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Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: Burger Jack (Xbox 360; XBLIG)

It's all about the burgers, Jack.

And in addition to the burgers, there's also breakfast and ice cream. Burger Jack is a game about serving said goodies to a crowd of stunningly aggravated and belligerent people.

Things start out with our 'hero', Jack, walking about the grimy city streets on a usual day. All is well until he spots a shining example of 'I have to have it' tech in a store window. Problem: he has no money... or credit card apparently.

You'll start out serving up eggs and hash-browns

So what is a young layabout to do? If you said he needs to get a job, then you both share a synchronicity that most only dream of. Heading into the local diner, Jack chats for a bit with Sam, the owner of the establishment. Mr Aggro fills him in on the server job that's available, which Jack snaps up in a second.

Lets settle this up right from the jump- Jack's boss is an angry, angry, man. The South Park-like cut scenes always see him berating and/or yelling at the boy, and he'll fire you if you screw up so much as one single order. (That's a very easy task by the by).

Rage issues

Here's how the game works: Jack stands at the head of a set of (up to) four queues. Behind him is a row of hot plates and machines that serve up the various items on the menu. Your task is to move Jack up and down the screen (from station to station), grab the food that's ordered, and slide the then filled tray down the counter to the customer. Grab the wrong consumable and you'll have to put it back and re-fill the order.

Seconds away from unemployment
It's pretty simple and is actually pretty fun to play too. But it's not without its problems. The main issue I ran into was the fact that the controls didn't always allow for input as fast as I would have liked. When there aren't all that many folks lining up, this is a small annoyance at worst - but when an army of hungry (and angry) patrons is staring down at you, well, it's not... good.

One thing that really jumped out at me (and you can probably tell as I've mentioned it about a dozen times by now) is that everybody's mad in this game. Most customers get in line happy enough, but once they move up to the counter, they're spitting nails. And (also, like I said before) if you miss one order- you're done. Every once in a while, the dreaded moment occurs when you'll see a bus pull up loaded with people from a rest home. These are the angriest crowds you'll face- and they move like the Flash!

ProTip: dish up the old folks' grub first. They cut the line.

Though the graphics style is pretty simplistic, it does have a nice little charm to it and the characters are pretty colourful and fun looking. I'm not really going to get into the sound at all since it's not that great and kind of fades away after a while. The story is super thin as well, but what did you expect?

Burger Jack is mindless and it does have it's issues. I really can't see going back to it all that much on a console (on the iPad, it'd be perfect) but it is enjoyable for what it is. If you've got some extra Microsoft Points and nothing else to spend them on, Jack's adventures in waiting are significantly more fun than flipping burgers.


Review: Burger Jack (Xbox 360; XBLIG)
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