Lost In Translation/Burger Time

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This page is a stub for arcade games that are part of the Lost In Translation series using information based on MAME (version 0.113u2).
For an example of preferred content and layout please refer to Out Run or The Ninja Warriors.

Burger Time
Burger Time marquee.
No screen shot.
Burger Time control panel.
Manufacturer Data East Corporation
Released 1982
4-way Joystick
1 Button(s)
Main CPU M6502 (@ 1.500 MHz)
M6502 (@ 500.000 kHz)
Sound CPU Mono
(2x) AY-3-8910A (@ 1.500 MHz)
Raster (Vertical)
256 x 240 pixels
57.00 Hz
16 Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 15 ROMs
53,248 bytes (52.00 KiB)
MAME ID btime · btime2 · btimem · cookrace

About The Game

Burger Time is a 1- or a 2-player game. When playing this game, you are the CHEF's controlling force. It is up to you to direct him through the maze of ladders and platforms to build his Burgers. Your job is to give him guidance while building his Burgers and to keep him away from his pursuers.

These pursuers are very sneaky and, if given half a chance, will try to corner your CHEF at the end of one of the platforms or to trap him on one of the ladders he has to use to get from one level of platforms to another.

The CHEF's pursuers have no defense mechanisms of any kind. But they CANNOT be PERMANENTLY eliminated either. As soon as your CHEF puts one pursuer out of commission, another appears somewhere on the screen at the edge of one of the platforms.

However, in an emergency, your CHEF can slow these pursuers down for short periods of time. This is accomplished by having him throw PEPPER on them. When hit by the PEPPER, his pursuers will be disabled for several seconds. When they are disabled like this, the CHEF can walk right over them and not be caught.

As your skill level increases, the number and direction of pursuers coming at your CHEF at any one time and the speed with which they move, is gradually increased; plus, their pursuit patterns become more and more devious while their overall accuracy is highly improved.

Bonus CHEF's are awarded to you periodically throughout the game as you reach or pass certain preselected point values. Each task or event that your CHEF can perform or cause to happen has an assigned point value.

The object of the game is to HAVE FUN and survive as long as possible while constantly improving your skills and building as many Burgers as you can. As you do this, each following rack of the game will have more pursuers, more difficult mazes, and will in general be harder to complete.


Released in November 1982, the game was originally titled 'Hamburger' in Japan, but was renamed 'Burger Time' before being introduced to the United States.

Burger Time was originally made for the Deco Cassette System ("Burger Time (DC)"), an early arcade format that pulled the game data from audio cassettes. The cassette system enjoyed a brief bit of popularity, until it was discovered that the cassettes quickly wore out, rendering the game useless. Bally Midway licensed this title soon after its original release (october 1982), and redesigned the hardware to drop the cassette altogether. This version of the game sold vast quantities when compared to the original. There was also a bootleg version of this game that bore the title "Cook Race".

Bryan Wagner holds the official record for this game with 7,946,800 points on June 27, 2002.

A sequel called "Pizzatime" was planned around 1984 but was never released.

In Japan where the game was made, it is common to add a fried egg to your burger. Hence, the fried egg as an enemy.


  • The Bally Midway licensed version has a different attract mode.
  • If you run out of pepper in the Bally Midway licensed version, a special sound effect will play, signaling this.


  • Stacking a burger ingredient : 50 points per ingredient
  • Crushing Hot Dog : 100 points
  • Crushing Pickle : 200 points
  • Crushing Egg : 300 points
  • Collecting Ice Cream : 500 points
  • Collecting Coffee : 1,000 points
  • Collecting Fries : 1,500 points
  • Dropping Ingredient with 1 enemy on top : 500 points
  • Dropping Ingredient with 2 enemies on top : 1,000 points
  • Dropping Ingredient with 3 enemies on top : 2,000 points
  • Dropping Ingredient with 4 enemies on top : 4,000 points
  • Dropping Ingredient with 5 enemies on top : 8,000 points
  • Dropping Ingredient with 6 enemies on top : 16,000 points and so on...

Tips and tricks

Mad Dash

J.D. Lowe, the current world record holder adds some suggestions... Something that very few players use is something I call 'Mad Dash'. If you watch as the chef is drawn on the screen, he walks up/down ladders at approx. 8 steps a second. So, in theory, if you can press the up and down arrows faster than 8 times a second, you can go faster. This is very helpful on later levels like Level 20. This does not work on going left and right, because the steps are smaller, and the computer has to draw the chef facing you again if you let go of the controller. It's a bit complicated, but like I said earlier, it can be very helpful.

Peppers Appearances

The peppers do not appear randomly on the screen; in fact, they appear after so many ingredients have fallen to the bottom of the screen: -

  • Level 1 - Peppers appear after 4, 8, and 12 ingredients have dropped.
  • Level 2 - After 5, 7, and 13 ingredients.
  • Level 3 - 4, 8, and 13.
  • Level 4 - 6, 16, 22, 29.
  • Level 5 - 3, 6, 9.
  • Level 6 - 3, 7, 12, 14.

  • Enemies can't turn around immediately, so you can follow them around temporarily.
  • The best tactic is generally to stand halfway across a piece of food, wait for enemies to appear on the food's edge, and then drop the food and enemies at once. Always lure the enemies onto the highest portion of the screen, and then drop them. This has several advantages : it clears more burger pieces, plus it means that units on lower levels may wander into the cascading pieces, killing them also.
  • Leave LOTS of room around yourself when going up ladders - the sprites in Burger Time are somewhat bigger than the visible characters.
  • When enemies first appear, you have 1/4 sec to go through them, if you need to.
  • IMPORTANT : If you die while the last piece of food is falling into place, the game will NOT deduct a man from your game!


  1. Burger Time (1982)
  2. Peter Pepper's Ice Cream Factory (1984, Cassette DECO)
  3. Super Burger Time (1990)

Cabinet and Artwork


Colecovision (1982)
Atari 2600 (1982)
Mattel Intellivision (1982)
Nintendo Famicom (1985)
Nintendo Game Boy (1991, "Burger Time Deluxe")
Sony PlayStation (1997, "Arcade's Greatest Hits - The Midway Collection 2")
Sony PlayStation 2 (2005, "Oretachi Game Center Zoku - Burger Time")
PC [Booter] (1982)
PC [MS-DOS] (1982)
Apple II (1983)
Texas Instruments TI-99/4A (1983)
Commodore C64 (1984)
Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1983, "Barmy Burgers" - Blabby)
PC [CD-Rom] (1997, "Arcade's Greatest Hits - The Midway Collection 2")
MSX ("Mac Attack")
VTech Laser-VZ ("Hamburger Sam")
Amstrad CPC
LCD handheld game (1982) released by Mattel.
LCD Handheld Game (1982) by Bandai.
VFD Portable Game (1983) by Bandai.

Soundtrack Releases

Album Name Catalogue No. Released Publisher Comments
Arcade Ambiance 1983 N/A[1] 2003-01-01 Andy Hofle Digital download only.
Oretachi Game Center: BurgerTime N/A[2] 2005-10-27 Hamster CD version.

External Links


The contents of this page are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
The sources used include MAME (version 0.113u2) and history.dat (revision 1.28 - 2008-10-18).
Please see http://www.arcade-history.com for credits.