The Many Faces of  . . .  Burgertime & Bump ‘n Jump

by Alan Hewston

 With the end of Summer upon us, that means back to school for some of you, but always a good excuse for a holiday and burger cookout.  Let’s have a burger celebration - 20 years of “Burgertime”, and then “Bump & Jump” those other cars on your way back to school.  I’ve suggested that Tom can blend these 2 games, so, we’ll see what he came up with.  Both of this month’s classics were made by Bally Midway / Data East. 

“Congratulations you smashed 26 cars.”  . . . and caused them to crash and burn.  That’s the basic premise in “Bump ‘n’ Jump”.  Smash or be smashed, accumulate points for driving distance and make sure to have enough speed to jump the water when the roadway ends or splits.  Each vertically scrolling roadway gets progressively harder and it’s scenery and road conditions represent one of the 4 seasons (but not Frankie Valie).  After a few minutes, you complete that roadway and have a brief pause at the gas pump to refuel and count your bonus points - then it’s off to the next harder roadway.  Stay on the road and bump them when you can or go airborne and jump-crash-land on them.  No one else can jump on you, but the 10+ different vehicle types varying in speed, power, maneuverability, and driving skill, will give you a good, bumpy race.  You’ll need plenty of offensive & defensive strategy to cope with any combination of these enemies and/or road situations.  Nevertheless, take out as many of the other cars as possible, but don’t get too greedy or you’ll crash too.  Don’t forget to stay alert for the dump trucks, which  love to unload debris right in front of you.  And just when you though everything was going well, you’ll hear that sound and see the (yellow exclamation mark) warning that the road ends ahead.  You’d better be going 100+ MPH before you get there, and be ready to jump again right afterwards.  If you really work hard, and are lucky, you can earn a 50K bonus if no other vehicles crash on that roadway.  But that takes the fun away from “Bump ‘n Jump”. 

No one really loses in this race. 3 faces & 3 medal winners. 

Arcade:  Bally Midway, Data East 1982

Home Versions 1983 Atari 2600 (M Network), Colecovision (Coleco) and Intellivision (Mattel, Dennis Clark & Joe Jacobs).  Rumor Mill (Atari 5200)

Categories (10 points each for): Gameplay, Addictiveness, Graphics, Sound & Controls

Sequels:  None 

Home Version Similarities:  All the home versions are fairly well done with: a high score; speedometer; continuation option (to begin the next game at that roadway); musical score; 4+ different roadways (seasons); a 50K bonus for no cars getting crashed; water warnings - both audio & visual; islands to land on; and debris from trucks.  The 2600 has only the basic vehicles; tractors, dump trucks, race cars, and skull & crossbones vehicles.  CV has these plus a few more. The Inty has 10, which includes the basic 4, plus a cycle, yellow truck and cars that are green, white, brown and blue. 

Bronze Medal:  Atrari 2600 (37)
The Gameplay is very good (7) and fairly complete but has no starting options, and only 4 enemy car types.  The game starts playing at power-up and the side roads around water areas end with a death trap - if you do not jump, they become too small and you’ll crash.  There is displayed (on-screen) an “OK” to jump sign when going > 99 MPH.  The Addictiveness is cool (7) and, despite no pause, you’ll have plenty of fun playing a different race every time.  The Graphics are respectable (6) and do not detract from play.  The Sound is fairly good (7) with all effects and even a toggle switch for the music [color & B/W switch].  The Controls are perfect (10).  Overall, Mattel did a good job here making the 2600 version almost as good as their own. 

Silver Medal: Intellivision (39)
A very nice effort here – the best MFof INTY score yet, with a very good Gameplay (7).  There are no starting options, and no display that it’s “OK“ to jump.  The Addictiveness is enjoyable (8) with quite a lot of variety and the usual pause [diagonals].  The Graphics are effective (7) and colorful.  The Sound and music are pleasant (8).  The Controls are super (9), but you may score them higher. 

Gold Medal: Colecovision (42)
The Gameplay is the best, very nice (8), with 20 different roadways and enough cars and variety to delight.  Nothing is missing.  The Addictiveness is enjoyable (8) and you can “Bump ‘n Jump” using any of the CV controllers, even the driving controller. The Graphics are sharp (8) with smooth scrolling.  The Sound is pleasant (8) with everything sounding just right.  The Controls are responsive enough to score a perfect (10) for most of the controllers. 

