Ever since Cake Mania came out and became extremely popular, there has been numerous clones. Burger Island is, in a way, a Cake Mania clone. It involves filling orders in an “exact” way in a given amount of time for a lineup of customers. It’s fast-paced, addictive, and satisfies the clickaholic in you. After playing Stand O’ Food, I didn’t have high expectations for this one. There’s only so much fun to be had making sandwiches, you know?

Burger Island starts off with an unlikely story: Patty (haha, very funny, guys) is washed ashore a mysterious “Burger Island” with natives that seems to be Hawaiian. She is taken in by an elderly couple who runs a decrepit burger shack. After working for them for a while, the couple decided to retire from the joint and gave the place to Patty as a gift. Your tutorial is presented by your maitre d’ Pierre who sounds like he’s constantly saying “you imbecile” in French, and your recipes will come from the Burger Island Chief who laughs and mumbles in Hawaiian. Hooked, yet?

Gameplay is very intuitive, and the levels are stacked so that you’re never doing the same things over and over again in a row. There are three different things you can make: burgers, fries, and shakes. Each of them have a “delayed” step, and a bunch of instantaneous ones, depending on how many recipes you have bought from the chief. More complicated recipes will net you more money towards the win condition. Generally you will end up doing burger – shake – burger – fries and so on, with each mission consisting of just one kind of item.

Each mission you will be required to make a minimum amount of money in a prescribed amount of time – usually about 3 minutes after the first few levels. As the levels progresses, you will be asked to make more money in the same amount of time. There is also a difficulty gauge, and I played the game on “Regular” and found it really, really hard to keep up in the later levels. If you manage to keep all your customers from storming off, you get a perfect level score bonus.

Now, onto how we make that money. At the beginning of each level, you’ll be taken to the Chief’s hut where you can use money you have made in previous levels to buy recipes. Each of them will also come with information on how much these recipes will make you for each item sold as well as the ingredients. Each item can have up to 7 ingredients, and some burgers have two patties (which is the delay item since the burgers need to be grilled – kind of like the cakes in Cake Mania that needs to be baked) and the levels can get really hairy. With only 3 minutes on the clock. If you lose a customer near the end of the completion of a burger, you lose all the money that you spent making it.

Since the game is all about slowly mounting difficulty, it never quite get boring even though there are a total 60 levels. It just gets more challenging as you go. The swapping of the levels also prevents you from doing ONE thing all of the time, and it really does feel like three different games contained in the same game.

Burger Island utilizes stylized vector graphics, which are all very well done. It could’ve used a “quality” slider, since it lagged a little bit during the animation intensive times in my game. The music is very, very good. The tunes are catchy and fits well. The sound effects could’ve used more work, however. For example, if I pick up ketchup and use it, it’s the same sound if I picked up lettuce and used it. You’d expect a “splat” with sauces and a light “slap” with pickles and lettuce, but I’m just being slightly picky here since the game is overall so good for the genre.

Overall, Burger Island a very addictive and well-made game that is well-balanced and has a learning curve built right into the game via the recipes system. It’s very well polished from the storyline, the humour, the graphics to the music, and definitely worth the buy. Try it. I actually liked something for once. 🙂

Hints: Burger Island

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