Atari 2600 Burgertime 1983

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ATARI 2600 BURGERTIME released in 1983. CARTRIDGE [#4518-0950] Program: Ron Surratt. Sound Effects/Music: Pat Lewis Du Long. This game was developed for Atari through the M Network of Mattel Games. It was highly successful and a PAL version was developed by Dave Akers for international release. The Atari version included a Pause option.

Evidently 2 versions of the 2600 cart exist. Later production runs added a choice of difficulty levels using the TV TYPE switch (B/W = easy, COLOR = hard) to fix a bug where the eggs and dogs were taller than they should be and they could catch the Chef when they were walking on the plank below him.

The Atari 2600 had a hardware issue when too many sprites appeared on the screen. They began to flicker. From,

"In the original M Network games, APh Technology Consulting did a great job of orchestrating sprite movements to minimize this flicker - far better than Atari had in their own original releases. Marketing had jumped on this, pointing to the lack of flicker as proof of M Network superiority. Of course, this meant that all new games had to meet the standard of the early ones: no - or very little - flicker."

"Unfortunately, the highest scoring move in the game, dropping all of the bad guys - nasties - at one time, requires that they all be in a row. So how could he keep a row of sprites from flickering? Ron used something of a cheat: a regular sprite's look is defined by the programmer, but there is also a special sprite - a missile - defined by the hardware. A missile is simply a rectangle intended, as its name implies, to be used as the graphic for a projectile. The programmer cannot change its shape, only its color and width. Despite its graphical limitations, missiles do have one advantage: they don't flicker when in a row with other sprites. So Ron made a square missile orange and called it a slice of cheese, made another square white and called it an egg, and made a thin missile brown and called it a bread stick. Voila: no flickering."

"Some fans of BurgerTime were disappointed to find that the chef was being chased around the maze by colored squares and sticks, but most were happy that the gameplay was quite faithful to the original arcade version"

The manual reads:

"... Build all the burgers and you move on to the next maze. Get too close to a nasty, though, and it's back to Burger School for you in short order."

The complete manual is at:

Atari 2600 and 5200 emulators are avaliable at Classic Gaming

Game pictures

Screen Shots


Info from:
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