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SCORES EXPLAINED:

5.0 Perfect
4.5 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
2.0 Poor
1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom


Funkmaster V Reviews


7800 Rank: 7th Best Overall
7th Best Homebrew

Genre: Action

Awards: The 2006 Peabody "Holy Cow this is a Great Homebrew" Award
America's Obesity Problem Could Be Solved with Portion Control Pros: Excellent Gameplay, Six Different Screens, Tough Enemies, ADDICTIVE
Cons: Still Trying to Find Something to Complain About
This Screen is So Hard I Almost Became a Vegetarian


Overview: If video games were as important as say... world peace, defeating global hunger,
and funny memes of cats, some people in the Atari realm would deserve huge accolades like Curt Vendel. Some people would need to be hung in the middle of town square and beaten like a pinata, like one-time Atari owner Jack Tramiel. In keeping with that theme, Ken Siders would need to be promoted to a really kick-butt Duke. With Beef Drop (aka Burgertine) and B*nq (aka Q*bert), Ken Siders showed the retro gaming community that the 7800 was not dead... rather, that the best games for the system were yet to come. Not only did Ken churn out a playable version of this title, he went above and beyond the call of duty and delivered the complete package. Prosystem owners, who are diehard fans (or even casual fans) of Burgertime, need to beg, borrow, or steal to get a copy of Beef Drop for your hot little hands. But look, Burgertime was never the sexiest game to grace an arcade, and to be honest... its kinda weird and gross. Ms Pac Man and Pac Man were huge because girls have some sort of weird kink about gorging on copious amounts of food in their DNA... so they played the HELL out of those games. And well... Burgertime is the spiritual opposite of Ms. Pac Man, and was much less popular. The player steps on food, contaminates food, hates other food, runs from food, sometimes attacks food, and never eats the food. That's a tough sell. But once you get past the grossness of the weird premise, this is one of the better arcade single screen games ever.

Graphics: Burgertime was never a looker, but Siders did a great job making it as easy on the eyes as possible. The title screen, burger parts, wiggling wieners (did I just type that?) and general on screen information are not bad graphics in the least. Some issues do exist. At first, I stupidly thought the tomato slices on the burgers were hot dogs, until logic set in... and Mr. Dill looks like those disturbing French Fry Pom Pom things from McDonalds. The biggest hang-up for some may be the main character, the chef. His big white chef hat makes him look like a big white rivet. What is does a rivet look like, you say? Grow up.

Sound: This is no Ballblazer, but I was really impressed with the audio in Beef Drop. There is a little ditty that plays over and over which could make you grind your teeth after a few minutes if it didn't stop every time something important happened. If the tunes starts to grate your brainz, simply flip the left difficulty switch and remove the background music. There are a slew of sound effects that will be sure to impress you and your nerdy lady-friends.

Gameplay: : Burgertime was a middle of the road hit back in the day, and I can understand why. Not only is the premise a little odd, it takes some practice before you can get any good. It is very similar to the ladder climbing in the first stage of Donkey Kong mixed with the evasive defense of Food Fight and Pac Man slathered with an awkward killing ability similar to Dig Dug. All the man wants to do is make a freakin' humongous burger or two with his damn feet and these mutated food products will stop at nothing to hate on the man. You walk over different parts of the hamburger (this place got a 22 on their Health Score) and make them DROP a level. If another burger part is underneath, a chain reaction of falling delicious food stuffs could start. Foolish enemies caught in the fattening avalanche will be crushed, but will cruelly regenerate almost immediately! Instead of the idiotic wondering ghosts in Pac-Man or meandering robots in Berserk, these food dudes are tenacious and know exactly what they are doing, and quite frankly, that's not good news for the chef. You have a limited supply of pepper spray, and these can temporarily freeze the marching food products. How long you last in this game is directly relative of how well you preserve and collect the pepper power ups. A level ends when all of the hamburgers have fallen into place in the nice burger receptacles underneath the stages. Who in the hell is eating these giant, footprint laden Hamburgers, anyways? You know what? Forget it. I don't want to know

Interpretation: All six stages of the arcade version with the legal name are here, and all of the bad guys are here, too. It is amazing that one man replicated this six screen game so well on the 7800 and an entire company screwed up on the mere four screen Donkey Kong conversion. Yeah- I'm talking to you, Atari.

Value: To me, the excitement of Beef Drop was trying to figure out the best way to defeat each of the six stages and flip them. Each one poses new problems and things can turn ugly if you are not careful. There are four difficulty levels and a two player alternating option. Just like the best Atari games, Beef Drop is infused with that "one more time" vibe.

Overall: OK. Let's get this out of the way now. A "beef drop" is what we used to call farting in Middle School. How am I supposed to praise a game that literally means "fart" to my juvenile brain? I will soldier on and try. Dumb name aside, the term masterpiece may be a bit much when regarding an after market video game on an ancient system no one really liked in the first place, but I am tempted to use that term here. After over sixty reviews of the 7800, I am trying to think of a Prosystem game has impressed me more, and I'm having trouble finding a better well rounded title. Ballblazer has better sound, but two players are needed for full enjoyment. Midnight Mutants is a bigger game, but its so silly. Tower Toppler is beautiful, but the controls are stiff. Ikari Warriors is not stop action, but doesn't test the ole brain as much. Ninja Golf may be more compelling, but the gameplay is not as exciting as the idea. And if you compare Beef Drop to the games that are similar one screen classics such as Ms. Pac Man, Donkey Kong and Food Fight, you'll be hard pressed to find a better translation in the library. You want to hear it? Do you? Well here it goes:

All things considered, Beef Drop is arguably the best all around game for your Atari 7800.

Fart.



Other trivia:

***Ken Siders has already produced an excellent version of Beef Drop for the 5200 and 8 bit computers, and an excellent version of Q*bert he renamed b*nq... which probably means fart somewhere.

***When trying to track down this title in the world, you may find versions called "Beef Drop VE". These are "Value Editions" that use TIA (Atari 2600) sound. Versions without VE on the label have a pokey chip inside and the audio quality is better.