Super BurgerTime is the obscure 1990 sequel to Data East‘s classic 1982 arcade hit, BurgerTime. The game didn’t get wide distribution at the time of its original release, which is why it’s not that well known.
The game can be played by two players cooperatively, or by one player on their own, and each player controls one of original protagonist Peter Pepper‘s sons, while avoiding being caught by chasing eggs, sausages, pickles, and other hostile food-based enemies.
The gameplay in Super BurgerTime is similar to that in the original BurgerTime, in that you must drop burger patties, buns, cheese and salad down onto plates at the bottom of a set of platforms and ladders, but there are some fundamental differences. The first of which is that the individual burger elements must be jumped or stamped-on to make them drop down a level, and two: the ‘weapons’ you can use to stun enemies must be grabbed from either side of the screen, and their use is now time-limited, meaning that you can use them repeatedly to knock-out enemies until they expire. And when they do run out you must then return to the side of the screen to grab another weapon. When an enemy is stunned, walking into them will kick them off the screen, although you do get more points for flattening them underneath falling burger ingredients, so it’s often better to stun them underneath a burger and then knock a piece down onto them. Which is easier said than done. The player characters can also jump over chasing enemies, of which there are many more than in BurgerTime, which is an interesting addition to the gameplay.
In Super BurgerTime there are four worlds, each with four sub-levels and a boss battle at the end. Some levels even scroll horizontally and vertically to accommodate larger layouts (just like in BurgerTime Deluxe on the Game Boy), although the fixed, non-scrolling towers on either side of the screen do diminish the effect.
While it’s obvious that Data East have at least tried to inject some variety into BurgerTime‘s gameplay with these changes it doesn’t necessarily mean that Super BurgerTime is a success. Graphically, the game is garish and uninspiring. The backgrounds are bland, un-animated, and also distracting at the same time (because they’re too bold – they could’ve done with being toned down a bit), although the sprites are nicely-drawn and well-animated, so it’s a bit of a mix of good and bad. Gameplay-wise: it often feels like there are far too many chasing enemies, and the ‘grab-a-weapon-from-the-side’ mechanic is also a bit convoluted and confusing. The boss battles, where you throw burgers while dodging projectiles or enemies, also feel very under-developed and not particularly well thought-out. It’s all a bit of a mess to be honest.
Super BurgerTime isn’t a completely terrible sequel, but it’s not a particularly good one either, and it could and should have been a lot better. It’s disappointing overall. I’m guessing that the bigwigs at Data East probably felt the same when they first played it. If Super BurgerTime had been better it would’ve gotten a wider release.
A PC version of Super BurgerTime was published by Ziggurat/612 Games on GOG.com and Steam in 2021, and it’s still available (at the time of writing), although it does seem a little expensive for an obscure, thirty year-old emulated arcade game (ie. it should be less than £2 – not £5).
More: Super BurgerTime on arcade-history.com
Steam: Super BurgerTime on Steam
GOG: Super BurgerTime on GOG.com