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Burger Island

Score: 92%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Sandlot Games
Developer: eGames
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Simulation

Graphics & Sound:

When I first opened up Burger Island, I was expecting something of a Cake Mania clone. Although the concepts are somewhat similar, Burger Island is a game all its own.

As far as locales, you'll be spending your time looking at either a grill, a fryer or a counter, so you probably won't have too much time to see the various customers munching on their chow and filtering in and out. Your customers are varied and entertaining in appearance and your main character is absolutely kewpie doll adorable.

Sound effects include timers going off, meat sizzling deliciously, fries frying and shakes being blended, along with delightful music tinkling and ambient customer noises dotting the background.

Pretty much the only voiceover is Pierre, your guide. He begins the game with a tutorial, teaching you the ways of the grill and beyond. He is completely annoying and also really funny, as he mumbles in French. He will berate you when you screw up and praise you when you excel. He pops his head in to wrap up the orders and process them on, so you'll see his face a good bit. Oh and then there's the tiki god who mumbles happily and incoherently when a new recipe becomes available, but more on that later.


So the story goes a little something like this. You are Patty Melton, a lovely young girl shipwrecked on the island of Tikikola. You snag a job helping an elderly couple run their beach burger shack. At the end of the day, they are so pleased with your performance that they give you the business! If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So the place is a little run-down and lacks a bustling tourist trade, but you can bring it back to the height of its glory and that's your goal. You begin with 3 recipes: the basic hamburger, ketchup fries and a vanilla shake. Soon, through some strange twist of events, you meet a local tiki god and he is so impressed with your cooking prowess that he offers you additional recipes for purchase. As you make more and more money and progress through levels of the game, of which there are 60, more recipes become available for purchase and these up the difficulty because they have more varied ingredients. The more you can make, the more varied the orders that will roll in, and the more money you will make.

At first, I was buying all the recipes I could, but then I found that you could still make plenty of money with just a few recipes and not lose your mind trying to memorize them all, so I played it more low-key. If you want a really frenetic experience, buy all the recipes you can and stress out. If you stick to beef burgers (as opposed to also throwing veggie burgers into the mix), then its easier because you can always have an extra patty on the grill for that next order. Same with the fries - you can get a little ahead of yourself that way. But it can come back to bite you because if you have nowhere to drop that patty or fry order, it will burn and you'll have to throw it away, resulting in a monetary loss.


There are three difficulty settings: Kiddie Size (Easy), Regular (Medium) and Jumbo Sized (Hard). I first tried the game on Medium and got so frazzled, I shut it down on my first burger level. I tried again and... same thing. Ok, so I decided to try it on Easy and things were a little more forgiving. I actually found it lots of fun, but I progressed too quickly. That's ok because I beat it and then played it through again on Medium. The difficulty comes in the speed of the orders, the very limited amount of time you have to prepare the food (these people are crazy demanding!), and the money you make versus your daily goal. On Easy, you have a low goal and you can regularly make double that all the way up to the higher levels, however if you've gone the whole way through without buying many new recipes, you'll find yourself in a pickle by the end of the game since it's damn near impossible to make your goal without more expensive foods to offer. On Medium, your goal is much higher and you must bring you're "A" game if you want to progress. On Hard, only supreme burger chefs needs apply.

Game Mechanics:

So down to business - let's make our first burger. You use your mouse to click on the meat patties and that sends one to the grill. Once it is done, an alarm sounds and the word "Done!" appears by the patty. You click it and drop it on the order tray. Then, you add the correct ingredients. A basic hamburger is just ketchup and a bun. However, the more recipes you buy, the more varied the ingredients. You could be adding bacon, mustard, ketchup, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, you could even be making veggie burgers. So you must pay attention to the recipe. Since there's a lot going on in the kitchen and numerous orders jumping in at close intervals (although a max of 4 orders is all you'll have to deal with at one time), you don't have time to read the recipes. Thank God the burger containers are color-coded per recipe. Soon, you'll learn that the brown box means the tiki burger and the yellow box means the hamburger and so on. Once you've memorized the recipe, it makes things way easier. Of course, the same thing goes for fries and shakes. Click on the fries to drop them in the fryer, remove them and then add salt, pepper, spice, hot peppers and on and on. With shakes, you start with milk and ice cream and add various toppings, then blend it with the hand mixer and top it off with a straw. If you make a mistake and add an ingredient out of order, Pierre yells at you and the order disappears, resulting in a loss of that money. Ouch. Since you have a daily goal to reach, you don't want to screw up too many times and hurt your bottom line.

As you continue to make money, you will notice your progress on a map of the island. There are 4 map sections indicating new locations that your burger shack will progress to, growing bigger and more successful each time. In between these locations, there are numerous "levels" indicated by either a burger, fries or a shake and that tells you what your next cooking assignment will be. I was really scared they'd have you cooking everything at once, but this is not the case, fortunately. You'll only be responsible for making one food type per level and that makes things less harrowing.

So is Burger Island fun? Definitely. I must admit that it was rather frazzling when I started the game on Medium difficulty, so I backed it down to Easy initially. If you are thinking you have played Cake Mania and can jump right into Burger Island and whip its tail, you might not be correct. It takes a little time and adjusting to get into the groove, so don't give up. Just try it on an easier setting until you get the hang of it. Do yourself a favor and go download the demo. Chances are, you'll end up picking up the full game and for around $20, you can't beat it.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

Minimum System Requirements:


Test System:

Sony PlayStation 2 Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm Sony PlayStation 2 Odin Sphere

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated