Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Burger Time", 1982.

Here's some iconic game ad artwork, illustrating a high-concept game of the old school.
Burger Time
HOME VIDEO GAME
COMING SOON

A feast of an arcade game to go! For your Intellivision, Atari 2600, Apple II, or the IBM Personal Computer.

On casual scrutiny, the ad bears some similarity to Bump 'n' Jump's -- both games by Data East licensed to the Mattel Intellivision. The odd logos on top underline the connection. So much condiment-squirting!

"Graphics vary by system." What gets me is that I can't imagine that on any system the graphics looked as bad as the drawn screenshot presented!

I know of this game well, but never clocked much time against it, as I felt it lacked a certain purity, epitomized by the limited pepper use. Either this is a game about strategically sandwiching your enemies beneath burger-trimming platforms, or it is an action game wherein you zap evil sausages and eggs. In a sense it wanted to be both, but the split in focus irritated my immature brain, not wanting to have to play both games simultaneously. The restricted quantities of pepper telegraph Data East's lack of faith in the action game here, like they wanted to try multiplexing genres but couldn't commit to the second.

Of course, I always resented games with respawning bad guys anyhow. Lode Runner and Pac-Man were suspect, while Asteroids and Space Invaders could be counted on. This was part of why the persistent enemy bodies in Golden Axe were so reassuring: these opponents were down and you could keep your eye on their defeated bodies to make sure that they stayed down!

This may well tell you more about my psychology than about the game.