BurgerTime: Classic Arcade Game Video, History & Game Play Overview


Known as BurgerTime in the U.S., this game had an original title of Hamburger when it was first released to Japanese audiences in 1982. Compatible version for the Atari and Nintendo (NES) home console systems were released shortly after debuting in the arcade. Three sequels to Burger, Super BurgerTime and Peter Pepper’s Ice Cream Factory, were released between 1983 and 1984. A sequel named Diner is the only version compatible for home video game systems.

BurgerTime was developed by Data East Corporation. Bally Midway co-published and produced BurgerTime with Data East. Other popular 1980s video game titles such as Double Dragon, Robocop and Bad Dudes are credited to this game developer. In later years, BurgerTime was released for the PlayStation 2. You can play BurgerTime with one player or two.


Game Play Overview

Playing as Chef Peter Pepper, players are chased by hotdogs, pickles and fried eggs up and down ladders and across platforms. The goal is to assemble hamburgers that progressively increase in size and complexity. On each stage between two and six complete burgers are to be assembled. This is done by running across the buns, burger patties, lettuce and tomato slices. Every time that you run across a part of the burger, it drops down one level.

When all of the burgers are done, the level is complete. Chef Peter Pepper is armed with a pepper shaker, which he uses to momentarily stun his enemies. Because there is a limited number of times that the pepper shaker can be used to ward off enemies, players spend most of their time darting across the ledges and scaling the ladders to get away from their opponents.

Game play in BurgerTime is infinite, meaning that there is no final stage or any way to beat the game. Enemies will move faster and faster until finally you are unable to outrun them. At this point, you will need to spend the first few minutes of each level in hiding until your opponents start to move at a much slower pace. There is a random location at the top of each level that players can use to remain ‘invisible.’ This location may change from stage to stage.

Special Features

Besides Chef Peter Pepper’s two standard attacks, special features include multiplier bonuses and several food icons that can be picked up for extra points. Defeating one enemy by flattening him awards players with 500 points. Eliminate two opponents at once and you will receive 1,000 points. Killing three enemies gives you 2,000 points. The maximum number of enemies that can be destroyed at once is six, and the bonus for this feat is 16,000 points.

Picking the French fries, ice cream and coffee icons before they disappear will give you bonus points as well as an additional pepper ‘shake.’ When you use the pepper shaker to keep enemies away, you also get a set number of points, depending on the opponent that is stunned. The pepper attack is the only defense that Chef Peter Pepper has.


Hotdogs – Hotdogs with legs appear on every level, chasing Chef Peter Pepper and causing him to lose a life if contact is made.

Pickles – Another enemy that you will see many times over in BurgerTime, two-legged pickles relentlessly hunt down the main character.

Fried Eggs – Like the other opponents that appear in this arcade classic, fried eggs with legs can shimmy up and down ladders or run after Chef Peter Pepper at full speed.

French Fries – This icon is worth 1,500 bonus points. Players only have a few moments to get the French fries symbol before it goes away.

Ice Cream – Ice cream icons are valued at 500 points apiece. Players also get additional pepper ‘shakes’ when they pick up food bonus icons.

Coffee – Worth 1,000 points, the cup of coffee icon appears on preset stages.

How to Play BurgerTime

Chef Peter Pepper starts off in the center of the very bottom platform at the beginning of each level. Each burger must be dropped to the bottom in its designated holding place. Use the pepper shaker if you become cornered or fear that you cannot outrun nearby opponents. You will have an unlimited amount of time to complete each stage. Use this to your advantage as you get further along and your enemies become faster.

Level 1
The first level contains four burgers that have four pieces each. There are multiple platforms and ladders that Chef Peter Pepper can use to reach the burger patties, buns and lettuce pieces. The ice cream icon will appear after a predetermined amount of time. If you find yourself running low on pepper ‘shakes,’ temporarily abandon your mission and divert your attention to this icon. After it has been collected, you can continue to drop each portion of your burgers until they have all reached the bottom.

