There are two types of games built around nostalgia. On one hand you have games like Transformers: War for Cybertron or Space Invaders Infinity Gene. Those games are crafted lovingly with near-religious reverence for the source material. On the other hand, you have games like Burgertime World Tour that take the most basic concepts of old games and staple on mechanics that wouldn’t have been acceptable two generations ago.
Even if Burgertime was your favorite game from the days when arcade cabinets were in every pizzeria, bowling alley and movie theatre, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything more than frustration in Burgertime World Tour. The game consists of four countries with ten levels each, clearly ripping off the name and format of the Rampage updates that came out years ago. Each country concludes with a frustrating boss battle that might leave even the calmest of players ready to throw a controller.
For those that missed out on the original, Burgertime pits you against anthropomorphized, angry food as you create larger-than-life hamburgers by walking over the ingredients. Appetizing! As you release an ingredient, it falls to the floor below (or further if you happen to trap an enemy on it while it falls). The best way to do that is to use one of your limited peppershakers to stun the baddies. Unfortunately, the hit detection is so poor that half the time the evil food doesn’t stun properly. Instead of a quick pepper to the face followed by picking the enemy up, you’ll end up losing a life. There are also pickups that give you limited powers. A spatula that will knock an enemy out entirely, a jet pack that rockets you high into the air and a drink that allows you to run faster give you an edge.
Additional issues with the hit detection include falling through platforms and the game occasionally not responding to climbing a ladder. All of this makes the game an exercise in frustration and, quite frankly, not one that’s pretty to look at. The game is muddy, even when the camera is pulled back. You’ll also want to turn the audio down, as the music is repetitive. The sound effects are useless in terms of player feedback as you’ll never know if you crush an enemy below you unless you actually see it. It would be nice if the game rewarded defeating an enemy with some kind of flourish.
The best thing about the game is that you can use your Avatar in place of the Purple Pie Man-looking protagonist, Peter Pepper. So, feel free to turn it into a weird Gears of War, Assassins Creed or Batman game. It might just help you forget that Monkey Paw has disrespected one of your childhood favorites.
Review copy provided by publisher. Primary play on Xbox 360.