Simple, Yet Addicting: BurgerTime

BurgerTime

By Edgar Mendoza
April 30, 2020

In our generation, video games have taken over the world. Not only do some play video games as a downtime, but others also play to earn a living. In the 1970s and 80s, games inhabited many malls, restaurants, and bars where children, students, and adults would all line up in order to play these games to try and beat the high score.

Among these games was BurgerTime, in which it was also very popular at home 1 . BurgerTime is a game that was created by a Japanese company named Data East in 1982. It was originally named “Hamburger” in Japan but was then changed to “BurgerTime” before being introduced in the US 2 . The objective of the game is to control chef Peter Pepper by moving up, down, left, and right while dropping buns, lettuce, tomatoes, and burgers to create hamburgers. Enemies such as hot dogs, pickles, and eggs must be avoided while walking over the hamburger ingredients. 3 This element and the lack of direction the game first gives makes it quite difficult. 4 .

Why is the home version of BurgerTime so popular though? The game is challenging. I could not create all four hamburgers necessary to get to the second level. However, after many failed attempts, I noticed a pattern and it became easier. The difficult, yet somewhat easy to navigate gameplay of BurgerTime, always has the player wanting more. This BurgerTime addiction paved the way for the surplus of people waiting in line to play at arcades or to purchase their own copy 5 .

  1. “The History of Video Arcade Games,” BMI Gaming, https://www.bmigaming.com/videogamehistory.htm

  2. “Data East (Creator),” TV Tropes, https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Creator/DataEast)

  3. Jason Breininger and Jason Breininger, “BurgerTime (Arcade, Colecovision, Intellivision),” Old School Gamer Magazine, December 31, 2017, https://www.oldschoolgamermagazine.com/burgertime-arcade-colecovision-intellivision/)

  4. Video Game, BurgerTime, The Media Archaeology Lab, University of Colorado Boulder

  5. “Classic Arcade Games For Sale,” Classic Arcade Game Machines for Sale, https://www.arcadeclassics.net/80s-game-videos/burgertime