Before a chef could have a “Food Fight”, he first had to survive against the food in “Burgertime”.   As chef Peter Pepper, your mission is to avoid the deadly-to-the-touch food villains, the relentless Mr. Hot Dog, Mr. Egg & Mr. Pickle, and make all the burgers in each kitchen maze. There are 4+ plates at the bottom of the screen waiting for you to drop all the burger parts downward.  The bun, topping, burger and bun are all lined up vertically in order – you just have to walk over them entirely to drop them down 1 level at a time.  As parts are dropping, any parts directly below will get bounced down to the next level and so on.  When you complete all burgers, you move on to the next round.  Your best defense is a good offense whereby you drop the parts down when the villains are either on or below them.  The villains are shaken up or smashed into the burger, but in short order are replaced by another of their kind at the corners of the screen.  Smashing them earns you bonus points and even more when multiple villains are involved.    When all else fails, your final defense is to use your pepper spray, to temporarily freeze the villains.  You start with a small supply of pepper, but refills are earned by collecting the limited-time-on-screen food prizes (ice cream, french fries, ketchup and coffee).  1 pepper spray is also earned for completing each round, and 10K earns you another chef.  Ladders connect the levels and platforms connect the vertical assembly lines. There are at least 6 maze patterns (varying in difficulty) and also variations in toppings (lettuce, cheese or tomato) from round to round. 

Time to fill up the kitchen or grill with some Burgertime fixings.

Arcade:  Bally Midway / Data East 1982

Home Versions Atari 2600 (’83, M Network), Intellivision (’83, Ray Kaestner, Mattel), TI-99 (’83, TI), Apple II (?), Commodore 64 (’84, Lee Braine, Interceptor Micros, music by Chris Cox), and Colecovision (’84, Coleco)

Categories (10 points each for): Gameplay, Addictiveness, Graphics, Sound & Controls

Sequels:  Diner for Intellivision (’84, Ray Kaestner, Intellivision Inc. Intellivision)

and 1990 Super Burgertime (Data East, arcade, not successful).

Almost Sequel: Pizzatime (planned by “Nice Ideas” in ’84 but canceled in favor of “Diner”) 

Home Versions Similarities – all versions: have several repeating maze patterns; display the number of chefs & pepper sprays; require you to build 4+ burgers – with 2 buns, a topping, and burger; let you drop the villains while atop the burger part; a bonus chef at 10K; and include various food prizes to earn extra peppers.  Unless noted below, most versions have a pause; a choice of difficulty or start level; keeps track of the high score; gives you another pepper spray to start each new maze; lets you move and spray pepper at the same time; displays (on-screen) your points, bonus points and level or pattern number. 

Have Nots: Commodore 64 (34)
I enjoy most classic maze & platform games, but never cared much for “Burgertime”.  After playing all these versions, I now know that my initial indifference was because my first version was the C64.  One could argue that this version is incomplete, and thus the Gameplay is only a (6), good.  The worst problem is that all burger parts on the entire maze are reset any time a chef is lost – this is the most frustrating feature of all time – I wonder if Bill Gates or Magnavox’s Odyssey 2 started this trend.  The mazes are smaller and less complex; there are no starting or difficulty options; the burger parts are always the same and do not fall 2 levels.  The extra pepper is fleeting and hard to get, not to mention no bonus pepper is awarded after completing a round.  There is no pattern counter.  The Addictiveness is mediocre (5), with no pause and average gameplay, so, you’ll not be too inspired to continue.  The Graphics are very good (7) but weak for the C64.  The Sound is decent (6), but has dull effects and no music other than during the intro/title screen.  The Controls are perfect (10).  Disk only. 

Have Nots: Atari Atari 2600 (34)
2600 Mattel games often pale in comparison to the Inty & the same holds true here where the Gameplay is pretty good (7).  You cannot move and spray pepper, in fact, you become momentarily frozen when you do.  A pepper spray is not awarded after completing a round and the bonus prizes do not last long enough to collect much pepper.  The game starts right up on the power up which is mildly annoying and there are fewer maze patterns (five).  The color / B/W switch lets you chose easy or hard difficulty.   The villains have been changed - there is still a hot dog & eggs, but a breadstick & cheese have replaced the pickle.  The Addictiveness is better than average (6) with a slow to toggle pause button, the left A/B switch.  With a reduced maze size and complexity, the Graphics are barely acceptable (5).  The number of villains is fewer and their appearance is as plain as it gets.  Bonus points are temporarily displayed in place of the current score, and there is no pattern counter.  The Sound is worth while (7) with music throughout and most of the sound effects are OK.  The Controls are superb (9), but loose a point due to the poor graphics and ability to see and navigate the intersections. 

