Danny O’Dwyer and his band of flame-grilled collaborators at Noclip have produced this excellent documentary about the development of the Burger King Games.
Due to the AtomicGamer.com & LinuxGames.com shutdown I will be republishing my reviews from those sites.
As you might be aware, Burger King has released three games developed by Blitz, makers of Fusion Frenzy for the Xbox. Sneak King has you sneaking up on hungry people, as BK’s King, and force feeding them. Big Bumping gives you some multiplayer bumper car action. Finally there’s Pocket Bike Racer, which you can pretty much consider to be King Kart Racing. All three games work on both Xbox, and 360, a first. All of the games also feature the incredibly creepy guy in the King costume doing his best to freak you out, especially in the menus.
Sneak King is undeniably the worst of the three games, and also the most disappointing for Metal Gear Solid/Splinter Cell fans. I had some high hopes for this being the best of the three when I read about it. The game has a great idea, sneak up on people and instead of snapping their necks, force feed them horrible food. Unfortunately, the execution is just terrible and repetitive. You end up sneaking up on people (who have “vision cones” like many stealth games have had), and then playing a quick golf-style meter game of trying to get the top flourish move when you give them the food (there are three flourishes). The flourish thing feels completely tacked on, and becomes boring the second or third time you’ve done it after you have mastered the timing. Each objective is handed to you by a marker on the map, of which there are several per level, but each objective is basically the same. The only difference per-object is the food offered and the run-up to delivering it.
You’re also stuck on the first level until you beat enough of the objectives to make it to the next level. The graphics are Xbox level quality and superceded by the superior graphics in the other two games. There is no online play in Sneak King. I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised that the game which is furthest away from party style is the worst one, especially since Blitz is a party game developer. If the license were from McDonalds, I can see this concept working properly with their Hamburglar. It would make a lot more sense if the Hamburglar were sneaking up on people and stealing their food.
1/10: Incredibly disappointing and not worth the 4 bucks. Sam Fisher and Solid Snake need to gang up on the King and give him a good dethroning for this masterpiece.
From the title, I honestly couldn’t put it together with bumper cars. So I had no idea what to expect from Big Bumpin‘… until I saw the packaging and all was made clear. Big Bumpin’ is very difficult for me to review since it depends heavily on color identification for telling which player is yours and there are various color-related identifiers in the levels for various game types, as I’m red-green color-blind. So this game is confusing, but fun. The game types all work online, and include some obvious and some not-so-obvious variations on smashing bumper cars into each other. The whole idea seems somewhat like a paintball game to me, in that you play bumper cars to knock people in cars around because you can’t have the actual experience. Just like you play paintball because you aren’t going to have the actual experience of a fire fight. However, unlike paintball games, in this game the bumper cars do explode.
The game modes are also completely unrealistic, but totally enjoyable. There is Hockey, which is fairly standard fun and probably the best mode of the game. Shock Ball has a timed bomb, but it’s not really worth playing at all since it is just standard bumper cars plus a few extra explosions. Own the Puck‘s objective is for you be the person who last touched the puck for the longest period of time. So you’ll need to touch the puck and prevent anyone else from touching it. Finally there is Power Surge, in which the objective is to race to one end of the arena, grab “power”, and bring it back to the start. Power surge turns out to be merely adequate. The modes here are all worthwhile and playable online or with four players on one console. The graphics in Big Bumpin‘ are ridiculously better than those for Sneak King. Of course single player won’t be as fun, and getting your friends to play this might be difficult with games like Gears of War and Rainbow 6: Vegas out there. Big Bumpin‘ also gets bonus points for best back cover text: “Attention fans of electricity! This is the game you’ve been waiting for.“
7/10: Worth the 4 bucks. Bump it up.
Pocket Bike Racer
If you’ve ever felt compelled to watch a guy in a cheeseburger suit race a tiny motorcycle, this is the appropriate game. As a Mario Kart style game, this is a good substitute featuring both online and offline multiplayer. One of the interesting differences between this game and Mario Kart is that instead of collecting power-ups in the usual fashion, you instead go through gates which give you power that can be transferred into either one of several power-ups or boost at any time. This trade-off really changes the strategy from the usual Mario Kart style of play. The single player is abysmal though, as AI opponents do not even attempt to compete in non-racing modes! In fact at various points I’ve seen the bots racing around the course backwards, and piling up all together. Of course the flip side to the poor AI is that this turns out to be the easiest of the three BK games to get achievements with. So long as you can follow the course and get used to the control scheme, you’ll be set. Unfortunately this game also seems to suffer from the most bugs as it is the most complicated. However some design choices just seem awful. Why won’t Pocket Bike Racer remember which camera choice I make between races?
8/10: Leader of the pack, despite awful AI, some bugs, and a few poor choices on the part of the design team. Get this game out of the three first if you’re not sure which one you want to go with.