BurgerTime World Tour review

BurgerTime World Tour review

The first sign of trouble in BurgerTime World Tour is the presence of a navigation marker directing you to the next burger. Though MonkeyPaw is keen to describe its game as "retro evolution", rather than a remake of the 1982 original, the fact remains that Data East's arcade classic balanced its few ingredients perfectly, while World Tour piles them so high it's difficult to consume.

The original game rivalled Pac-Man in its simplicity. Playing out across six stages, you had to run across burger parts (bun, lettuce, tomato etc) to make them drop a level and eventually stack into a full burger at the bottom of the screen. Since the view didn't scroll, you were always aware of the movements of the marauding egg, hotdog and pickle that stand in for Pac-Man's ghosts.

In World Tour, your goals remain the same, but developer Frozen Codebase has engineered complex cylindrical levels that rotate as you move around them. While they look good (the Parisian apartments of the third world are genuinely charming), they make finding the next burger component a complex platforming affair rather than an intuitive dash.

This wouldn't be so bad if your character, chef Peter Pepper (or optionally on 360, your Avatar), handled responsively. Instead, he's unpredictably twitchy and his inertia-free jump – an ability not present in the original game – makes negotiating the numerous moving platforms traumatic at best. Worse still, you'll often be forced to leap into the unknown, plummeting down wells full of deadly drills armed with only a tightly cropped camera and the hope that your three lives will be enough to work out the route before the game over screen looms.

Enemies fail to stand out against the brightly coloured backgrounds, leading to the occasional death before you've even noticed them. But it's the boss fights that grate the most, betraying how thinly the game's ideas have been spread by making you endure the same torturous assault courses, repeatedly stacking burgers, all the while avoiding additional attacks from your foe.

Multiplayer offers some strategic interest as players vie to construct a single burger. Only finished burgers score points, enabling wily players to swoop in and take advantage of opponents' hard work. While split-screen play results in almost unusably small characters, the tighter design of the multiplayer levels recalls some of simplicity this reimagining has lost. But overall, Burger Time World Tour is an over-complicated take on a classic recipe.

Xbox 360 version tested.

4
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