INTELLIVISION CARTRIDGE [Mattel Electronics #4549]

Based on the Data East arcade game

Program: Ray Kaestner

Graphics: Karen Nugent

Music/Sound Effects: Bill Goodrich

Instructions Posted Here


As the burger chef, you're out to build delicious hamburgers. As you run throughthe colorful maze assembling the ingredients, nothing can stop you. Except menacing hot dogs and pickles that are out to ruin the meal! Bury them under beef patties, lettuce and buns. Or, knock them out with pepper. Build four burgers and you're on to the next level.


Returning from vacation in August 1982 thinking he was going to start the Loco-Motion conversion, Ray Kaestner discovered he was going to do the BurgerTime conversion, instead. Scheduled to get married in December, Ray was determined to finish the job within three months so he wouldn't have to worry about deadlines and debugging during wedding preparations.

Three months was a tight schedule; Ray did it in two, a record for an Intellivision game in the Hawthorne office. The extra month gave him a chance to tinker with the timing of the game to get it just the way he wanted. (He didn't escape the game on his wedding day, though -- the groomsmen were playing it while waiting for the ceremony to begin.)

Data East did not have wide distribution for their arcade games, which had hurt when the Intellivision version of Lock 'N' Chase came out -- the name wasn't exactly a household word. But BurgerTime was so good that arcade giant Bally Midway licensed it and got the game into every arcade in America. Mattel had lucked out; it finally had the license to a hit game.

Marketing ordered BurgerTime ported to every system possible (to "all flavors"). M-Network Atari 2600, IBM PC and handheld versions were released. Apple and Aquarius versions were also developed. A Commodore translation was ordered but never started. A Colecovision version, done at the Mattel Electronics French programming division was eventually purchased and released by Coleco. (A later version for the original Nintendo system was unrelated to Mattel Electronics.)

BurgerTime was the first Intellivision cartridge not released as part of a game "network," although the box color, burgundy, matching that of Vectron, indicates that it was originally intended to be part of the Arcade Network. BurgerTime was initally released in the same style boxes of the game networks -- the covers opened like a book. Later copies of BurgerTime were sold in the cheaper, slightly shorter, end-opening boxes used for all subsequent cartridge releases.

The popularity of BurgerTime was such that a sequel, PizzaTime, was ordered by Marketing. (Mattel Electronics was closed before programming could begin.) A different sequel, Diner, was released by INTV Corporation.

FUN FACT: Many people ask why one of the bad guys in BurgerTime is an egg. The arcade game was developed in Japan, where many fast-food restaurants give the popular option of adding a fried egg to your burger.

FUN FACT: The television commercial for BurgerTime was the first non-Plimpton ad to focus on one game. In it, two teenagers drive up to a burger stand in which the chef is being chased around the kitchen by giant hot dogs. One of the hot dogs (an actor in a foam-rubber costume with only his red-painted face showing) slams the drive-up window while sneering into the camera "We are CLOSED now!" These prophetic words were repeated many times by the programmers as they packed up their personal belongings a few months later.

FUN FACT: BurgerTime benefitted from the demise of the Aquarius Home Computer System. Mattel Electronics had bought considerable television time and magazine space to advertise Aquarius during fall and winter 1983. When the Aquarius was quickly killed by Mattel, the rest of the reserved advertising was switched mostly to commercials for BurgerTime.