Level 2
Because of the awkward layout of stage two, you will want to focus on completing the two burgers on the outside first. The 1,000 point bonus coffee icon makes its first appearance on this level. Getting to the top bun is tedious and dangerous, but it is the only way that you can fully assemble all four burgers. Don’t go too far down the center ladder as you will have no escape point.

Level 3
Six burgers made up of three layers have to be completed on level three. Four burgers are on the top level, with the remaining two burgers on the lower level. The pickle enemy appears in BurgerTime for the first time on this stage. You will need to evade all opponents to the best of your abilities and conserve all of the pepper ‘shakes’ that you can.

While the burgers on level three are less complex than the ones that appear on levels one and two, there will be more opportunities for enemies to trap you. Knock out the two burgers on the bottom first if you can. Wait for the French fries icon to appear when you start to run out of your special attack. Players may need to revisit level 3 multiple times before being able to complete it.

Level 4
The four burgers on level four have eight layers each. By now, you should be pretty familiar with how enemy pickles, fried eggs and hotdogs move. Although there is a lot of ‘stuff’ to do on level four, there are also many more places for Chef Peter Pepper to hide out and run to. At every available opportunity, you will want to run across each piece of your burgers, taking out enemies and getting closer to your ultimate goal.

Collecting food icons will be crucial at this point. Instead of running all over the place, go to the top of this stage and stay toward the far left or right. Enemies will gravitate toward you and bunch into a tight pack. This will give you time to run to the opposite side and slide down a ladder to drop more burger pieces. Level four is pretty hard to beat, but it is completely possible with patience and a good strategy.

Level 5
There are two big, eight tiered burgers in stage five. They are located in the center of the screen. There are no ladders in between these two colossal burgers, so you will be relegated to the ladders on the outside. A total of six hotdog, pickle and fried egg enemies will be patrolling the level. You will probably end up using more pepper shaker attacks than you want it, but the coffee bonus will eventually appear.

You may be tempted to diverted to one of the two ladders on the far right – just be careful not to be trapped because there are not as many platforms on the right side. Try to squash as many enemies as you can on this level. While they will come back, this strategy will give you a moment to make substantial progress.

Level 6
The sixth level in BurgerTime has just four burgers with four tiers each. The French fries symbol is available on this board. The ladders on this stage are scattered, so there will be no direct route to the top. You can either opt to assemble the burgers to the far left and the far right first, or you can leave them for last. Just know going in that there is only one way in and out way out when dropping the outside burgers.

If you have a generous supply of pepper ‘shakes’ this area of the stage will not be as treacherous. Otherwise, you will need to perfectly time your runs so that you do not get followed and corned by enemies. When assembling the two burgers at the center, use the ladders to get away from your opponents.

*After level six has been passed, you will see what appears to be level one again. This is because BurgerTime uses the first six levels repetitiously. You can continue to play BurgerTime until you run out of lives while going after a high score. Note that there is a big chance at the beginning of stage 28. Your normally predictable enemies will suddenly get a huge boost in speed. As they will be traveling at the same rate of speed as Chef Peter Pepper, there is simply no way to outrun them.

This is when you will need to run as quickly as you can to the top level of the stage. BurgerTime has a built in ‘blind spot’ that allows players to go completely unnoticed by enemies. After a couple of minutes, you should notice the fried eggs, pickles and hotdogs slowly to a near snail’s pace. This process will have to be repeated on every level from here on out if you want to survive.

Hints and Tips
- The two main methods of evading enemies include, launching the pepper shaker attack and dodging. Additionally, you can use the burger layers themselves to squish your enemies. To do this, you will need to wait until an opponent comes directly below you while you stand on a bun, lettuce, and burger meat or tomato piece.

- Another way to get rid of your enemies is to stand at the very edge of a burger layer, where you will wait for an opponent to approach. Start to run in the opposite direction as if you were going to drop the tier, but stop just short. Use the pepper shaker attack to stop the oncoming enemies, and then drop the layer. You can get several enemies at once using this method.

- Opponents don’t have to be directly below you in order to be squashed by a falling layer. If you are at the very top of the stage and there is an enemy at the bottom, you can time it so that he gets destroyed. While you may have already employed this strategy on accident, you can learn how to time it so that you get more points.


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