Have Nots:  Apple II (39)
This is almost a fantastic version!  It’s the most complete & best version that money cannot buy - a joystick for. Without any apparent joystick control - it falls down 3 places - otherwise say hello to the top of the medal stand.  With a cool demo and nearly every element from the other versions, the Gameplay was darn near perfect (9).  It’s missing the pepper spray earned for completing each round, and has no pattern counter.  The counter may be a moot point, as there may be an infinite (or large) number of patterns.  There are 9 starting levels (maze patterns) to choose and maybe more thereafter.  Level 9 is too tough for me playing without a joystick to see 10 or beyond.  There are 3, 4 and 6 burgers per maze and burgers with 3, 4 or 6 ingredients each.  Then there’s the 4 burger by 8 ingredient super burger pattern.  Some burger ingredients are unique color combinations within one ingredient (layer).  There’s what looks to be tomatoes with pickles or relish, and then lettuce with ketchup.  A nice feature is that defeated villains restart on bottom (near the platters) and have to move towards a ladder to get onto the maze – not showing up on top of you.  The Addictiveness is very good (7), but easily a 9 with a joystick, and maybe a 10 if there is large number of levels & creativity.  The pause is the [esc] key.  The Graphics are superb (9), the best of the lot.  The pepper sprays outward and falls under gravity (also seen on the CV version).  There is some flickering of the 6+ villains, but that also helps to give them a 3D/rotational look.  The Sound is very good (7), but there’s only music on the intro screen.  The keyboard-only Controls are very good (7), but a real pain to play considering the game speed is extremely fast.  The choice of IJKL instead of the standard IJKM takes some getting use to.  Bad news is that once moving, you do not stop unless you hit the space bar to “stop”.  The space bar would have been the best key to use for the pepper spray, since the “S” key is not reachable while typing “IJKL”.  Thankfully, the programmers designed in an in-advance direction control – good for maze games.  Type the key for the direction you want to go before you hit the intersection, and Peter turns automatically as soon as you get there.  This is excellent, making it easier to reach for the pepper and pause, and fun enough to play that I beat almost every start level.  Hit [h] to get the help menu. Disk only. 

Bronze Medal:  Intellivision (40)
One of the first home versions is still lots of fun with an impressive and complete (8) Gameplay. There are 4 difficulty settings and 7 maze patterns (the pattern counter shows up only after a chef is lost).  Once villains are eliminated, a replacement appears on the corners of the maze without warning - no fair – but other versions do this as well.  Regardless, the Addictiveness is outstanding (8) with the usual diagonals as the “pause”.  The Graphics are very good (7), but hold this port back from the others.  A graphics glitch may be the cause for the pepper spray to shoot out past an oncoming villain so that he still gets you.  With music throughout and everything sounding fine, the Sound is great (8).  The Controls are outstanding (9) using the stickler, but still leave me wanting more. The title screen is animated, almost acting like a demo. 

Silver Medal: TI-99 (41)
The TI continues to impress and this version makes it almost a tossup for the gold. The Gameplay is very good (8) but does not offer: start level options; ability to throw pepper and move at the same time; a high score display; and no bonus pepper for completing a level.  Level 2 adds a 5 layer burger, with cheese being the fifth topping.  The Addictiveness is enjoyable (8) and fun to watch the unique activity of the villains as they can get bounced or squashed and then get up and walk again.  There is still a delay before they pursuit you.  The Graphics are sharp (8) and the Sound is pleasant (8), complete with a musical score. The Controls are perfect (10) using an Atari joystick. 

Gold Medal: Colecovision (42)
A close call but as you probably expected, the CV wins again, going 2 for 2 this month.  The Gameplay is complete, impressive (8), with 4 difficulty settings and full gamut of mazes.  It’s outdone only by more options and creativity shown on the Apple 2 and TI-99.  The Addictiveness is cool (7), dropping a notch due to NO pause button.  The Graphics are outstanding (9) and very well animated and detailed. A graphics glitch may be the cause for the pepper spray to shoot out past an oncoming villain so that he still gets you.  But the spray is animated & gently falls and disappears quickly.  The Sound is crisp (8) and complete with a musical score.  The Controls are perfect (10) using an Atari controller, which doesn’t cost you anything since there is no pause anyhow. 

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