, levels are presented on pages, and you only ever need to earn at least one star on each level of a page to advance to the next page, so you won’t be pulling your hair out trying to find the perfect point run in order to unlock some new levels.

BurgerTime Party! comes with a few different game modes, and they offer up plenty of fun whether you’re playing on your own or have a few friends. Solo mode is the one that mode that can only be taken on by yourself, and presents pages of challenging levels for crafting your food and avoiding your enemies. You can also play in a co-op mode where you play on the same kind of levels but have some backup on your side. Or, fight it out in the multiplayer only Battle Mode where you can choose to be a Peter Pepper, or a Food Foe. In these modes everything plays the same, but you’ll also find different power-ups that can provide extra lives, refill your pepper shot faster, and other moves as well!

I played a little bit of the original BurgerTime game, enough so that hearing the announcement of this newest one got me incredibly excited. And it’s very nice to say that the hype was very well lived up to. The concept of these games is extremely simple, but it’s the simple games that can be won or lost with even simpler decisions. That is certainly not the case here, though, since Party! is a very well built successor to bring the love of these games into a new generation.

I loved that all the modes were playable solo, because doing so is where you can really experience the depths of the challenge this game has to offer. Including other players still maintains this challenge, but can add to the intensity of trying to loop the Foe’s around. Stepping into the battle arena though is where the real fun and frenzy is at. The AI can be tricked, but your friends might not be so easily. Taking away that predictability really opens up the fun factor of BurgerTime Party! and this game is sure to live on as a party game for a long time.

So whether you download yours from the eShop or get a physical copy from your local game store (or online retailer) do not miss out on this new version of an old classic. The levels are challenging and fun, the music is great, and I have to say the art style was probably one of my top favorite things about this game. It had an old cartoon vibe (initially it gave me Cuphead vibes) but it looks so crisp and clean making it very easy to fall in love with.

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$19.99 ($29.99 for physical)

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