Release Date: 1982
Publisher: M Network
Players: 1 – 2
Genre: Arcade – Platformer
Alternate Title: N/A
Model #: MT4518
Programmer: Ron Surratt
This port of the arcade classic is one of the ugliest games ever made.
Have you ever wanted to be a chef trapped in a restaurant nightmare where you have to assemble hamburgers ingredient by ingredient while being pursued through a multi-story maze by killer sentient food? Well have I got the game for you. Actually I have an unbelievably bad port of the arcade game you should be playing.
You are in control of The Chef, who must build his giant hamburgers one ingredient at a time. This is accomplished by walking across them, which to put it mildly is a bit unsanitary. If there are ingredients below the one you walked across they will be bumped down a level, setting off a chain reaction that impact every layer beneath you. Once you have all four pieces in place it will actually look like a hamburger rather than the four yellow colored ingredients you scampered across.
There are four evil food items that are attempting to impede your quest to build the perfect burger. Pursuing you through each level are a hot dog, an egg, a breadstick and a wedge of cheese. Well, that’s what the instruction manual claims they are. Instead you are being chased by two blinking squares, a line and an apostrophe with legs. Even by 2600 standards the graphics here are incredibly poor. Poor graphics or not however, they are still quite deadly if they come into contact with you. Luckily The Chef has a couple of tricks up his sleeve to take them out.
The best way to dispatch your food nemesis is to use the burger ingredients against them. This can be done either by crushing them with a falling piece, or by triggering an ingredient fall while the bad guy is still on it. In both cases they will be off the screen for a few seconds before respawning at the top of the board (which can occasionally be fatal if you happen to be in that space at the time). Your other method of attack is limited in both quantity and quality. When you press the button The Chef will throw out a dash of pepper, stunning anything that is currently in front of him for a few moments. This gives him a brief opportunity to run through them, which comes in handy in the later levels as there are dead ends that can leave you cornered. Well, the pepper comes in handy in theory since The Chef is so slow that it can be very difficult to make it through the stunned food before it becomes active again.
This brings us to the other major problem with the game, the gameplay. Now I don’t expect a chef to be the fleetest of foot, nor do I expect a bunch of sentient food items to be able to move at a sprinters pace, but it would be nice if they moved at something above a snails pace. The other tricky thing is dealing with the ladders, as you have to perfectly line up The Chef onto the landing before he will step off the ladder, which can be an issue when you are about to be killed by an evil hot dog. Too often you will find yourself trying in vain to make an escape, only to do the Scooby Doo run on the ladder.
While the game is slow to play and hideous in terms of graphics, the one place where it isn’t half bad is in the music department. Apparently the entire game budget went to capturing the arcade theme, which they do an admirable job of. Unfortunately when the music is the only positive thing you can say about a game, it’s probably a safe bet you shouldn’t waste your time with it.