Game of the Month Review: Burger Joint
Published: Jul 1, 1998
Part of Series: Game of the Month Reviews
"But bongo," you stammer. "What's so damn innovative about Burger Joint?" For starters, the game takes place on one board, in one day. (Well, not exactly one board, but all the boards are alike, so for all intents and purposes one board.) Quite a change from today's modern overblown RPG epics spanning three ZZT worlds that eventually have to be cancelled due to runtime errors. (No, I'm not bitter.) Madguy's game manages to pack a hell of a lot into one board, and every single bit of it gets used during the game. To top it all off, it's all really, really funny. There's never a moment where you wince at a bad joke, or where you fantasize about beating Madguy over the head with a socket wrench. The jokes all work, and the gameplay is surprisingly pretty balanced, the puzzles escalating in difficulty as you go along. It's quite an enjoyable game to play.
The plot revolves around young Johnny, a kid going to work for the first fast-food restaurant in the 50's. (Not historically accurate, but cool nonetheless.) He basically has to survive one day. Seems easy, right? You're wrong. Really weird stuff happens during the day, including but not limited to the murder of a restaurant competitor, a jock intent on pulverizing you and a terrorist invasion. And there's even a romantic subplot happening in the wings. The characters all have defined personalities (especially Roy, who is heavily involved in probably the funniest scene of the game), and weird running jokes are hidden throughout all of the various objects of the restaurant.
The graphics are quite good, especially for a one-board game. But what really makes the game shine is the sound. 50's pop hits are cannibalized and turned into PC speaker tunes, various original themes help to add to the story, and there's even a Grease parody. If you play this game with the sound turned off, may God have mercy on your soul.
At any rate, get this game. It'll give you a good laugh, and also make you damned glad that you downloaded it.