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Review – Burger Time for Amstrad CPC

I don’t know much about the background of this game, but judging from what I observed I’d say this game was developed at one of those Amstrad CPC demo parties of yesteryear. 1995 to be exact, where the coders ZAK, ZIK and Rainbird of Futures group probably had a pig out session on junk food and Pepsi and decided to make a game about it. Now onto Burger Time.

Weird I know. Have a play and you’ll see what I mean. The loading screen is interesting with a picture of a digitized burger. It looks rather like a McDonald’s burger, probably what ZAK, ZIK and Rainbird ate the whole night.

A “B” floats from right to left once the game has loaded and you see some nice graphics and colour changing font appear. A constant thoroughly enjoyable tune plays and you’re wondering what you’re in for.

So you press fire to start, and when you see a flying tomato sauce bottle in space, you know this game is getting weirder and weirder. If you’re using an emulator like WinAPE, I suggest you check the “turbo” box as the frame rate will be all shaky and selecting turbo will straighten this problem out. So you’re in space as a flying tomato sauce bottle and what do you think you’d find in space with you? Well flying tomatoes of course but they don’t have wings of a bird or the jet engines of a plane and neither does your flying tomato sauce bottle.

They come at you from right to left and you must collect them to fill up your flying sauce bottle to give you the fire power to shoot at the enemy. And what could a flying tomato sauce bottle have as an enemy? Well flying burgers, French fries, pizza, lettuce and double cone ice creams.

Some people might find this quite bizarre but if you have an open mind and let your imagination run free you can see the funny side to this game. It’s quite original in the idea stakes and as a shoot-em-up, it’s not bad, but it’s certainly not great either.

The tomato sauce bottle can move around the whole screen to collect tomatoes and shoot the enemy. Only one enemy attacks your sauce bottle at a time. First up is the burger that looks like a McDonald’s Big Mac. You shoot at your enemy with tomato sauce and the enemy fire back at you with what looks like tomato sauce torpedo bottles. It takes about 15 or so direct hits to get the burger to disappear and the new enemy, the fries, to attack you. They enemy move quite fast around the screen but it always seems to be in a certain pattern. Hitting them can be a little tricky and care is also needed to avoid running into them.

What makes this interesting is that you don’t die straight away. There is no lives like in normal games it appears you just get one life and if your hit the screen flashes to register a hit and you keep playing as you hadn’t died. It also appears if you get hit by the torpedo or the enemy itself you have about 10 to 15 hits before you die and the game is over. There is no high score either, so it’s a strange shooter game concept. Be aware if you don’t collect the tomatoes then the tomato sauce bottle will be empty and you’ll lose your fire power.

A lovely constant tune plays throughout the game and there are no explosions or spot effects. It seems to just loop enemies and has no real end of game but I’m not sure of this. As games go it’s very repetitive and you’re sure to get tired of doing the same moves over and over again. However, maybe the lovely tune will keep you playing, shooting your tomato sauce at those burgers, fries, pizza, lettuce and yummy ice cream.

Graphics: 40%
Sound: 56%
Staying Power: 30%
Grab Factor: 28%
Overall: 34%

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