Hungry for some excitement and adventure? Well then, get ready to sink your teeth into “Burger Island”, the coolest new burger-slinging, French-fry sizzling, milkshake-making game from Sandlot Games.
In “Burger Island” (stop me if you've heard this one before), you race to fill food orders while impatient customers come in hungry to your restaurant. In this latest version of the RTS restaurant games, you play Patty Melton (get it?- it’s a play on words- patty’s melting!) as she runs a burger joint in Hawaii with the help of an uptight obnoxious French waiter named Pierre and a very mysterious Tiki Guy selling recipes.
SideNote: I found it a bit odd that they went with a French character whose accent was so heavy and often times indistinguishable for a game set on a tropical island…don’t you? Ah well, he’s probably a kick ass waiter.
Watch as business erupts! Patty hopes to build her own burger empire that stretches from Tikikola Beach all the way to capital city of Honochuchu (at least that’s the plan.)
Burgers in Hawaii? Hmm, and I always thought Spam was the “meat” of choice.
•3 difficulty settings: Kiddie, Regular & Jumbo Size!
•60 fast paced levels.
•5 exotic burger stand locations.
•40+ different ingredients to choose from.
Like the best customer service/restaurant type games out there, it tests both your reflexes as well as your memory by challenging you to make complicated recipe orders at high speeds. But unlike most restaurant games, in “Burger Island” you will never have customers standing right in front of you instead you will be looking at 4 trays from a view behind Patty’s back at all times, in fact the only way to know if your customers are happy or not is a thermometer-like temperature gauge indicator thing-a-ma-jig on the side of their trays. The early levels aren’t too hard and the recipes for the basic dishes start off quite simple, just 2 or 3 items altogether.
So anyway back to the gameplay; you'll either be working the grill, fryer or milkshake making station, whipping up different types of tropical burgers, spicy fries and creamy shakes. You must quickly cook up the tasty happy meals by slapping meat, veggies, condiments and other yummy toppings together as fast as humanly possible. For example, one patron might order a cheeseburger; another, a veggie burger; and a third, a Tiki special. Of course, each has its own unique recipe, using a different mix of ingredients (a cheeseburger patty + cheese + pickles+ lettuce vs. a veggie burger + pickles + lettuce + tomatoes + lettuce).
And oh, to make it even more intense all the meals are custom ordered, which means they must be assembled in the exactly same order that is shown by the icons above each tray. And I mean exactly, mess up a single ingredient in the order in which they must be added, and you lose the order altogether and must start over from scratch –and with only a certain amount of time to reach your daily sales goal, you can’t afford too many mistakes!
The controls are done moving your mouse around the screen at top speed, frantically clicking on buns, bottles of ketchup, cans of whipped cream and piles of peppers. Speaking of controls I do have to say that at times I have found to become frustratingly wonky and unresponsive. For example, on more than one occasion I attempted to switch ingredients from onions to tomatoes let’s say, and it remained locked on the onions causing me to fail the recipe.
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But there is some good news, since you only prepare one type of dish within each level – burger, fries or drinks – you won’t ever have to worry about accidentally getting ice cream on your burger, or chili fries in your milkshake.
Start flipping faster because you’ll really need to start hustling to fill the ever-increasing customer’s orders before their appetite and mood thermometer runs cold. After each successful level you are given the chance to buy new mouth-watering recipes from that nameless Tiki Guy I was telling you about. Since your sales goals will get higher as the game goes on, you’ll want to buy the recipes for the more complicated and expensive dishes so that you can make that much more money.
Your kitchen counter will soon get cluttered with exotic ingredients, from pineapple slices to bacon to Swiss cheese to multiple toppings and sauces – but never too cluttered that the game becomes impossible- challenging yes, impossible no.
Burger Island’s manic type of gameplay however will not appeal to everyone certainly not for the more casual gamers. Less than halfway through the game, the pace really starts to pick up; Patty will be juggling 4 stations during a heavy lunch rush and an all-you-can-eat buffet all the while keeping grumpy customers from going buck wild and keeping an eye out for burnt meat will definitely test both your reflexes and blood pressure. Even the most seasoned RTS restaurant themed gamers (like yours truly) will find themselves a bit frazzled and overwhelmed at times.
The graphics are bright, cartoony and cheerful, but what really stands out here are the sounds. The music is a cool mix of Beach Boys type surfin’- safari tracks and the realistic sound effects of burgers sizzling and fries crisping that will make you drool. All that’s missing is the Smell-O-Vision, but they’re probably just holding out for the sequel.
Chow down and see for yourself, in the meantime, an order of Hot Lava Fries for me please!
Tips & Tricks
- Save time by picking up multiple burger patties or fries orders. Patty can hold up to 4 at a time!
- Assembly Line: Chain your work. Different recipes often start out with identical ingredients. Pay close attention to these and save time by plopping down several identical ingredients in one pass.
- Overwhelmed? If you're losing track of too many orders, recipes & ingredients, try doing groups of 2 orders at a time or wait for 2 identical orders to appear and finish those first.
- Shopoholic? You might not need to buy each and every recipe! Try making your Daily Goal without adding too many recipes and save up to grab those high-value ones!
- Veggie Challenge: Don't tell your vegetarian friends: purchasing veggie-patty recipes makes the burger-making process much harder. They'll make it more challenging to anticipate what kind of patty the next order will need. They're worth a lot of money, but only buy them when necessary.
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- Avoid Burns: If a Burger patty or Fries are about to burn, click on them to hold them on your hand! The next Order will probably need the item you are holding and you'll be able to free up your hands without having to throw anything away.
- Hard Times: If you're losing orders because you're running out of time later in the game, go for the most valuable orders first. You might be able to lose a few orders but still meet your Daily Goal.
- Think Ahead: Even if you don't have an order, you can get a head start on fries & Burgers. Grab that Straw before the blenders are done when making shakes to get a jump on finishing those orders!