BurgerTime is a 1982 arcade game created by Data East. The player is chef Peter Pepper, who must walk over hamburger ingredients located across a maze of platforms while avoiding pursuing characters.
The game’s original Japanese title Hamburger was changed outside of Japan to BurgerTime, reportedly to avoid potential trademark issues. In addition to all releases in the Western world, “BurgerTime” was also the name used on the Japanese ports and sequels.
The object of the game is to complete a number of hamburgers while avoiding enemy foods. The player controls the protagonist, chef Peter Pepper, with a four-position joystick and a button.
Each board consists of a maze of planks and ladders in which giant burger ingredients (buns, patties, lettuce/tomato, etc.) are laid out. When Peter walks the full length of an ingredient, it falls to the level below, knocking down any ingredient that happens to be there. A burger is completed when all of its vertically aligned ingredients have been dropped out of the maze and onto a waiting plate, and the player must complete all burgers to finish the board.
Three types of enemy food items wander the maze: Mr. Hot Dog, Mr. Pickle, and Mr. Egg. The player can score extra points by either crushing them under a falling ingredient, or by dropping an ingredient while they are standing on it. In the latter case, the ingredient falls two extra levels for every enemy caught on it. Crushed or dropped enemies return to the maze after a short time.
At the start of the game, the player is given a limited number of pepper shots to use against enemies. Pressing the button causes Peter to shake a cloud of pepper in the direction he is facing; any enemy touching the cloud will be stunned for a few seconds, and Peter can safely move through them. Bonus food items such as coffee and ice cream appear on occasion, awarding bonus points and one extra pepper shot when collected.
There are six boards of increasing difficulty, with more burgers/ingredients, more enemies, and/or layouts that make it easier for Peter to become cornered by enemies. After the player completes the sixth board, the cycle repeats.
The player loses one life whenever Peter touches a non-stunned enemy. When all lives are lost, the game is over.